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What are interpersonal relationships?

We explain what interpersonal relationships are, their characteristics, importance and examples. In addition, how communication intervenes.

  1. What are interpersonal relationships?

When we talk about interpersonal relationships, we mean the way of linking that exists between two or more people , based on emotions, feelings, interests, social activities, etc.

These types of relationships are the basis of life in society and occur differently in numerous everyday contexts, such as family , friends, work environment, sports clubs, marriages, and many more, as long as they exist in them. possibility that two or more people communicate in a sustained manner.

In addition, they are part of human life at such deep levels that they may even be regulated by law , by convention or by custom . This creates a complex network of links and social groups that constitute society altogether. In fact, the management of interpersonal relationships is a fundamental milestone in the growth of the individual.

  1. Types of interpersonal relationships

circumstantial interpersonal relationships
Some interpersonal relationships can be temporary and superficial.

Interpersonal relationships can be very diverse and complex, and some may not even have a name. But broadly we usually recognize more or less the following:

  • Intimate or emotional relationships . Those who pursue a deep connection with other individuals, and who basically understand the different degrees of affection. These are links of enormous trust and that seek to endure over time , associated with pleasant sensations and protection, solidarity and belonging. Such is the case of love and friendship , for example.
  • Surface relationships . Those that are handled in an initial layer of knowledge of individuals, that is, in the formal and not very deep stages, whether pleasant or not. These are temporary, not too important or central links in the emotional life of the individual (as opposed to intimate ones). It is the kind of relationships we build with strangers, with people we know ephemeral or with a plane’s seat mate, whom we will never see again.
  • Circumstantial relationships . Those relationships that delve into the intermediate spectrum between the intimate and the superficial, since they involve people with whom we often share, but for which we do not feel too deep an attachment. This type of links can always transcend and become deep, or decrease until they become superficial. This is what happens with our coworkers, for example.
  • Relationships of rivalry . Those that start, precisely, from enmity, competition or deeper emotions, such as hate. These are generally negative links, which mobilize our emotions to a greater or lesser extent, but which we do not value as with our intimate relationships, although they can always change categories, depending on the circumstances. In this category are our rivals and enemies.
  • Family relationships . In this category are the people with whom we were born and with whom a family or genealogical tree links us, that is, with whom we share a consanguineous bond. In many of them there is also a certain principle of authority, and through them we can come to feel love or antipathy. In addition, in general they could be more or less deep or superficial, but unlike the others, they tend to persist greatly over time. Obviously in this category the ideal example is our parents.
  1. Importance

The management of interpersonal relationships are the basis of human personality and an unavoidable factor in our way of life. This means that they are central to our journey and that they can be a source of enormous satisfaction, or much suffering , depending on the choices we make and the type of links we establish with others.

More harmonious relationships with others tend to generate socially healthier, more flexible and tolerant individuals , or at least with more tools to integrate into the collective and manage more successfully before others.

  1. Characteristics

interpersonal relationships rivalry
Some interpersonal relationships present conflict, rivalry or even hate.

In general, interpersonal relationships:

  • They can be deep or superficial.
  • They can be enjoyable or conflicting.
  • They can be better with an individual or with an entire group.

The characteristics depend on the individuals involved and their social skills , many of which are determined throughout key stages of childhood and youth. In that sense, they may be influenced by trauma or critical situations. They are often a clear symptom of our inner life or emotional life.

  1. Examples of interpersonal relationships

It is not difficult to give examples of interpersonal relationships: love , in its huge and varied range of links, from subsidiaries to erotic ones, is a common type of interpersonal relationship.

Also good examples are friendship and companionship, or labor relations and their hierarchical laws. Where there are two people interacting, there will be some margin of interpersonal bond.

  1. Communication and interpersonal relationships

The communication is the ability for effective exchange of information. Therefore, it is the basis of all types of interpersonal relationships. In fact, for a relationship to arise between two or more people, they must be able to communicate , even if it is to express displeasure.

In that sense, communication is a crucial and decisive capacity in our way of establishing ourselves in society. It is even able to convert superficial or conflicting bonds into deep friendships, or to dissolve links that were thought permanent.

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