Unless you are on a secret, solo mission sponsored by NASA to discover aliens in an unknown universe, you are likely to interact with people here on Earth and have some sort of relationship with them, some close and some distant either at home, in society or in workplace.
There is strong evidence that healthy and positive relationship is core to our survival, mental health and prosperity. The modern society may assign a lot of importance to financial status or a fancy job title. However, what really counts is the healthy relationship you keep with people you meet on a daily basis.
It is now acknowledged that people who have healthier relationships live longer, are strong enough to cope with stress and have a stronger immune system.
Lack of social support is the major cause for loneliness, anxiety, depression and various other mental health problems the world is facing today.
The basic human need for deep connection
In the social media era, people may have millions of connection, followers, friends whatever you may call them, however, if they are unable to feel a deep connection with even couple of them, they will ultimately feel alone.
Who wouldn’t want to feel loved and appreciated by anyone they know. Unfortunately, things do not work that way.
There are people who feel there is something wrong with them and they cannot build relationships. That is not true. We as society have lost the meaning of deep connection somewhere.
Most people will admit that they will value deep connections with people more than any material wealth.
Living in the I-me-myself world
Most societies that are becoming more and more individualistic, yet there are good people, who feel trapped, living by rules that benefits nobody.
Humans were meant to live in communities and look after each other. Yet, the very fabric of society of oneness is broken. Even individuals within families look after their own interest. In the pursuit of better life, people live apart, sometimes even away from their partner.
In every relationship that is formed, people look at what they can gain out of that relationship. If there is no gain, then any further interaction might just cease. Some people believe they can afford to be rude and condescending if the other person adds no value to their personal interest.
There is not much thought given to what they themselves can offer to others.
What is our ultimate goal in life ?
For most people, their ultimate goal in life is to get educated gain as much wealth as possible, start a family and live happily ever after.
The reality is there is no end to our goal. We are all in a journey together. In the process we interact with people and form relationships.
Those who succeed in achieving their goals are people who are able to build long lasting relationships.
In the pursuit of love….
People get so obsessed with looking for their life partner that they forget that there are others who need their attention too, at least once in a while.
While their life partner is the top priority, one wished they put in the same effort in maintaining the relationship for long term instead of walking out at the slightest instance of disagreement.
Nobody said that maintaining a relationship for long term is going to be easy.
Life is not a romantic fiction – a perfectly scripted novel where every thing happens in life to make you feel good.
Unless you found a clone of yourself, it is likely that the partner will be totally different, is imperfect in every possible way imaginable and you will only know when you decide to live together.
We forget to value the people we know
When people make their life partner their top priority, they forget that there are people who depend on them too. This could be a sibling or a close friend who needs a little bit of attention too.
If people expect that everyone else must be available to them as a shoulder to lean on when their relationship with their partner isn’t working out, they have an obligation to be concerned about others in good times too.
The importance of emotional intimacy in relationships
Emotional intimacy can happen between any one and not necessarily between romantic partners. Every human needs that one person with whom s/he can be vulnerable with and let others know how they feel about their life.
We as a society have an obligation to people we know to be there when someone is facing life’s challenges.
The most important relationship is between a parent and a child
Most people learn to build relationships from their parents. Hence, it is absolutely necessary that parents demonstrate a behavior which they want their kids to inherit when they step out on their own and interact with society.
It is parent’s responsibility to educate their kids to put others interest first before their own and also share this ideology with others.
Kids only know what is to be in love from their parents. It is important for parents to ensure a positive and happy environment at home free of any arguments and temper tantrums and assure their kids that their parents will be together and will be available for their kids as long as they need them.
Why healthy relationships at work are very important ?
If people dread going to work and wait for weekends, then one must blame the toxic work environment which has become a norm in modern times especially in tough economic conditions.
When people spend more than 60 hours a week on an average with total strangers, it is important for the employers to ensure that every employee is treated with respect and integrity and encourage working in collaboration rather than create an environment rife with bullying and management by fear.
It does not come as a surprise then that 70% of workforce around the world feel disengaged because they do not feel valued for the job they do.
Working in a toxic environment leads to stress and long term mental health issues. It is in the employers interest to create a work environment where people share a healthy working relationship.
The importance of relationships to mental health
Medical professionals will have their own reasons why people suffer from mental health issues like depression and bipolar.
One can’t ignore the role of relationships or the lack of it in the mental health of individuals. Living in a bad relationship or a bad childhood does have it’s long term impact on the individuals and the society.
We are in some way connected even though we are not related.
Are the loved ones responsible for suicides ?
I am an active member on Quora where people share their life issues. There are people who have posted questions expressing their guilt when one of their loved ones committed suicide and they couldn’t do much about it even though they knew about the situation.
It is too late to regret after you have lost your loved ones. You only have memories with you when people do not exist in this world.
While we are alive, we have every right to be loved, valued and respected.
Every relationship, be it a closed one or a distant one has it’s value and is important for our existence in our society.
The most important relationship we share with people is that of humanity.