One Simple Key to Healthy Relationships

     In Mindy Kaling's book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, she discusses her friendship code (which is perfect for college roommates by the way).

     The code involves guidelines on things like stealing clothing from your friend's closet (go ahead and steal it) and giving your friend's boyfriend a few chances to make a good impression (exactly six chances). It's humorous and has a few good points too.

    But it got me thinking. How do I set a standard, even if I'm the only one who will follow it in a relationship? How do I do my part to keep my relationships healthy?

     One key to achieving any goal is to set expectations of oneself.

     Isn't it true though? You achieve a goal when you set an expectation.

     My friendship "code" has never been established between me and anyone, but the other day I jotted down some standards that guide how I deal with any relationship, be it friend, parent, brother, mentor, etc.
My Personal Relational Standards

I will not hold anything against you whether it is from your past or from a third party's mouth.

I will come to you first if I have a complaint or problem with you.

I will put you before myself.

I will motivate, inspire, and encourage you.

I will be with you in the dark places without forcing the sunshine on you.

I will respect your wise decisions and not chastise you for the foolish ones.

I will be friends with your friends (without being possessive).

I will tell you the truth.

I will respect your style, even when it's not my favorite.

I will humbly learn from you and show you what I know.

I will show you I love you in ways that fit your personality.
     Those are the ways I show others I love them. I learn about them, care for them, and give them the space they need. I'm not perfect by any means, but when I follow these, healthy relationships come along for the ride.
     Which of the above characterize your relationships? What would you add to this list? What might you take away from it?


  1. Oh my gosh, I love this so much! Especially about being the dark places without forcing sunshine on you. Sometimes you need to dwell in the darkness for a little while. But I think showing them the good in things is also good if they're in a place like that.

    Love this! <3

    1. Oh, thank you so much! Yes, sometimes I am so positive and focused on the beauty that I need to remember that one. :)

  2. These are really good, Madeline. I like the last one about showing you love in ways that fit your personality (love language). That requires extra thought and intentionality. I would add ... I will be intentional about having face-to-face time with you... I will faithfully pray for you. ��

  3. "I will be with you in the dark places without forcing the sunshine on you." I have NO words for how much I love this word-picture. Love the concept of the friendship code & putting words around our core values.

    1. Thank you! For someone who is usually all sunshine, I love being with others in dark places. Love you, friend!


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