Leon C Pereira PhD
Clinical & Behavioral Psychologist
45-955 Kamehamema Hwy, Suite 401
Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744
Every relationship must have certain elements to be successful. These elements are good communication, respect, trust, fairness and appreciation, acceptance, companionship, and a bond. This applies in every relationship--intimate, parent-child, sibling, work, team, etc. However, the nature of the elements depends on the type of relationship. For example, an intimate relationship would include affection, love, and intimacy. Whereas a work relationship may involve a more general bond or, sometimes, friendship. [Of course, sometimes intimate relationships begin at work, as well.] If a relationship is missing any one of these factors, the relationship may be troubled. If two or more factors are poor the relationship is likely to be strained.
Good communication involves the ability to share thoughts and feelings and have them acknowledged and the reaching of a mutual understanding or agreement. Although there are gender-related differences, both individuals in a relationship want to be heard. Disagreements and conflicts in themselves are not a problem; rather, it is how these are discussed and resolved that have lasting effects on the relationship.
The nature of life and relationships is such that, sooner or later, a problem will arise. How each situation is dealt with is significant. If the two or more (family, team mates, coworkers, etc) individuals engage in arguing, yelling, swearing, and the like and/or if one or more individuals engages in generalizations or globalizations ("you always", "you never", "how many times have I .....?", "I hate you!", etc) conflicts tend not to be resolved effectively and in a mutually satisfying manner. Moreover, each poorly resolved or unresolved situation can have a cumulative, damaging effect on the relationship.
Respect is an integral part of good communication. However, it is also more generally important in that each individual should feel appreciated and supported by the other(s) in the relationship. Respect is an attitude that is actively shown to each other. Trust is a feeling that develops implicitly from one's interactions. Trust involves knowing that the other person(s) can be relied on, that you will not be betrayed, humiliated, or hurt in any way.
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