Interpersonal Relationships: Meaning and the Importance

Interpersonal relationships can be complicated in terms of its meaning, and they sometimes require a lot of work. On the simplest level, relationships are associations or connections.

Interpersonal relationships, however, are far more complex. Interpersonal relationships mean associations between two people who are interdependent, who use some consistent patterns of interaction, and who have interacted for an extended period of time.

This type of relationships comprise two or more people. For instance, two close friends or a dating couple. Often, interpersonal relationships consist of just two people.

Interpersonal relationship involve people who are interdependent. Friendship usually exemplifies this concept. For instance, your associate may be dependent on you for acceptance and guidance. On  the other hand, you might require support and admiration. When individuals are independent of each other, or when dependence is unidirectional or parasitic in nature, we hardly define the resulting association as an interpersonal relationship.

Therefore, interdependence refers to people’s being mutually dependent on each other and having an impact on each other.  Individuals in interpersonal relationships use some consistent pattern of interaction. A husband, for example, may always greet his wife with a kiss while the wife may have unique nicknames for her husband that are not understood without the relationship.

Individuals in this type of relationships generally have interacted for some time. For example, you do not have an interpersonal relationship when you meet a girlfriend’s siblings for the first time.

Although interpersonal communication is used to achieve your goals, one-time interactions do not mirror interpersonal relationships.

It should be noted, however, this type of relationship might last for varying lengths of time. While some continue for  a lifetime, others are relatively short.

Importance of Interpersonal Relationships

The importance of Interpersonal Relationships cannot be overemphasized. A family, a group of friends or a team function well because of interpersonal relationships.

The interpersonal relationships is how you connect with someone else the way you communicate with them or understand them, and vice versa. It’s a two-way street that requires a free-flow of communication and a deep understanding of one another.

A good interpersonal relationship is most apparent at home, between a parent and a child or between siblings. At work, it could be your relationship with your manager, a junior or a peer. It’s important to build a network of trusted individuals who can help you in crisis.

The interdependence nature of this type of relationships suggests that people mutually satisfy their needs in this type of association.

Interdependence means that one person is dependent on another to have some needs fulfilled and the other person is dependent on the first to have the same on other  needs fulfilled. The basic importance of Interpersonal Relationships are: The need for inclusion or becoming involved with others. The need for affection or holding fond or tender feeling toward another person. And the need for control or the ability to influence others, our environment, and ourselves.

The relevance of both the complementary relationships and symmetrical relationships has made interpersonal relationship much to be desired.

Complementary relationships encourage each person to supply something the other person lacks while symmetrical relationships encourage the participants that are bird of a feather to mirror each other.

This type of relationship is said to be horizontal in nature. For example, two people of similar background might take each other to the altar in order to preserve their heritage.

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