Humans wouldn’t be “human” if they didn’t interact socially with people throughout life. Humans are guaranteed to have interpersonal and romantic relationships – it’s a fact of life. Every day, people’s lives are intersected by the lives of others – whether it’s at the shops, on the street, or even online social media. Well-being can be compromised by the differing attitudes, values, beliefs, and cultural customs of others, which can cause problems with their day-to-day lives. It is not always easy living socially, but it is necessary. Humans are social creatures, and without that social interaction, life becomes significantly dull or “empty.” So, how does one overcome challenges and adverse circumstances that involve their relationships with others? Many individuals might consider contacting a life coach however, even the best life coaches would tell you what I am sharing with you here. With that said, save your money and read on to learn more about how you can make the relationships in your life go as smoothly as possible and how you can overcome relationship adversity.
What Is A Relationship?
Defining a relationship is simple, it is the way how two or more objects interact with each other, however, there is much more to it than that. There are two types of relationships – positive and negative, and the more emotionally invested you are in a relationship, the more the lines get blurred between the two. With that said, a positive relationship is developed when two people can love, support, encourage, or help each other. A negative relationship, however, is generally formed when you or the other person are not equally putting in the same amount of dedication to caring and supporting the other.
Eventually, these relationships never last, or if they do, they can significantly affect the emotional health of you and potentially the other person involved, which is why they should be avoided. Clearing up the negative relationships in your life can feel like a breath of fresh air or a heavy weight being lifted off your shoulders.
Why Humans Need Relationships
The reason why humans need relationships vary. There are many different reasons why an individual might need relationships compared to the next. Overall, the biggest benefit gained from having interpersonal relationships is that it promotes optimal emotional well-being. Learning how to be a good friend and also having the trust to depend on someone in your life with your struggles or issues can significantly impact someone’s mental health. Imagine going through life without ever talking to one person. Don’t you think you would go a little crazy? Perhaps if you’re someone who prefers the company of themselves rather than others, this makes you a little different – but the fact always remains. You will always come into contact with someone at some point for a particular reason. You might need to pay for your groceries or ask someone at the library where a certain book is. We talk to find a solution, rant our issues, support friends, show empathy for others, and for many other countless reasons. In fact, many people need a life coach because they do not have the people in their life who can guide them where they want to be in life. With that said, even the best life coaches cannot help you if you are not willing to climb Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Love and Sense of Belonging is a Hierarchy Need
According to Abraham Maslow, in his Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, “Humans need to love and be loved – both sexually and non-sexually – by others. Many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and clinical depression in the absence of this love or belonging element. This need for belonging may overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure.” Further research shows that the inability to meet this “belongingness” need results in loneliness, mental distress, and even a strong desire to find new relationships. It’s why you might feel sad if you haven’t seen a good friend in a while or if you travel far from home, you feel homesick. You miss the relationships and support from family, friends, and relatives.
Many believe that having these interpersonal or romantic relationships are indeed vital to survival. When it contributes to mental and emotional well-being, it can then impact your physical well-being and overall health. Thus, humans rely on relationships throughout life to feel happy, secure, and content. If you contacted a life coach they would more than likely try to appeal to your emotions. Additionally, a college educated life coach would be aware of, and could tell you, about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs because a sense of love and belonging is the foundation of our motivation to survive.
Overcoming Relationship Adversity
It’s almost a given that each person in life will face a struggle in a relationship. You might have an argument with a friend, partner, or relative. You might begin to wonder if someone shouldn’t be a part of your life. The actions of others might cause you distress.
With so many social interactions in life, it’s inevitable that humans come face-to-face with relationship adversity. The most important thing to do here is to overcome these challenges so that they don’t end up affecting your mental health. When they get to that point, it becomes much more difficult to feel healthy again. An example might be your mother or father not impressed with one of the choices you have made, which creates conflict. Or, a boyfriend starts neglecting you, either verbally or physically. With that said, there are different relationship problems categorized to make understanding how to overcome them easier. These include:
There may be other relationship adversity problems depending on the type of relationship (e.g., in a romantic relationship, sex might be one of the problems).
When you breakdown what the exact problem is in the relationship, it can help you better understand how to solve it.
Take this example:
Joe’s father begins working extra hours, which means he spends less time with Joe. They used to play baseball in the afternoon, but now Joe’s father is too tired after work. He has also started working on weekends and never makes it to Joe’s baseball games anymore.
If you look at this example, Joe is beginning to feel neglected as a child. He barely sees his father, and they no longer do things together that used to make them both happy.
However, it’s crucial when solving relationship adversity to see both perspectives. In this case, Joe’s father might be struggling financially and needs to work these extra hours – but this has not been communicated effectively to Joe, so thus, there is a communication and financial problem, too.
If Joe’s father was to sit down with his son and discuss why this is happening, Joe might feel less like his father doesn’t want to spend time with him and more understanding of the situation. Then, they could come to a possible conclusion.
It is incredibly important for both parties of the relationship to discuss their feelings to come to a solution. It doesn’t work if only one person is trying to fix things – there has to be an equal effort on both sides.
The first step to any relationship fix is talking about it with each other so you can come to a mutual solution. If the other person isn’t coming forward to settle a dispute, make the mature move, and be the first to talk to them. It isn’t worth waiting around for relationship adversity to fix itself.
What If You Can’t Fix It?
No matter how hard you try, there are some relationships that you simply can’t fix. This could be an indication that you need to move on and find a better friend or partner to spend your time with. There’s no point in trying to fix something if there is no equal effort put in to do so, and your mental health will only continue to spiral downward. Put your focus elsewhere, and keep yourself distracted with new friends, a new interest, or something that can redirect your emotions positively. If the person you once had a relationship with is argumentative, has a hatred for you, is secretive and distant, doesn’t reciprocate their trust, or they push you away, take these as signs that you might be better off without them in your life. Relationship adversity needs to be addressed as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t cultivate into negative emotions or poor mental well-being. The quicker you identify the problem and find a solution, the happier you will be long-term.