Interpersonal Relationships: Definition, Types, and Importance
Interpersonal relationships are part of social relationships and are the interaction that is established between two or more people reciprocally. An essential component of that interaction is communication. It is an essential component of the psyche. It needs thought and language and is made up of experiences, memory, emotions and feelings, motivations and expectations, objectives and goals, the potential of each subject as a whole and their skills and attitudes, and in turn of their capacity for psychosocial interaction. And it can be verbal (oral) and non-verbal (Facial expressions or body postures), inter-individual or intergroup. But first;
What is Communication?
Communication is “any process of social interaction through symbols and message systems: It includes any process by which the behavior of a human being acts as a stimulus for the behavior of another human being.”
To achieve the objective, from the sender to the receiver, the latter must possess skills and attitudes that will allow him to perceive and interpret the message. As a whole, communication is a function of intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence. The benefits of healthy communication are multiple since when living in society it is essential both to influence and to be influenced by others and thus achieve goals through ties created with other people, to know about the world, about others and about oneself itself, and contribute to the development of social welfare.
It is for all this that quality communication is related to the intrapersonal relationship, with oneself, based on self-knowledge, self-esteem, self-image and self-concept.
For the development of self-knowledge, some attitudes are needed. The first thing needs to search for yourself, need to know yourself and to have an open and sincere attitude.
All this requires a process of self-analysis, observing oneself, knowing how to listen to the interior while maintaining a focus and a sincere and honest attitude, observing the feedback in others. Here’s Interpersonal Communication: Definition, Importance and Skills.
Role of Emotional intelligence:
An essential factor for interpersonal relationships is emotional intelligence, consisting of a potential that facilitates the knowledge of one’s own emotions and feelings and facilitates knowing better those of others, better managing one’s life, and relationships. And with all this, it will be easier to adapt to situations, family, friends, people, the world of work, achieving greater success. It is evident that it provides more sensitivity to interact with others by having greater self-knowledge, more self-esteem and empathy.
Another aspect that facilitates relationships is self-awareness because knowing, understanding and evaluating moods, emotions, feelings, attitudes and skills: It facilitates awareness of the effects on others. It also implies and is very necessary in turn to control and direct the state of mind. Being and knowing how to be in the situation in a flexible and adaptable way: considering each particular circumstance and interacting intelligently.
The integrity factor also counts since it implies a high degree of responsibility in personal actions. It is necessary to count on the consequences and that they tune in with the being of each one.
In addition, another essential role of emotional intelligence is the potential to understand the diversity of situations and great human assortment: the variability and flexibility to understand different ways of being and not wanting to impose one’s point of view or be alarmed by anyone who does not match yourself: the ability to adapt to changes and to direct and develop the transformation of life: own and of others: encouragement and motivation to improve: capabilities to solve possible conflicts that may arise. and capacities to lead, if necessary, groups, subgroups, teams and thus build the necessary synergy for social contribution. Here are the 7 qualities of people with high Emotional Intelligence.
Why do we establish relationships in social networks?
It is well known that social media is a booming form of communication nowadays. But;
What is the motive?
Ricardo Trujillo, academic from the Faculty of Psychology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), explains that there are several reasons why a person can find pleasure in having access to the networks and that the most common is the opportunity to establish relationships, without this implying having emotional ties, increase the number of their contacts and broaden the horizons of work, academic, family or friendship interaction.
According to a study and general observation, over social media, people tend to ignore family and social friends are chosen. Social networks allow the generation of ties, which the user determines whether or not they will have an emotional charge.
He adds that the main point is a connection because the way to join on the internet is a fertile field to jump from a link society to a connected society since the mediator is the network: If you are connected or eliminate a ‘follower’ or ‘friend’ there is no tragedy or pain because there doesn’t exist an emotional bond.
“The way in which each person establishes social and affective relationships is independent of technology. The commitment and affection that is printed on each of them is a separate issue. So it is worth reflecting on whether any of the social networks is symptom or disease of the type of relationships that we now have,” says Ricardo Trujillo.
It is difficult to make a forecast on the way in which the use of the networks can impact the different social spheres since this is relatively recent history. However, it is always worth acting with prudence, so as not to suffer the indelible and permanent that cyberspace keeps in its records.
Types of Interpersonal Relationships:
Interpersonal relationships can be very diverse and complex and sometimes these may not even have a name. But broadly speaking, we tend to recognize more or less the following:
1. Intimate or affective relationships:
Those who seek a deep connection with other individuals, and who basically understand the different degrees of affection. These are bonds of enormous trust and that seek to last over time, associated with pleasant feelings of protection, solidarity and belonging. For example, the type of Intimate or affective relationship is the case of love and friendship.
2. Superficial relationships:
These are the relationships, that are handled in an initial layer of knowledge of the individuals, that is, in the formal and not very deep stages, whether they are pleasant or not. Superficial relationships are temporary bonds, not too important or central in the emotional life of the individual (as compared to intimate relationships). It’s the kind of relationships we forge with strangers, with people we know to be ephemeral, or with an airplane seatmate, whom we’ll never see again.
