15 Self-Centered Qualities That Lead To Happy, Healthy Relationships

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how to have a happy relationship
Love, Self

Our relationship success truly starts and ends with us.

When we think about what stands between us and the happy, healthy relationships we truly desire, we don't typically focus on what we're bringing to the table. The choices we're making. The power we have. Instead, we focus on what the other person is doing, and the negative impact their behavior has on the relationship.

We may think that this is the fastest, easiest way to improve our relationships, but it's not. Because as much as we might like to be able to, we can't change other people, and we all know how frustrating and hopeless it can feel to try. We'll feel more empowered and get more traction when we turn our attention to the only person we can control: ourselves.

Because when we devote time, energy, and attention to ourselves instead, we discover all of the aspects of the relationship that we can actually do something about. As we explore these areas and take more responsibility for our contributions, we naturally become more present, capable, and kind-hearted relationship participants. In other words, exactly the kinds of people who can more easily create happy, healthy outcomes with the people in their lives.

There are certain qualities that capture these different aspects of how we relate to ourselves and how we bring ourselves to our relationships qualities that dramatically improve our experience of our relationships when we learn to embody them more fully.

Here's how to have a happy relationship and the 15 qualities you need to have that will get you there.

1. Self-worth

Self-worth is the little voice inside us that says, resolutely, “I matter,” even when a situation or circumstance suggests the opposite. It's the source of the standards we have, the treatment we'll accept (or not), and the kinds of relationships we seek out in the first place.

It's also the quality that inspires us to grow out of our own bad relationship habits when we realize that we deserve better than the ways we've sabotaged our relationships in the past.

2. Self-respect

When we respect ourselves, we act in alignment with our own integrity. We don't agree to things that will make us feel bad about ourselves. It's the relationship bulwark against situations that lead to anger, resentment, and hurt feelings.

Self-respect also compels us to respect other people because we know how we treat them is a reflection of who we are. We pay closer attention to our behavior and change any aspect of it that genuinely doesn't sit right with us because of the pain or discomfort it causes another person.

3. Self-acceptance

Self-acceptance is the ability to allow ourselves our authentic experience, just as it is, and accept it as enough. To forgive ourselves for our mistakes, our failures, and our perceived shortcomings. To allow ourselves to feel how we genuinely feel about the situations and circumstances we face. To extend ourselves the mercy and grace that springs from knowing that we are truly doing the best we can with the interest, ability, and information we have at any given time.

This attitude is so important for our relationships because the more we accept our own experience as valid, the more we'll accept another person's as valid too.

4. Self-care

Self-care is the practice of being with ourselves in a gentle way, treating ourselves with a softness, a kindness, and a spirit of encouragement, especially when it comes to what we need. This can include the most basic aspects of daily life like being hungry or tired, to more complex ones like expressing intense or overwhelming emotions.

The more we care for ourselves, the less depleted we'll feel, and being generous towards other people won't feel like such a burden.

5. Self-love

When we love ourselves, we treat ourselves with the same sense of joy, wonder, and affection that we would feel inspired to offer a romantic partner, family member, or close friend. It's a genuine appreciation for and admiration of who we are.

When we know how to give ourselves this kind of love, we're able to truly offer it to another person without expecting anything back from them in return.

6. Self-awareness

Being self-aware is being conscious of our "selves" in the first place and realizing that we are distinct actors with our own experiences, perspectives, preferences, and personality traits. We become more self-aware through a process of experimentation and inquiry that explores how and where this self comes into contact with the world around it, and the responses and reactions that result.

This process benefits our relationships in two ways: as we observe, experience, and examine the link between our actions and the consequences they have, we reveal a more honest accounting of the root causes of our daily dramas. And truly understanding the impact outside factors have on us gives us vital clues about where we still have some growing to do.

7. Self-correction

Self-correction is the capacity to take responsibility for our contributions to our relationship problems by resolving to behave differently moving forward. It's only as effective as the consistency and the integrity with which we apply what we've learned about ourselves to what we decide to do next.

8. Self-control

Self-control is the ability to stop ourselves from doing the things we know will cause relationship conflict or that will make us feel bad about ourselves. Do we have the strength to not go for the low blow, send that angry text, or say yes when we mean no?

9. Self-reflection

Self-reflection is the ongoing process of checking in with ourselves to see how we're doing with all of this growth and introspection, and making any necessary adjustments along the way.

10. Self-perception

When we know ourselves well, we see ourselves more clearly. We can then use this understanding as a sturdy reference point in our interactions with other people, testing any criticism, accusation, or threat we receive against it. This allows us to accept the characterizations of us that might actually have some truth to them and not take the rest so personally.

11. Self-possession

Self-possession is the equanimity we feel when we know we can capably manage our lived experience. It's a trust we develop in ourselves as we attend to ourselves in a more direct and intentional way.

It's also the peace of mind we enjoy when we put our our emotional experience in its right perspective that while we can't always control what happens to us, we can learn to interpret those provocations and inquire about our reactions to them in such a way that will help us experience them less intensely moving forward. All of this contributes to a feeling of being at ease with ourselves, and when we're at ease with ourselves, we're more at ease with other people.

12. Self-determination

Self-determination is the the sense of autonomy we feel when we’ve so aligned our thoughts, words, and actions with our true desires that we cement the power we have to create a life we love. It's the clarity born of experience that when we set an intention, we can manifest it, and our conviction that we are the primary creative forces in the course and composition of our own lives is reinforced through a faithful repetition of this cycle.

13. Self-confidence

When we're connected to ourselves in a more intimate way, we radiate this positive, productive energy outward. It's magnetic that certain something that other people can't quite put their finger on but that they're nevertheless attracted to. We're emotionally solid, dynamic, and dependable a sturdiness that comes from knowing we've built a home within ourselves that is an accurate reflection of who we are.

14. Self-esteem

If we have strong self-esteem, we have an internalized and immutable sense of our innate value and capacity as human beings. This breathes expansiveness into relationships that would otherwise be hampered by doubt and insecurity because these elements are simply not a factor.

If they are, we approach them with the curiosity needed to understand where these feelings come from and the compassion to not make their presence mean anything too distressing about us.

15. Self-actualization

Self-actualization occurs when we live our lives to their fullest potential. They're honest expressions who we really are our true purpose, passions, goals, dreams, and desires. In this state, we're unencumbered by the fears that so often hold us back, and any pain or discomfort we feel is treated as an opportunity for further growth, understanding, and alignment.

As we arrive more fully in ourselves, that's how to have a happy relationship. We become happier, healthier people, and we can rest easy knowing that we've done everything within our power to set our relationships up for the same success. 


Do you have a good relationship with your partner? Check out the video below:


Relationship coach Adam Maynard helps his clients gain the clarity they need to feel empowered, inspired, and at ease in their relationships. Are you ready to cut through the confusion, ditch the drama, heal the heartbreak, and be yourself in love, family, friendships, and your day-to-day interactions with other people? Book your free coaching consultation today.