How Interpersonal Relationships Work
Published on Saturday, December 17th, 2011 at 7:18 am and is filed under General Psychology
Interpersonal relationships and their role in the psychological development of human being
Interpersonal relationships have always been optimal environment for the development of any person. When this is said, it means the kind of interpersonal relationship being as inter-psychological, direct, reciprocal, taking place both in conscious and unconscious plan. We can’t develop relationships with other people from outside. Rare cases of children who were raised by animals confirm this hypothesis: the lack of human interactions lead to decreasing of specific skills such as thinking, language, sociability, etc. Also, some cases of institutionalized children have shown the lack of intimate contact between the child and a psychological adult, constantly present, lead to poor psychological and even physical development. Institutionalized children were often underweight and psychological development under chronological age. Depression is a phenomenon described at young children, deprived of maternal affection and attention.
Interpersonal relationships with parents have an important role in child development and in the future relationships of him. Many of the “internal data” of each individual are gained from these primary relationships. For example, self-esteem. If a child is repeated in various ways, more or less clear, that he or she is not able to do something properly, if is criticized all the time, if is compared with those who constantly are performing better (parents or elder brothers) or if simply is not allowed to fend for themselves in various ages, than child will develop low confidence, he will doubt his own life. The relationships that he will set up will be probably dependent, submissive, they will be tempted to attribute to others a skill, power and more important than himself. Another example is the children who grew up deprived of minimal affection. Adults will be unable to offer affection to others. Children who were abused mentally, physically or sexually, will become adults with low-esteem, burdened with feelings of guilt, hatred and hopelessness, unable to set up relationships with their partners. Some of them may become abusers, who are unable to relate unless suffering, humiliation, following the family example.
Even in less dramatic and pathological cases, the pattern of parents relationship and relationship between parents will remain an important model, but unconscious, which will build future relationships. The more an individual is more important, more significant emotionally for us, with both our relationship with it is more similar to the relationship with parents. The peripheral relationships are more free and influential.
In any relationship, including the primary relationship with parents, there are two dimensions whose report may change over time: affiliate dimension, the closeness, attachment dimension and individualized, distancing, self-supporting. Initially, only the first of these dimensions is clearly present in child-parents relationship. Only a slightly higher age child begins to realize that there is a world outside his mother is not part of it and it is not part of his mother.
It is called the separation from psychological fusion. The process continues with periods of progress and calm, until adulthood, when it is supposed to reach a state of psychological relative independence from the parents. Adolescence is one of the most dynamic periods during the process of individualization, the young man feels to be off, even in the most painful way, from parental model to assert personality.
The relationship between parents is also important, besides child-parents relationship. Let’s not forget that when we step forward couple life, the first and most important model that we have is the couple’s relationship between our parents. If this relationship was a very traditional, based on well defined roles of each partner, most likely as we, than we seek a partner with whom we can reproduce the same type of traditional relationship. Therefore it is said that every marriage is in fact three marriages, each partner coming “home” with parents’ marriage mode, which will try to replicate – or, in contrary, to exclude as much as possible.
Finally, in the same family, there is a third category of relations, between brothers. The place that each of brothers has in age hierarchy affects not only the type of interpersonal relationships, but also personality, to a certain extent. It is often said that single children are selfish, less cooperative and less sociable. On the other hand, experience can help the big brother to develop the sense of responsibility or the appearance of a resentful attitude of claim, related to excessive concern for parents of younger brothers needs. The youngest is raised in family and has another experience, completely different of elder brothers. The feeling of care and concern of the whole family can help to develop a very strong sense of security. Sometimes the youngest may be predisposed to the emergence of a weak personality, dependent, always with doubts and uncertainties to achieve something. Finally, the middle child grows with the feeling of lost in the middle. Those who study families (especially family therapists) found that couples often consist of people who had the same position in the hierarchy of brotherhood and therefore a similar experience in the origin family.
In extended families, these main types of relationships, child-parent, parent-parent, child-child, near them are added those related to grandparents. Grandchildren-grandparents relationships were neglected by psychologists, being easily dispatched under the pretext of a lack of specificity, being perceived patterns such as “grandparents are those who spoil the grandchildren”. In fact, their role is more complex. Sometimes they are the real parents of replacement, if physical or psychological absence of one or both parents, children requiring a particular way of relating to the concept of authority, membership, security, affection. Sometimes grandparents play the role of buffer between parents and children, the relationship between particular printing features.
All these intra-familial relationships (child-parent, parent-parent, brother-brother, nephew-grandpa) are set up as models and benchmarks in terms of moral values “to not lie”, interpersonal values “always be honest with others”, social orientation “is not good to mess into groups, parties or organizations”, social involvement “it’s important to help others” and so on. Even if the fulfillment of an individual’s personality is never done on this process occurs early in life and up to the separation of family. In some way, family influence continues thereafter, either directly (younger extends the period before the separation, especially because of financial issues or because is too addicted to family, or indirectly by models and values taken from the exterior and internalized in the form of models or values become personal.
When we talk about the impact of the first instance of relationship of person development as individuality and as social member, it should take into account relationships outside the family. We speak here of the role of peers – friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc. – in the development process of socialization. In an interaction with age, children learn to become both cooperative as well as competitors, learn to relate to others as equals and their self-image shape that takes into account not only what the child is in the family system, but in the broader micro-society in which he lives. Child may feel incomplete and unfulfilled than adult, but in relation with his peers, he may feel competent, adequate, capable.
Also, outside relationships with people of the same age, there are special relations with certain adults – teachers, coaches, priests, etc. – people with a certain status from whom child takes models to follow, some features. Sometimes these relationships aren’t even in the real space: we all had as a model at some point in our lives a cartoon hero, an athlete, a scholar, a bold, a daring or at least a fascinating character.
The discussion about the early relationship patterns and their impact on later interpersonal style it must be mentioned those aspects related to the characteristics of group membership. Membership in one of the two genders influences through educational interventions and corrective of parents, teachers, etc. Answers came from others, assessing interpersonal behavior as appropriate or the contrary. Thus, some behaviors will be reinforced and expanded others. For example, a boy crying because his toy was taken by another boy he may be derided by his father or another colleague because of his “girlish” attitude at the same time being encouraged to get his toy by force. Belonging to a social class can also play a role in the development of a certain self-image and preferred type of relationship. For example, a child from a poor family may feel embarrassed to play with children from rich families, if their families make any social difference between them and focus on discrimination. Step by step, such child may also develop a self-consciousness marked by feelings of failure, inability, incompetence, compared with those from higher social classes.