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 needed.
What are Relationships?
Relationships are understood as the subjective connection of a person with external objects (it can be not only people, but also animals, for example), which leads to emotional reactions, assessments and other interactions.
Vinod Pathak, an Indian psychiatrist and medical psychologist, 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 question of the relationship between people is of the greatest interest to us, it is worth specifying the term used for this. 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 certain 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 the psychological and social development of any person. We begin to interact with other people from the very birth.
The first person with whom we establish a strong relationship is our mother. She helps the child to live and develop, to accept himself and to know the love of another.
Later, the mother becomes the main guide to the outside world and helps the individual to socialize. When a person becomes an adult and completely independent, he himself chooses what kind of relationship he needs.
Unfortunately, sometimes people have to enter into unpleasant relationships that they themselves 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 in spite of 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 4 types:
- Hunger for stimulation;
- Hunger for recognition;
- Hunger in the absence of quality communication;
- Hunger for recognition.
Now let’s take a closer look at how all these types of psychological problems are associated with interpersonal relationships.
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 negative changes in his psyche. From this we can conclude that relationships with other people are the basis for the mental health of any person.
Hunger for Recognition
This type of relationship deficit occurs when a person is placed in an unfamiliar environment.
By the way! This 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.
Hunger in The Absence of Quality Communication
In this situation, a person can have a large number of different relationships: 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.
Hunger for Recognition
Our professional activities are also a pretext for interpersonal relationships. We want others to recognize us as masters of their craft.
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, it is very important that interpersonal relationships are of high quality and bring a lot of positive emotions. Otherwise, it will not bring 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 includes the interaction of colleagues, friends, spouses and everyone who is in equal conditions in relation to each other;
- By Goals. There are only two varieties here: business and personal;
- Emotionally. They depend on people’s perception of each other, and are divided into negative, positive and neutral.
Also, all interpersonal can be divided into 5 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 positive color;
- Partnership. People have mutual interest 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 in more detail, we will consider their romantic variety. In this category, it is worth highlighting 3 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. This is a fulfilling relationship. In this case, a man and a woman may have more than one sexual partner. It is important 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.
This 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, which are supported only by oral agreement.
As statistics show, most often people are not ready to maintain a free type of relationship for a long time. In developed countries, 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.
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.
It is important for all people to 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.