3. Circumstantial relationships:
These are the relationships that delve into the intermediate spectrum between the intimate and the superficial. Since they involve people with whom we often share, but for whom we do not feel too deeply attached. Until they become superficial, these types of relational bonds can always excel and become deep or shrink over time. For example, this is what happens with our co-workers and schoolmates.
4. Rivalry relationships:
These are the relationships that stem precisely, from enmity, competition, jealousy or deeper emotions, such as hatred. These are generally negative feelings and links, which activate our emotions to a lesser or greater extent, but which we do not value as with our intimate relationships, although they can always change category depending on the circumstances. In Rivalry relationships there exist our rivals and enemies.
5. Family relationships:
In this category are the people with whom we were born and with whom we are linked by a family or genealogical tree, that is, with whom we share a blood link. Most of these relationships are the so-close ones and with whom we have love and high affection. Moreover, they could be more or less deep or superficial, but unlike the others, they tend to continue immensely over time. Of course, in this category of relationships, the ideal example is our beloved parents.
Characteristics of interpersonal relationships:
In general, interpersonal relationships:
- They can be deep or shallow.
- Interpersonal relationships can be entertaining or conflictive.
- They can be best done with a separate individual or with an entire group.
Characteristics of these relationships depend on the individuals involved, their behavior and their social skills, many of which are determined throughout the early stages of childhood and youth. In that sense, they can be influenced by trauma or critical situations. They are often a clear sign of our inner feelings or emotional life.
Examples of interpersonal relationships:
It is not difficult to give examples of interpersonal relationships: love, in its enormous and varied range of ties, from filial to erotic, is a common type of interpersonal relationship.
Friendship and companionship, or labor relations and their hierarchical laws, are also good examples of interpersonal relationships. Wherever there are two people interacting, there will be some degree of the interpersonal bond between them.
Benefits of a Good Relationship:
According to science, living as a couple is something that many people have as a ‘must have’ of life. Sharing daily life activities with someone and having a person to talk to and feel loved and desired is one of the things that brings the most benefits to people’s mental and physical health. However, it completely depends on a person’s wish to bind himself/herself in a relationship or prefer to stay single. It is not necessary to have a partner to be happy and more and more people embrace being single, still more people prefer to enjoy the feeling of love and understanding of relationships.
Hence, there are many advantages on a physical and psychological level of this type of union. However, it is a key thing that the relationships are healthy, filled with harmony and respect, and do not fall into toxic behaviors. But
What exactly are the advantages of living life as a couple?
Happy couple, happy heart:
The feeling of love is great for the heart, especially in the first stages of love relationships, but the truth is that beyond the figurative sense, living as a couple helps cardiovascular health.
Love increases the levels of hormones related to feelings of joy, happiness and well-being. In addition, a love relationship helps regulate blood pressure and helps to have better cardiovascular health, preventing strokes, heart attacks…
According to research: “Maintaining good emotional health, with stable affective bonds in our environment, reduces the risks of suffering from cardiovascular diseases and also helps to improve the response to treatments for heart diseases.”
Goodbye to Anxiety and Stress:
According to a study by the University of Chicago, “singles without a partner are more sensitive to stressful situations than married or engaged people.”
Based on a sample of 500 students, 40% of them and 53% of them in a relationship, they were asked to play a career-defining video game and then a saliva sample was collected.
The researchers found that cortisol concentrations increased in all participants, but that women experienced a higher average increase than men. Exercise also lowered testosterone in boys, but not in girls, an effect of stress previously seen in humans and animals. “Marriage has a moderating effect on the cortisol response to psychological stress, something very novel”, emphasizes the researchers.
I love you and I love myself:
On the other hand, being in love increases estrogen levels, which is perfect for improving the appearance of your skin, hair, and nails.
Beyond the physical, feeling loved and desired improves the image we have of ourselves and raises self-esteem, which is perfect to address day-to-day, work issues, business and whatever. ‘I love you, but I love myself more’ is usually a success when facing the day-to-day.
If you do, so do I:
On the other hand, having someone to challenge yourself with is much better than doing it alone, so leading a healthier lifestyle is much easier if done with love. The monthly American medical journal ‘Archives of Internal Medicine’ assures in one of its studies that quitting smoking, doing sports or eating well are more likely to be carried out if our partner accompanies us.
Long live love:
Research and studies have also confirmed that all the benefits that love brings are the key to living a long and healthy life. According to the Association for Psychological Science in the United States, “living with a partner in a satisfactory way reduces the chances of dying in the next eight years compared to single people or those in a troubled relationship.”
Conflicting interpersonal relationships:
Humans are social beings; through interpersonal relationships, we build our identity. In fact, relationships with others are essential to form our self-worth and self-esteem since, in a certain way, we see ourselves through the eyes of others.
