Look on the Bright Side: A Seminar for Those in Difficult Relationships

By: Jerry Green

Staff Reporter

On April 9, a seminar was scheduled to help students identify the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships and the steps necessary for exiting an unhealthy relationship, said seminar host Austin Dougherty, the director of community education and outreach for the Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico (RCC).

The event was set to take place in JS208 of CNM Main from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

“It is vital that people understand what a healthy relationship looks like as opposed to an unhealthy relationship, for these types of relationships can exist outside of the stereotypical sexual or romantic relationship,” Dougherty said.

One way to spot an unhealthy relationship from a healthy one is something as simple as communication, he said.

“In a healthy relationship, communication is respected, authentic, treated fairly, encouraged and craved; in an unhealthy relationship, communication is lacking, treated unfairly in someone’s favor, perhaps craved but for the wrong reasons and inauthentic,” he said.

Empathy, open-mindedness, truthfulness and respect all play crucial roles that yet again must be communicated to your partner, he said.

“Unhealthy relationships can be draining, overwhelming, suffocating and detrimental to someone’s self-esteem and dignity,” Dougherty said.

Many people realize that they are in an unhealthy relationship but lack the will and gumption to follow through and move on from it, he said.

While a very difficult step of the process, it is quite vital to look for help, he said.

“The best answer I can give is to identify that person in your life whom you trust and in whom you can find solace and support and discuss options and ways in which you can exit the relationship,” Dougherty said.

More advice on the vast differences between these two relationships will be provided upon attending the event.

“We will be using an engaging themed slide presentation, statistics, videos and different activities to help the audience understand and acknowledge what leads to a healthy relationship and what encompasses an unhealthy one,” said Dougherty.

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