As humans, we cannot avoid interactions with one another. Relationship with other humans is the most fundamental aspect of our lives because we are innately social and are shaped by our experiences with others. Whether in the home, at work or any other place, we have acquaintances with people – casual or close – and maintain relationships everywhere we go.
A close association or acquaintance between one or two people that may be brief or enduring is called interpersonal relationship. The association may be based on love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in different contexts that can vary from marriage, family or kinship relations, friendship, relations with associates, work, neighbourhoods, and place of worship. These contexts account for the different types of interpersonal relationships: marriage, family, friendship, professional, etc. Kinds of Interpersonal relationship includes:
1. MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP
Marriage is a romantic relationship between a man and a woman called husband and wife, and it is the oldest type of interpersonal relationship.
2. FAMILY RELATIONSHIP
Family relationship is a relationship between people who have some degree of kinship – whether through blood, marriage or adoption. Hence, we have different family ties: husband-wife, parent-child, siblings, cousins, uncles-nephew, grandparents-grandchildren, stepchildren and in-laws.
3. FRIENDSHIP RELATIONSHIP
Friendship is an unconditional relationship people enter into by their own sweet will and choice;
4. PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIP
Professional relationship is a business or formal interactions between people, e.g. a relationship between work colleagues, employer-employee, operator-customer, teacher-student, doctor-patient, etc.
What then are the benefits of Inter-personal Relationships?
Interpersonal relationship are important and necessary for our continuous existence. Without them, our lives would have virtually no meaning or purpose. An interpersonal relationship provides companionship. No matter how self-reliant you are, you can’t be alone, or live in isolation. As an adult, you need a matrimonial companion. Related to companionship is a sense of belonging. Belonging is simply: “acceptance as a member or part of a social group“. A sense of belonging is a human need, just like the need for food and shelter. Feeling that you belong is most important in seeing value in life and in coping with the intensely painful emotions. Some people find belonging in church, some with friends, some with family, and some on social media like Facebook and Twitter. Some struggle to find belonging and their loneliness is physically painful for them. Finding ways to belong can help ease the pain of loneliness, as well as improve your motivation, health and happiness.
Moreover, interactions with others brings about impart or influence. Parents impart training to children; teachers impart knowledge to students, pastors impart spiritual gifts to the congregation. Note, however, that while people you relate with can impart good virtue into you or wield a strong positive influence on you, they can also impact on you negatively as well. Hence, we must shun every evil influence.