On the other hand, the relationships we establish with people allow us to grow in life. Sharing different points of view helps us to assume a more open and flexible posture towards the world around us and enhances empathy, tolerance and Emotional Intelligence.
In addition, numerous studies have shown that having a strong social support network not only acts as a protective agent against many diseases but also adds years of life. Unfortunately, we don’t always know how to get the best out of interpersonal relationships, and we often find ourselves in toxic bonds that do more harm than good.
Why do conflicts arise in relationships?
Difficulties in interpersonal relationships can arise for multiple reasons. However, the most common is that there is an inability to resolve conflicts assertively at the base. The encounter between two people is also the encounter of two worlds, of two perspectives that do not always have to coincide. The way in which we handle these discrepancies will be essential to maintain relationships that nurture us or, on the contrary, sink us into a toxic spiral of conflicting interpersonal relationships.
When a conflict of interest occurs, we can take a flexible and open-ended stance for dialogue, or conversely, we can hide behind our beliefs and further deepen the gap until it is insurmountable. This inappropriate way of dealing with conflicts often comes from our childhood. Perhaps it is a communication style learned from our parents or someone close to us.
At other times, problems in interpersonal relationships are created due to stereotypes, erroneous beliefs, and cognitive biases. In these cases, at the source, there is always an inadequate assessment, either of the situation or of the other person. For example, a very common mistake we make in communication is thinking that others know what we want. In this way, if our partner does not guess our wishes, we get angry because we believe that he has an obligation to read our minds.
Indirect communication style:
Another problem that often profoundly affects interpersonal relationships, whether in communication between family, friends or in the partner is to use an indirect communication style. What is it about? It is when we prefer to go around the bush and take hold of general complaints instead of facing the issue directly, expressing our opinion and feelings. Obviously, communication of this type not only does not help to solve the problem but also creates tension and discomfort that gradually increases.
What are the most common consequences of conflict in interpersonal relationships?
All the problems that arise in the framework of interpersonal relationships do not affect us in the same way or with the same intensity. However, when the problem is serious and the other person is significant to us, we can suffer from true depressive symptoms or sink into a state of permanent anxiety that can even lead to a panic attack.
Other times we react violently and let anger and resentment grow within us. Suppressing these emotions is very harmful, but dumping them on those around us, who are probably not to blame for what happened, is even worse because it only serves to exacerbate that feeling of misunderstanding, lack of communication and loneliness.
In other cases, conflicts in relationships cause deep feelings of guilt and trigger a vicious cycle of negative thoughts and emotions that can lead us to question our worth as a person.
However, one of the most serious consequences of conflict in interpersonal relationships is the loss of trust. There are people who, being injured, begin to distrust others and adopt a distant attitude with the aim of not suffering again; it is as if they were related to a shield. In those cases, they close themselves to all the beauty that interpersonal relationships report and deny themselves happiness.
Build strong relationships to become successful:
Building strong and enriching relationships is the key to be successful in life. For those who intend to grow and continue advancing on their path to success, it is essential to know that a large part of the results obtained will be to build solid and enriching relationships. Building a strong and challenging inner circle is part of the winning mindset required to succeed.
It is not what you know, have or do. It is the people around you that make you successful.
At this point, we are not talking about having many contacts on our agenda; it is about having strong and lasting relationships over time and a list of people who really help and support us. These people are necessary for our personal life in the form of friends and family and in professional life in the form of colleagues and allies. These are people we like, who generally have interests similar to ours, and whom we can trust. Now the question is: how do I attract them?
How to build strong and enriching relationships?
One of the fundamental bases of coaching is to review what we have to build with created foundations. That is why it is necessary first to review our current relationships, see how we maintain and improve them before focusing on creating new ones.
Let’s start by reviewing the most important, the connection with ourselves:
What relationship do you have with yourself?
Do you accept yourself, do you love yourself?
Are you lenient or are you overly self-critical?
Keep in mind that, in one way or another, we always end up expressing with words or actions what we have inside. Our attitudes and conversations reflect how we see the world around us and how we see ourselves.
Second, to really reach another person and connect with them, we must focus on them and be very clear that it is not about us, it is about the other.
The key is to focus our attention on others when we interact with them. According to John Maxwell; “when we are in front of another person, he is generally asking himself these three questions:
Are you interested in me?
Can you help?
I can trust in you?”
It tells us that if we answer them in the affirmative, we are much more likely to develop deep and lasting relationships.
Staying focused to build relationships:
After delving into these questions and the impact that how we build our relationships could cause, we have found a simpler way and above all, that gives us a better chance of success if we do it intentionally and proactively.
Acquire the habit of establishing and maintaining relationships by asking ourselves these questions at the moment in which we interact with others.
Do I care about you?
How can I help you?
Can you trust me?
I have added one that seems essential to me and it is:
Do I respect you?
Observe how turning the questions around keeps you focused on the other and takes you out of the spotlight. In this way, it will be much easier for us to build solid and enriching relationships.
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