Interpersonal relationships are social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. They vary in differing levels of intimacy and sharing, implying the discovery or establishment of common ground, and may be centered on something shared in common.
An interpersonal relationship is a mutual filling of needs. When two people have strong needs and each fills the other`s needs, there is a powerful interpersonal relationship. When two people have weak needs and each fills the other`s needs, there is a mild relationship. When either person has strong needs and those needs are not being filled, there is a poor relationship. When either has weak needs and those needs are not being filled, there is a mild relationship, but one leaning more to the negative side than the positive. The key to good interpersonal relationships is simple once you understand the role that needs play in making a relationship weak, moderate, average, or strong.
Think of the people who are important to you: your partner, wife, husband, children, your brothers or sisters, parents, friends, classmates, co-workers, teachers. These are some of the relationships much are more important to you and thus they form the core of the interpersonal relationships. Relationships are a vital part of our lives at any age. As children we related to other people in loving ways. We had close friendships and we also had older brothers and sisters we admired. We loved our parents without question. We could be affectionate, open, generous, loyal to others. As children, it seemed easy and natural to love the important people in our lives, our primary relationships. In turn, their love for us seemed easy, uncomplicated. We often took these relationships for granted.
But when we grow up relationships begin to take on a new meaning. As we approach physical and mental maturity, it becomes important to put relationships on a matured basis. With sexual maturity, it is even more important to relate to others in ways that made sense of being male or female in these more mature relationships. Growth and change mean discovering new questions about our lives and us.
Interpersonal relationship skills help us to relate in positive ways with our family members and others. This may mean being able to make and keep friendly relationships as well as being able to end relationships constructively.
However, loss of common ground, which may happen over time, may tend to end interpersonal relationships. Interpersonal relationships through consanguinity and affinity can persist despite the absence of love, affection, or common ground. To understand what a relationship is, how to bring one about, how to enhance one, and why relationships are diminished and lost, one must understand the power of a person`s needs. The most important things in the world, to us, are the things we believe that we need.
When you fail in interpersonal relationships, you also know how to be successful at succeeding in relationships, once the concept is understood. An individual who fails at a relationship is a person who neglects the needs of the partner. So it would follow that the first step to a successful relationship is to determine what needs the other person has. It is also vital to understand your own needs so that you can help the other person in the relationship to fill your needs.
Unfortunately not only do the great majority of people fail to see or to understand the other person`s needs, they do not understand their own. Children have wonderful relationships with their parents as long as their great needs are being filled. When the needs are unfulfilled, the relationship changes and problems arise. As the child grows, needs change, thus it is essential that the parent recognize the changes. As it is with the child to the parent, so it is with the parent to the child.
The various types of interpersonal relationships are as follows:
Marriage relationships are reinforced and regularized by their legal sanction to be "respectable" building blocks of society. In such a relationship there is often, but not always, an implicit or explicit agreement that the partners will not have sex with someone else - monogamy. The extent to which physical intimacy with other people is accepted may vary. For example, a husband may be more open-minded of his wife being physically affectionate with her female friend apart from a male friend.
In friendship one may become a friend of an existing friend`s friend. However, if two people have a sexual relationship with the same person, accordingly, sexual relationship between two friends may alter that relationship by either "taking it to the next level" or severing it. Sexual partners may also be friends: the sexual relationship may either enhance or depreciate the friendship.
Relationships are not necessarily healthy. Unhealthy examples of interpersonal relationships also include abusive relationships, extra marital affairs and other relationship violence.