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Thread: Define depth of interpersonal relationships

  1. #1 Define depth of interpersonal relationships 
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    What do you think determines/describes the depth of interpersonal relationships?

    Just came to my mind today and I'd like to hear some opinions of other people
    I think most of my relationships are quite shallow, but not because of spending too little time on them, or not understanding the other people or not caring about them... I can't find any reason, why do I feel they are shallow...


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    good tread im interested ... but I don't have an answer for you


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    Perhaps because they don't engage in more than superficial conversations. Perhaps don't discuss their past or what they would like to do in the future with any detail. Or is could be you don't see their emotional depth--what keeps them up at night. Or they seldom show more than one side of their personality--most people have a couple different faces as they switch roles.
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    This is entirely my own subjective opinion, but I conjecture that the depth of our interpersonal relationships has a great deal to do with the environment we have been raised in, our gender, our culture and how our individual brain may be configured. There are numerous interpersonal relationships in our lives and usually the ones that will have the most depth are those with shared interests and priorities. Where there are aspects of mutual benefit or dependency, relationships will also draw closer.

    The more independent a person becomes, the less time they may devote to spending time with others and a sense of isolation may eventually creep in. I also am of the opinion that when people spend more time on internet relationships than they do in face-to-face interactions and activities, their relationships are going to seem superficial simply because many of them are. What is the value of 1,000 FaceBook friends compared to one real person that you could call day or night when you have received some very bad news or been involved in an accident?

    Working graveyard shift has been problematical for me in the sense that it has removed me from the social aspects of society, which are largely centered around weekends. I have worked virtually every weekend for the last eight years save when Christmas has fallen on one. The retail business is open 364 days a year, and I also wonder how much our capitalist system has impacted our ability to form and maintain enduring relationships at all levels.

    This is an interesting topic and I shall give it more thought and possibly have more to add to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Perhaps because they don't engage in more than superficial conversations. Perhaps don't discuss their past or what they would like to do in the future with any detail. Or is could be you don't see their emotional depth--what keeps them up at night. Or they seldom show more than one side of their personality--most people have a couple different faces as they switch roles.
    Yeah, that might be the consequence of little common interests and other aspects like social differences (as scheherezade mentioned), right? I would understand that with most of the people, but there are some individuals which share most of my interest (although they have a little different view on world, but that's how a good discussion is made isn't it?) and still the relationship is just a technical one. At times, we discuss some interesting topic which raises at school, but that's all, in spite of the fact, that we've got common priorities and interests.

    Might this be, because the society has so many times showed us, it's not worth to deeply connect, that we've got used to it and gave up trying to really connect even if there's a chance? Or do I "smell" that much, that nobody wants to be in my presence?
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    I think that — one metric is sharing intimate details of their lives (eg, "I've never told anyone this, but ... "), another metric is seeking opinions before acting in a situation (eg, "I don't know what to do and I trust your judgment, so could you tell me what I should do about ... "), and a third metric is the bequeathing of property and/or wealth (à la Great Expectations).
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    This is entirely my own subjective opinion, but I conjecture that the depth of our interpersonal relationships has a great deal to do with the environment we have been raised in, our gender, our culture and how our individual brain may be configured. There are numerous interpersonal relationships in our lives and usually the ones that will have the most depth are those with shared interests and priorities. Where there are aspects of mutual benefit or dependency, relationships will also draw closer.
    Sounds pretty reasonable to me. While the first part describes the general "ability" of the person to form such relationships, the latter describes the factors which influence the actual formation of some potential relationship.

    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    The more independent a person becomes, the less time they may devote to spending time with others and a sense of isolation may eventually creep in. I also am of the opinion that when people spend more time on internet relationships than they do in face-to-face interactions and activities, their relationships are going to seem superficial simply because many of them are. What is the value of 1,000 FaceBook friends compared to one real person that you could call day or night when you have received some very bad news or been involved in an accident?
    Yeah, that's true. Facebook and other forms of Internet communication are influencing our ability to connect deeply. Moreover, connecting online is much "safer" and easier than forming real life relationships, which means many people will favor it. However IMHO the process of forming the relationship is very important determinant of its properties, resulting in the "safe and easy" relationships, which do not provide enough social satisfaction and stimulation.

