Difference between horizontal and vertical relationships in tabular form

We explain the difference between horizontal and vertical relationships with table. The interaction between two related or apparently unrelated objects, substances or living beings in the world can be studied and observed. If this observation leads to significant results, we say that the two subjects are in a relationship.

Now, the type of relationship that determines your state of codependency can be of many types. Often, it can also be of different types. One of the most common classifications of these relationships is horizontal and vertical relationships. It is important to note that these relationships are very broad and general in nature and are not limited to any specialization.

We all know that when things are in the horizontal plane, it means that they are at the same level. Therefore, when we talk about things being in a horizontal relationship, we mean that the entities involved in this relationship have the same status and share the same respect.

Again, when talking about things in a vertical plane, it means that some things are higher than others, while others are lower.

The difference between horizontal and vertical relationships is that in Horizontal Relationships, the related entities are at the same level of respect, power and authority. Whereas, in a vertical relationship, some related entities have more power, authority and voice over other related entities.

Comparison table

Comparison parameters Horizontal relationships Vertical relationships
Definition The relationship where all entities have an equal position. The relationship where some entities have greater authority and others less.
Highlight Based on cooperation. Based on understanding.
Deal Co-workers have a horizontal relationship. The boss and co-workers have a vertical relationship.
government Governments and democratic people have horizontal relationships. Dictatorships have a vertical relationship with the people.
Behaviour It often leads to rivalries, competitions. It leads to oppression.

What are horizontal relationships?

Horizontal relationships are those in which the related entities have a clearly established connection between them, they have such a relationship, where they are all at the same level of authority and power. To understand it, we just have to investigate the meaning of the words. The word horizontal means the plane in which, with respect to the observer, all objects appear to be on the same level. This means that neither object has more value or more authority over the other.

Similarly, when two or more entities are in a horizontal relationship, they operate or exist from the same level, and no specific entity has more voice than the other. Generally, horizontal relationships take place where entities have many common characteristics. For example, take the case of a husband and wife. They are equally united in a marriage bond. Their relationship is that of equality and, therefore, it is a horizontal relationship.

However, it is important to note that this is not always the case, and there are many horizontal relationships where entities do not have much in common. In the case of democratic governments, the people and the government are equal before the law and, therefore, in a horizontal relationship.

It is safe to say that in many cases the establishment of the type of relationship is not absolute and therefore often depends on the eyes of the beholder. It could also depend on the situation. For example, for a principal, both the teacher and the students should be treated in the same way when there is a dispute at school. However, in a classroom, a teacher has more authority over students, which is not a horizontal relationship.

What are vertical relationships?

Vertical relationships are those where the entities involved have a clearly established connection between them and this relationship is as such, some entities have more power or more authority over a particular entity, while others have less power or authority over that same entity. This can be easily understood by understanding the concept of the vertical plane.

In a vertical plane, if we arrange several points, then the observer, who is standing in a plane perpendicular to this plane, will see that some points are in a higher position than the other points. This is what constitutes a vertical relationship.

One important thing to keep in mind is that vertical relationships need to comprise a lot in them. It also requires kindness and empathy. This is because when a certain person is in a position of power, it is very easy for that person to misuse or exploit this power and thus provoke the anger and frustration of the people below that person. These situations must be handled delicately.

Vertical relationships are often the result of uncontrolled exploitation of power and thus can cause the oppression of millions of people. The most common example of such a scenario is the relationship that a dictator has with the people of his country.

Therefore, vertical relationships are delicate and must be handled with great care.

Main differences

  1. The main difference between horizontal and vertical relationships is that in a horizontal relationship, the entities are in the same position of authority, while in a vertical relationship, someone has more authority, while another has less.
  2. Horizontal relationships flourish well with proper cooperation, while vertical relationships flourish well with good understanding.
  3. In the business area, co-workers share a horizontal relationship, while the boss has a vertical relationship with co-workers.
  4. A democratic government has a horizontal relationship with its people, while a dictatorship has a vertical relationship with the people.
  5. The biggest problem that arises from horizontal relationships is rivalry, while oppression is a common problem in vertical relationships.

Final Thought

Coexistence is a fundamental part of human nature and understanding how two or more entities are related helps us understand how to manage things, how things work, and how, ultimately, to work alongside them.

Horizontal and vertical relationships are just two very broad ways to classify them, and there are many more ways to do it. However, even this generalization is a very useful tool.

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