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Laura Rinnankoski, a real citizen of the world, was born in Finland, grew up in Venezuela, and studied in Boston.

Having lived in so many different parts of the world, her passion and excitement for people came as a side effect.

It was through her passion that she decided to help people excel in something she thrived.


But how does one go about building relationships?

Rinnankoski, who translated her passion into a profession and became a relationship coach, made it her mission to help her clients form meaningful and lasting relationships.

She found that the one secret ingredient to any successful relationship or friendship always starts with oneself.

Self-love or the lack of it, determents the outcome of any relationship. Whether a relationship is successful or not, boundaries need to be set and expectations need to be communicated.  

As such, any lasting change must come from within. And while iron sharpens iron, healthy and good relationships should make one grow and not stagnate.

Shasta Nelson, a leading expert on friendships and healthy relationships, stated that:

“Having good relationships is a matter of life and death as they give us a sense of belonging.”

She found in her research when people were asked to determine on a scale of 1 to 10 how fulfilling their relationships were that the outcome was a 5 and that many people were suffering from loneliness and were simply not acknowledging it.

And while having good relationships is vital the lack of it can at some stage lead to lasting health problems.

When it comes to determining whether a friendship is solid one must reflect and weigh whether there is positivity, consistency, and room for vulnerability according to Nelson.

When, upon evaluation, one discovers that these criteria are not met one can assume that these friendships are not good relationships and that one must either move on or try and change them.

Regardless of what the outcome is, loving and accepting oneself should be the foundation.

By Adina Sarah Abraham

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