    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Working graveyard shift has been problematical for me in the sense that it has removed me from the social aspects of society, which are largely centered around weekends. I have worked virtually every weekend for the last eight years save when Christmas has fallen on one. The retail business is open 364 days a year, and I also wonder how much our capitalist system has impacted our ability to form and maintain enduring relationships at all levels.
    If you don't mind sharing, have you observed some "adverse" effects of this "removal from the social aspects of society"?

    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    This is an interesting topic and I shall give it more thought and possibly have more to add to it.
    I will be glad


    Few months ago I read an article comparing the relationships formed in Eastern and Western cultures, saying that in the far east, there is much more used the image of "we", rather than "I" (collectivism). It might be interesting to compare their views on depth of an relationship with our, western views. Anyone?
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    Scheherazade

    The more independent a person becomes, the less time they may devote to spending time with others and a sense of isolation may eventually creep in. I also am of the opinion that when people spend more time on internet relationships than they do in face-to-face interactions and activities, their relationships are going to seem superficial simply because many of them are. What is the value of 1,000 FaceBook friends compared to one real person that you could call day or night when you have received some very bad news or been involved in an accident?

    The friends I have Mainland are my rocks. I don't have tons of friends in real time, but I do have (counting on less than five fingers) those I can count on at any time for anything. They know my good and my bad, and I know theirs. We have never judged, but we have discussed and shared and cried and laughed together for many years. I still have a friendship from grammar school and a few from high school.

    Part of friendship is making time to nurture it. In all of our busy lives, that isn't possible daily, but in stolen moments whether an e-mail or a phone call, or a silly card to say, "Hey, I love you."

    I can only speak for myself., but when I see my friends after long periods of time, it is as if I saw them yesterday.

    Here, it is more difficult. Most people are transient, (many visit for a couple months...i.e. snowbirds) and I am the only light on in this entire area most of the year. SO hard to get to know people at all. The others are tourists. It is difficult to get any type of interpersonal relations started. My closest are a 78 year old retired lesbian ER Doctor and former Pediatric researcher, who is a hoot, and two Canadians who are only here a bit less than six months. Still though the friendship is there (they'd be here in a second if I called and needed help), the spending of time doesn't generate the relationships I have with those on the Mainland.

    I should add that I am not interested in hanging with the "socially" elite. I tend to be rather down to earth, and totally unlike most of the women who have a house here, part time. Other than living in the same small community, I have little in common with them. *laughing* this doesn't go over too well with 95% of them. *chuckle* I tend to march to my own drummer.
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    what do you mean with far west... china Vietnam korea? or japan?
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    what do you mean with far west... china Vietnam korea? or japan?
    The question is directed at ???????
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    what do you mean with far west... china Vietnam korea? or japan?
    The question is directed at ???????
    rickettisie (the one who wrote it will know...) I try to avoid to many quotes
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    what do you mean with far west... china Vietnam korea? or japan?
    The question is directed at ???????
    rickettisie (the one who wrote it will know...) I try to avoid to many quotes
    Thanks. It is however difficult to know who the question is directed at if no name is posted. You can just type the name and the question.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickettsie View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Working graveyard shift has been problematical for me in the sense that it has removed me from the social aspects of society, which are largely centered around weekends. I have worked virtually every weekend for the last eight years save when Christmas has fallen on one. The retail business is open 364 days a year, and I also wonder how much our capitalist system has impacted our ability to form and maintain enduring relationships at all levels.
    If you don't mind sharing, have you observed some "adverse" effects of this "removal from the social aspects of society"?
    Prior to working graveyards, I was quite active in my neighborhood, participating in various planning exercises and meetings, and the local volunteer Fire Department, which I founded etc. I also used to have more time to visit my neighbors for tea, a beer or a BBQ. While I have no fewer hours in a day, my hours of waking and activity are now completely out of alignment with those of people who work the more typical Mon-Fri, 9-5 hours. My days off are Monday and Tuesday, which are great for any scheduled appointments that I may need for vehicle repairs, dental care etc. but my peer group are almost all at work. Reciprocity is a large factor in relationships and I also used to host the occasional function and have friends over to the house but this also is made more difficult in that my husband and I work somewhat different hours, though we do share the same days off. He is not fond of socializing so that limits my options of having people over pretty much to Sunday, between 11 and 3 and as Sunday is pretty much a family day for many, most folks already have established routines.

