Today, I will tell you about – what are relationships, and why are they needed in our life? Relationships are an integral part of every person’s life. Our comfort, success in work, personal life, and much more depend on effective communication with other people. To improve relationships, you need to understand what they are, why, and why they are required.
What are Relationships?
Relationships are understood as the emotional connection of a person with external objects (it can be people and animals, for example), which leads to emotional reactions, assessments, and other interactions.
Vinod Pathak, an Indian psychiatrist, gave a similar definition to this concept. In its meaning, he included a system of selective ties of a specific individual, which he divided into three subgroups:
- relationships with others;
- attitude towards oneself;
- relation to objects of the external environment.
Since the relationship between people is of the most significant interest to us, it is worth specifying the term used. It would be more correct, in this case, to say “interpersonal relations.”
This term denotes not only the attitude of one person to another but also the general picture of relationships between people, which consists of a specific set of rules (sometimes unspoken), the reactions that members of the same group expect from each other, and the results that close interactions lead to.
Why and For What Do People Need Them?
The main goal of any relationship is communication, and it is the basis for any person’s psychological and social development. We begin to interact with other people from very birth.
The first person with whom we establish a strong relationship is our mother. She helps the child live and develop, accept himself, and know the love.
Later, the mother becomes the primary guide to the outside world and helps the individual to socialize. When a person becomes an adult and completely independent, he chooses what kind of relationship he needs.
Unfortunately, sometimes people have to enter into unpleasant relationships that they did not choose. Vinod also wrote about this: “An important feature of our society is the compulsion of a person to enter into long-term interaction with other people, even despite a negative attitude towards them.”
For your information! To better understand what role interpersonal relationships play in a person’s life, you need to understand what their absence leads to.
If an individual does not have enough communication with other people, he has a feeling that psychologists call emotional hunger, and is divided into four types:
- Hunger for stimulation;
- Hunger for recognition;
- Hunger of quality communication;
- Hunger for admiration.
Now let’s take a closer look at how all these psychological problems are associated with interpersonal relationships.
1. Hunger for Stimulation
This term was coined by Eric Byrne, an American psychologist and founder of transactional analysis. This type of hunger for communication occurs when there is a complete lack of interaction with other people.
If a person voluntarily or is forced to stop seeing and talking with others after a few days, this leads to adverse psychological changes. From this, we can conclude that relationships with other people are the basis for the mental health of any person.
2. Hunger for Recognition
This type of relationship deficit occurs when a person is placed in an unfamiliar environment. By the way! It often happens when applying for a new job, moving to another city or country.
It seems that there are people around, but a person cannot yet strike up a relationship with any of them, so he feels very lonely, even when he is among a large crowd of people.
3. Hunger of Quality Communication
A person can have many different relationships in this situation: friendships, relatives, and even romantic ones. At the same time, the quality of communication does not correspond to his internal requirements, which leads to dissatisfaction.
4. Hunger for Admiration
Our professional activities are also a pretext for interpersonal relationships. We want others to recognize us as masters of our craft and admire us.
When this does not happen, and a person cannot discuss his achievements and failures with someone, this also leads to dissatisfaction and irritability.
Now we can conclude that a person needs a relationship to maintain mental health and feel like a full-fledged person. At the same time, interpersonal relationships must be of high quality and bring many positive emotions. Otherwise, it will not get proper satisfaction in life.
All types of interpersonal relationships can be divided into three main types:
- By Status. Here you can distinguish the vertical and horizontal directions. The first type includes communication between a boss and a subordinate, a child and an adult, a teacher and a student, etc. The second type consists of the interaction of colleagues, friends, spouses, and everyone who is in equal conditions concerning each other;
- By Goals. There are only two varieties here: business and personal;
- Emotionally. They depend on people’s perceptions of each other and are divided into negative, positive, and neutral.
Also, all interpersonal can be divided into five levels of intimacy:
- Initial Acquaintance. The first few meetings with the person. At this moment, there is no relationship between people yet;
- Friendliness. People got to know each other a little. At this stage, the prospect of developing closer relations appears if the communication had a cheerful color;
- Partnership. People have mutual interests and common topics of conversation. At this stage, communication becomes more intimate;
- Friendship. One of the closest types of interpersonal relationships. People already know each other well, have many common interests, and communicate often;
- Family Relationship. The closest view. Possible between relatives, spouses, parents, and children.
What is the Relationship Between A Man and A Woman?
There are all types of relationships described above between a man and a woman, but we will consider their romantic variety in more detail. In this category, it is worth highlighting three main subspecies:
- Periodic Sexual Intercourse. Friendship or only a superficial acquaintance can connect two people. The main goal is to satisfy the sexual needs of each partner. At the same time, there is no talk of a romantic component;
- Polygamous. It is a fulfilling relationship. In this case, a man and a woman may have more than one sexual partner. It is essential here that both partners agree on polygamy. It is worth noting that marriage is not an obstacle to polygamy. The main thing is the consent of two people to this type of relationship;
- Monogamous. In this case, a man and a woman have only one sexual partner. This type of relationship is possible both in marriage and without it. A man and a woman can even live separately but remain faithful to each other. This option requires a high level of awareness and self-control on the part of both partners.
Can a man and a woman be friends without a hint of a romantic connection between them? This question haunts many scientists, but they have not found an exact answer to it.
For your information! Most psychologists tend to believe that it is not difficult for a woman, unlike a man, to maintain a platonic relationship with the opposite sex. Unfortunately, most men find it difficult to perceive women as non-sexual objects.
Do You Need A Relationship Without Commitment?
Another name for this type of relationship between a man and a woman is polygamy. Partners have full-fledged relationships, while they do not limit their sex life to one person. This type is achieved only with the mutual consent of a man and a woman and is not something forbidden.
It is not to say that there is a clear framework for such an alliance because everything is very individual here and is regulated only by the level of readiness for such experiments. Each couple, adhering to polygamy, creates its own internal rules supported only by oral agreement.
As statistics show, people are often not ready to maintain a free type of relationship for a long time. Only 5% of couples consider their relationships to be polygamous; the rest try to adhere to monogamy.
Whether such experiments are needed or not, everyone must decide for himself.
It is worth noting that people tend to strive for stability, and a relationship without commitment can hardly be called a reliable and predictable partnership.
You may also like to read: Non Commitment Relationship: Meaning & Rules of Relationships Without Commitment
A strong union, in which a high level of intimacy and mutual understanding can be achieved, is built only on the trust and loyalty of partners to each other.
All people must have a trusting and comfortable relationship. They can only be built on mutual affection and respect. At the same time, any relationship requires efforts on the part of each participant.
But how nice it is to receive feedback and reciprocity from another person, no matter who he is, friend, lover, relative, or colleague. If you want to build a lasting relationship, try to get to know not only the other person as well as you can, but also yourself.