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Relationship skills

social relationships
social relationships
©: Markus Bormann - Fotolia

"Basically, it's always the connections with people that give life its value."
(Wilhelm von Humboldt)

Man is a social animal! Without social relationships, a person is lost, feels sick and will get sick. Fear, loneliness, discouragement and depression will creep in.

Judgments & exclusions do destroy relationships

I can get really upset about people, who call people in a depressive phase of the lives as "sick" or "strange" while at the same time going to church every Sunday. Equally hypocritical I find people of Christian faith, who judge and exclude other fellow Christians, suffering from a mental health condition, condemning them as "Christians with too little faith."

Exclusion and judgments destroy relations. I wish these people the best of luck in their faith. It is definitely not the faith of an individual that connects; builds relationships and shows compassion for man – even those seemingly lost. Jesus, for example, saw and handled that quite differently.

What hampers building relationships?

Somebody’s own fears, the uncertainty to approach others, to open up and trust someone makes it almost impossible for some to build relations and to establish trust. Many people have learned that their trust was abused, that things they entrusted to someone were passed on to a third party. Fear of others prevents many from building relationships.

What are the consequences of lacking relationships?

If anyone was ever disappointed will realise that the old and even a new relationship is difficult or even troubled. The person retreats; shuts off from others. The consequences are increased loneliness, guilt, insecurity, discouragement which all can lead to depression.

Requirements for Relationships

Relationships with others make life worth living. tTrust is required to build relationships, connection and friendships, a mutual bond, and above all, interest in the other person. Without interest, the union will break.

Showing interest for others

This interest in somebody else precisely is the secret to relationships. If you only see yourself without any idea, with zero interests for the person – it is virtually impossible for any kind of relationship to flourish. Feeling connected and showing unity makes life worth living. It makes life itself, as well as the relationship, valuable.

If somebody ever repaired a dysfunctional relationship and now experiences its great connection again, will also note that life becomes more cherished again.

Food for thought:

  • What cherished connections to other people do you foster that make your life precious?

  • Are there problems, if so why? How would you have to change, to get a relationship breakdown working again?

  • Why is it difficult for you to establish relationships? What prevents you?

  • Have your group members (or students) connected with you? Alternatively, do you stay away from them?

  • How do you show interest to other group members (or students)? Or are they just "numbers" for you? Are you interested in their lives, feelings and hardships? Do you know their history and try to understand them? Are you capable of a relationship?

  • If you want to get to know somebody else, (if showing interest for the person in the first place), you learn to understand his reaction and behaviour. Then you also will be able to establish a relationship.

[ © | 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work ] - 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work
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