Relationships: Types of relationships and their influence on behavior

happy couple

Types of Relationships

You are always related to the person you interact with in one way or another. The people you interact with at work are your colleagues. Those you spend time together and eat together at home are siblings and parents. Essentially, there are several kinds of relationships.

  • Peer/peer relationships: relationship between friends of the same age groups e.g. school boys.
  • Boy/girl relationship: girls and boys may be related intimately to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend
  • Husband/wife – man and woman who come together for companionship and procreation
  • Siblings relationships – how siblings relate with each other.
  • Parent child – a parent and child have a relationship of care, respect, obedience, and support.
  • Teacher/pupil relationship: this is a professional and learning relationship where teachers pass knowledge while pupils listen and respect teachers.
  • Employer/employee relationship – professional relationship with mutual benefit, which is usually economic or financial in nature.
  • Client/service provider
  • Man/woman

Developing Healthy Relationships

In order to live in a harmonious and safe society, people should learn to relate well and positively with each other. Here are some ways of developing healthy relationships in the society:

  • Communicating effectively so that people can understand one another
  • Negotiating effectively to reach at mutual agreements
  • Making appropriate decisions
  • Resolving conflicts as they arise
  • Upholding each other with high esteem and respect
  • Being assertive in our social relations and interactions

Maintaining Healthy Relationships

After developing a healthy relationship, it is crucial to keep it strong. The following strategies should be used to maintain healthy relationships:

  • Upholding associated values and life skills
  • Having a sense of self-sacrifice
  • Waiting until marriage to engage in sexual intercourse
  • Maintaining professional and personal boundaries

Factors that Influence Healthy Relationships

  • Generational gap
  • Life experiences
  • Personality issues

Influence of Relationship on Behavior & Wellbeing

Relationships have both negative and positive influences on behavior.

Negative influence:

  • Peer/peer relationships can have negative influence such as drug and alcohol abuse, sexual misbehaviors, and involvement in crime due to peer pressure.
  • Boy/girl relationships may lead to early pregnancies and diseases such as HIV & AIDs.
  • Some relationships such as intimate relationships can be toxic and can involve physical and emotional abuse.
  • Other relationships also lead to domestic violence, especially when one or more members of the family is abusing drugs or alcohol.
  • Bad relationships can also affect a person’s personality negatively as it could lead to loss of self-esteem, e.g. in situations of abusive relationships.

Positive Influence

  • Parent/child relationships lead to child development physically and psychologically
  • Teacher/pupil relationships promote cognitive development or learning and acquisition of skills.
  • Intimate relationships can also have a positive impact on emotional wellbeing of individuals.
  • Some relationships promote religious and moral values as people share information e.g. in religious organizations
  • Good relationships lead to emotional stability.

Values Associated with Relationships

  • Honesty
  • Love
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Freedom
  • Tolerance
  • Cooperation
  • Love
  • Responsibility

Skills Associated with Relationships

  • Assertiveness
  • Negotiation
  • Creative thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • Coping with stress
  • Coping with emotions
  • Decision making

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