In healthy relationships, giving and receiving support is absolutely necessary. Getting reassurance and encouragement helps to validate your experiences and build your confidence and self‐esteem. Learning to provide non‐judgmental support is a key skill for being a good friend, co-worker, boss, and romantic partner. Everyone needs the support of other people to overcome tough and stressful times.

You can show support for your friends, family members and significant others by:

  • Encouraging their interests and goals.
  • Taking the time to learn what’s important to them and show genuine interest in it.
  • Being accessible by being there (e.g., talking, hanging out, or grabbing a meal together).

Princeton is a diverse community. We come from a broad range of backgrounds and have different expectations when it comes to relationships. Showing healthy support for others involves understanding and respecting their needs, wants, and identity.

To keep your relationships strong, it's important to check-in with each other to make sure that everyone's experiencing good support. For example, you can show support by simply asking people how they are used to doing certain things, like making decisions or managing their feelings. Once you know how they do things, be sure to use words and actions that validate the approaches you support, and offer respectful suggestions when additional options would be helpful.

By supporting others, we can build healthier relationships.