    I am very much self entertaining and have no shortage of tasks around the property to keep me occupied but with less time spent interacting with others, one begins to notice a disconnect and given that one loses friends over time to attrition, be it misfortune or old age, it is imperative to participate in social networking at least to some degree in order to keep abreast of change. The perspectives of others provide us with valuable information for problem solving and decision making, in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by rickettsie View Post
    Few months ago I read an article comparing the relationships formed in Eastern and Western cultures, saying that in the far east, there is much more used the image of "we", rather than "I" (collectivism). It might be interesting to compare their views on depth of an relationship with our, western views. Anyone?
    My observation and experience is limited to Western cultures but even in those, I notice that there is far more cooperation and sense of family and community among the First Nations people and considerably more competition between those of Caucasian descent, even within the family unit. Cooperation is definitely one of the building blocks of relationships, at all levels.
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    first nations which ones do you mean
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    first nations which ones do you mean
    Sorry, I should have gone into more detail for those who are not Canadian, this being a global forum.

    In Canada, our aboriginal peoples have selected the term 'First Nations' as the designation by which they would like to be identified as they are not 'Indians', that being reserved for those from the nation of India, and they were in North America prior to the arrival of Europeans, hence the designation of 'First'. The people formerly referred to as 'Eskimos' are the Inuit people, another change in title. Across the nation, there were many regional tribes. If memory serves, there are 13 distinct First Nations in the Yukon alone, each with their traditional territories.

    In the hopes that this helps with understanding my previous post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    first nations which ones do you mean
    Sorry, I should have gone into more detail for those who are not Canadian, this being a global forum.

    In Canada, our aboriginal peoples have selected the term 'First Nations' as the designation by which they would like to be identified as they are not 'Indians', that being reserved for those from the nation of India, and they were in North America prior to the arrival of Europeans, hence the designation of 'First'. The people formerly referred to as 'Eskimos' are the Inuit people, another change in title. Across the nation, there were many regional tribes. If memory serves, there are 13 distinct First Nations in the Yukon alone, each with their traditional territories.

    In the hopes that this helps with understanding my previous post.
    I think it has much to do then with whealth the less you have the more you need to communicate to stay alive and get help and give help...
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    first nations which ones do you mean
    Sorry, I should have gone into more detail for those who are not Canadian, this being a global forum.

    In Canada, our aboriginal peoples have selected the term 'First Nations' as the designation by which they would like to be identified as they are not 'Indians', that being reserved for those from the nation of India, and they were in North America prior to the arrival of Europeans, hence the designation of 'First'. The people formerly referred to as 'Eskimos' are the Inuit people, another change in title. Across the nation, there were many regional tribes. If memory serves, there are 13 distinct First Nations in the Yukon alone, each with their traditional territories.

    In the hopes that this helps with understanding my previous post.
    I think it has much to do then with whealth the less you have the more you need to communicate to stay alive and get help and give help...
    Totally disagree. NO matter what your economic situation, communication is ESSENTIAL to the human brain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    what do you mean with far west... china Vietnam korea? or japan?
    Yeah...I meant mostly china and japan. But I think the mentalities of nearby nations would be similar.
    (not sure how about in where you live, but we call it far east)
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    My observation and experience is limited to Western cultures but even in those, I notice that there is far more cooperation and sense of family and community among the First Nations people and considerably more competition between those of Caucasian descent, even within the family unit. Cooperation is definitely one of the building blocks of relationships, at all levels.
    I think cooperation was the primary reason for forming of relationships, as groups were able to survive better.

    My first thought was, that the western individualism was a consequence of capitalism, but then I realized it's been like this from the antic Greek heroes. Capitalism had only used and strengthened it.

    But what might be the reason for this?
    I think it was only coincidence.. surely there are individualistic people in eastern cultures and "collective" people in the western ones.. I think that in "Europe" just by an accident were more of the individualistic people, which then reproduced more and gained power (they were able to care just about their own ancestors, which is a "beneficial" property, hence it spread) and spread the philosophy to their ancestors.
    Eastern countries were mostly isolated and such boom didn't occur.
    That's my theory. What do you think?
    Last edited by rickettsie; October 31st, 2013 at 04:38 AM. Reason: typo
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    I think it has much to do then with whealth the less you have the more you need to communicate to stay alive and get help and give help...
    Well... Frankly, I think wealthy people/families became wealthy mostly because of the ability to communicate (of course combined with some other needed skill). Therefore IMHO it would be counter-productive to communicate less for them.
    Moreover, many poor people in here are rather envious and aggressive than give/want to get help.

