What is interpersonal relationship and explanation of different relations?

Relationship is one the words often used, but taken for granted. We know what it means. We know relationships are important. We know relationships can be difficult. We know relationships can bring great happiness and sadness. But what actually is a relationship in the context of human behavior?

A relationship is a connection between two people in which some sort of exchange takes place. In other words, there is some sort of link between people and it involves interaction. That connection may be that we are born into, such as is the case with families, or it might arise out of a particular need. A classic example of the latter can be found in the marketplace. We might want to buy bread, so we look for someone who can sell us it. What is interesting about this is that the two sides have different interests (buying and selling). However, they can come together as their interests are compatible, both can be satisfied. There is advantage to both in the link.

A relationship may be verbal, emotional, physical or intellectual and often all of these. It may be include of an exchange of ideas, skills, attitudes or values, or even exchange of things – money, tools or food. Relationships happen at all times, in all places, in all places of society, and in all phases of development of individuals. We are involved in the relationships all the time.

It is important to hold onto an appreciation of relationship as something every day. However, we also need to recognize just how complex even apparently simple relationships such as buying and selling are. They entail cooperation and trust. Building such cooperation and trust is fundamental aspect of relationship. We have to work at them.

Interpersonal skills: identification and development of skills such as leadership, assertiveness, group working and relationships with other individuals.

Some features of inter-personal relationships

Purpose of the relationship: degree of equality and mutuality of benefit involved in the relationship.

Parent, child relationship

Friend, friend relationship

Professional relationship

Intellectual relationship

Emotional relationship

Relationship as a catalyst: an enabling dynamism in the support, nature and freeing of people’s energies and motivations toward solving problems and using help.

The fact that someone is prepared to share our worries and concerns, to be with us when we are working at something can be very significant. It can reduce the feeling that we are alone and that the tasks we face are so huge. Their pleasure in our achievements or concern of our hurt can motivate us to act. Crucially, their valuing of us as people can help us to discover the worth in ourselves, and the belief that we can change things. Relationships can animate, breathe life into situations.

Relationships are obviously not all that we need. It is not all a substitute for the opportunities and material things people need in order to flourish. But it is essential accompanying condition, because it is nourisher and mover of the human being’s wish and will to use the resources provided and the powers within him to fulfill his personal and social-well being.

Relationship is a human being’s feeling or sense of emotional bonding with another. It leaps into being like an electric current, or it emerges and develops cautiously when emotion is aroused by and invested in someone or something and that someone or something connects back responsively. We feel related when we feel at one with another (person or object) in some heartfelt way.

Relationship may be inter-personal or group. While inter-personal relationship deals with two persons, group behavior deals with relations among the group members and between the groups. In each such case, the individual’s behavior affects and is affected by the behavior of others. Such effect is reflected by change in perception, learning, personality and motivation. In many cases, the concept of inter-personal and group behavior may overlap.

Interpersonal behavior may be of two types:

Interpersonal co-operative behavior

Interpersonal conflicting behavior

Interpersonal co-operative behavior

When the interaction between two persons is mutually satisfying it is cooperative behavior. Conditions necessary for cooperative interpersonal behavior are mutual trust and respect, concern for each other needs and interaction with complementary ego states.

Interpersonal conflicting behavior

Interpersonal conflict may arise due to various relations such as personality differences, different value systems, conflict in interests, role ambiguity etc.

Improving interpersonal relationship

To analyse and improve interpersonal relationship, transactional analysis has been developed.

Transactional analysis (TA) offers a model of personality and the dynamics of self and its relationship to others.

TA refers to a method of analyzing and understanding interpersonal behavior. When people interact, there is social transaction in which one person responds to another. The study of these transactions between people is called TA.

TA involves analysis of awareness, structural analysis (ego states), analysis of transaction, script analysis and game analysis.

Levels of self awareness

Self is the core of personality pattern which provides interaction. Such a concept is cognitive: it describes the self in terms of image, both conscious and unconscious.

Ego States

People interact with each other in terms of three psychological positions, or behavior patterns, known as ego states. Thus, ego states are a person’s way of thinking, feeling and behaving at any time.

Life script

When confronted with a situation, a person acts according to his script which is based on what he expects or how he views his life position.

Psychological games

When people play games, they do things like this: fail to come through for others, pass the buck, make mistakes, complain about and dote on their own sorrows and inadequacies, and catch others in the act.

Benefits of transactional analysis

Developing positive thinking: brings clear change from negative feelings – confusion, defeat, fear, frustration, loneliness, pessimism and suppression to positive feelings – clear thinking, victory, courage, gratification, decision, friendship, optimism and fulfillment.

Interpersonal effectiveness: improves interpersonal relationship by providing understanding of ego states of persons involved in interaction.

Motivation: TA can be applied in motivation where it helps in satisfying human needs through complementary transactions and positive strokes. Stroking is defined as any act implying recognition of another’s presence. People seek recognition in interaction with others.

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