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Home / Relationships

Understanding interpersonal relationships

 Interpersonal relationships are dynamic and continually evolving (Image: Shutterstock)

What comes to mind when you think of interpersonal relationships?

I’ll give you a clue. It’s all in the name.

Interpersonal relationships as the name suggests is a connection or association between two or more people.

Unless you’re a hermit or a socially awkward individual, you may not understand and value the benefits and pleasure interpersonal relationships have.

With a need to connect with others, there are varying degrees of interpersonal relationships. You may experience it with your family, colleagues, friends or strangers as you go about your day-to-day musings.

They are dynamic and continually evolve.

Should you be able to bond with other people chances are, you are likeable, confident and self-aware. You are also more likely to succeed at work and at developing healthy relationships with romantic partners.

To better understand how interpersonal relationships work here is what you need to know:

  • There must be effective communication

For any relationship to work it requires constant work. Both partners should be in a position where they understand each other’s feelings, fears and needs.

This can only be done through proper communication. Without sharing your thoughts, it is impossible to make a relationship work especially when there is conflict or disagreements.

Talking to each other helps you to know each other and offer the necessary support required.

  • There are different stages

As with every other relationship, interpersonal relationships have their own dynamics too. You start off as acquaintances, you build it up, continue with what is there then comes to deterioration which may see the relationship come to an end.

And here is the thing, it is OK for relationships not to develop beyond the acquaintance stage. This happens between neighbors, some work colleagues or your friend’s friends.

When it comes to relationships that become romantic, it must get to the continuation stage that may eventually lead to marriage.

 Relationships require sacrifice and you must invest time for them to succeed (Image: Shutterstock)
  • You must build your relationships

All relationships require sacrifice and you must invest time for them to succeed. And for it to start off on the right footing, there must be honesty and trust especially if love is something you want to build towards.

You must be respectful always, be slow to judge each other, manage expectations, stablish boundaries and be open to constructive criticism.

  • Signs you could be struggling

If you have ever suffered some sort of trauma, abuse, or you have low self-esteem, or social anxiety, chances are you may find it difficult to build interpersonal relationships.

This rings true if you become easily frustrated when communicating with others, you are not good at expressing yourself, you are not a good listener or you cannot negotiate with others and find a mutual agreeable outcome.

What all this does is make you feel unworthy to be in a relationship, you feel like you’re always saying the wrong things and you may find it hard to feel accepted or as if you belong.

Therapy in this case may be a good idea to help you identify the root problem and find a way to get past it.

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