Perhaps nothing brings more people to their knees (or to an astrologer) than the trials and tribulations of relating to others – especially family, coworkers, neighbors and intimate relationships. It was my number one challenge for years – and having loving, supportive relationships remains of utmost importance to me.

Along the way, I have discovered an essential key to finding and maintaining healthy relationships.

The way to healthy relationships is through cultivating a loving, supportive relationship with yourself first.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but let me explain why it is true. You are the perceiver and interpreter of all the experiences in your life. Therefore, no matter what happens in your external life, you are the one who gives it all the meaning it holds. When someone doesn’t call when you expected or at all, you are the one who decides whether it was because they don’t care about you anymore, were absent-minded, too busy, or for some other reason.

If you are the one who decides what has meaning in any relationship, it stands to reason you are more likely to encounter (interpret) positive relationships when you are feeling good about yourself.

When you feel worthy and valued within yourself, you not only experience (interpret) your interactions more positively, but you are also more likely to express more love and support to others. You are likely to find those who are attracted to you as a result are naturally more loving and supportive of you just as you are, with all of your strengths and even with your weaknesses. Those who don’t appreciate you will just fall by the wayside as you naturally seek out the company of those who do value you.

If you feel good about yourself, why settle for the company of anyone who was less than a loving, supportive influence?

You can hold a loving and kind attitude for everyone, while choosing not to endure the company of anyone who disrespects, takes advantage of or undervalues you. We are meant to live, love and be happy without becoming anyone’s “punching bag” – literally or figuratively.

So, what does it mean to be loving and supportive of yourself?

Start by catching that critical voice, which is simply abusive self-talk, and talk back to it. Say the kinds of encouraging, supportive words to yourself that you would say to your best friend. Acknowledge when you have done something well. And even if you think you have fallen short, simply encourage yourself to do better next time and let go of the guilt.

Next, listen for what your emotions are telling you. What brings you joy? What do you dislike? Move away from distressing emotional situations as if pushing away from a hot stove.

Make time to do the things you enjoy as you open up to the wonders of the world around you and discover the wonderful people who now inhabit your world.

You may begin to notice that as you start treating yourself with the same loving support that you’d give to your best friend, you are paving the way to healthier relationships with others.

Author's Bio: 

Dianne Eppler Adams [] is a spiritual mentor, intuitive astrologer and bestselling author of “Conscious Footsteps: Finding Spirit in Everyday Matters.” She provides spiritually-oriented, mission-driven individuals personalized astrological roadmaps that give them 20/20 vision ahead, deepening self-awareness and helping them step confidently forward. Subscribe to her popular New Moon/Full Moon newsletter on her website [] and receive an ebook titled “How to Use Astrology as a Roadmap.”