    Also I agree with babe, that social communication and stimulation are necessary for the normal development and sustaining of "civilized" life.
    Wait.. but when I think of Romulus and Remus...
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickettsie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    what do you mean with far west... china Vietnam korea? or japan?
    Yeah...I meant mostly china and japan. But I think the mentalities of nearby nations would be similar.
    (not sure how about in where you live, but we call it far east)
    you didn't understand my question... I was asking you about wich country exaxtly you had because china is not japan... in anyway...
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickettsie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    My observation and experience is limited to Western cultures but even in those, I notice that there is far more cooperation and sense of family and community among the First Nations people and considerably more competition between those of Caucasian descent, even within the family unit. Cooperation is definitely one of the building blocks of relationships, at all levels.
    I think cooperation was the primary reason for forming of relationships, as groups were able to survive better.

    My first thought was, that the western individualism was a consequence of capitalism, but then I realized it's been like this from the antic Greek heroes. Capitalism had only used and strengthened it.

    But what might be the reason for this?
    I think it was only coincidence.. surely there are individualistic people in eastern cultures and "collective" people in the western ones.. I think that in "Europe" just by an accident were more of the individualistic people, which then reproduced more and gained power (they were able to care just about their own ancestors, which is a "beneficial" property, hence it spread) and spread the philosophy to their ancestors.
    Eastern countries were mostly isolated and such boom didn't occur.
    That's my theory. What do you think?
    totally bull****
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    you didn't understand my question... I was asking you about wich country exaxtly you had because china is not japan... in anyway...
    I am sorry if I didn't understand your question.
    I know china is not japan, but I think both of them are examples of the principle I stated. As well as any other nearby country, because I meant it more like vague comparison of "eastern" = east Asian and "western" = European, American ways of social feeling.


    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    totally bull****
    ok
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    All relationships satisfy a 'need' or 'desire', therefore it is the 'need' or 'desire' that defines the relationship, to my simple mind.

    What these needs/desires may be will vary from person to person and species to species as well as be mitigated by the systems and environment that each may find itself in. The majority of needs and desires center around the strategy of 'staying alive' and so we form relationships which are largely helpful to that purpose.

    Competition and the relationship of enmity also serve a purpose in that these challenge us to become stronger and more strategic.
    “There's ways you can trust an enemy you can't always trust a friend. An enemy's never going to betray your trust.”
    Daniel Abraham, The Dragon's Path
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    In most societies women are the glue that hold interpersonal relationships together. Most guys I know (including me) would just as well lay on the sofa than to attend a wedding, friend's anniversary part, etc. Mothers and Grandmas usually send out the Christmas cards and birthday presents. I certainly don't call my male friends on Christmas and no idea when their birthdays are.I see males becoming more insulated as technology progresses. Work was our social world...farming, the factory, etc.

    Statistics Canada just came out with a report that most adults in the country now live alone....it's the norm and not the exception. So if a male doesn't have much social interaction through work...he often isn't getting it at home. There isn't a female managing his social world so quite often he doesn't have one. I know that I have to proactively get involved in social groups as I wind down employment.

    In my city we have lots of Meet Up groups on every conceivable subject. I belong to a few hiking groups, Nature groups, music meet ups, dance lessons, etc. These have become the basis of my interpersonal relationships. Anyways, at least in larger centres, I see folks having a lot of interaction now with non relatives, non coworkers, non ethnic group. Lots of 'strangers' are getting together through common interests.
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    That's a very good point about women being the 'social glue', Fossilborealis. From giving birth, through nurturing young, running a household, supporting her mate and participating in the community, women perhaps do seem to form a wider range of relationships than men.

    Men also form relationships through work, sports, military affiliation etc. but one thought comes to mind is that in many situations men are competitors in these venues, while women, also competitive in sports, for mates and in defense of their young, would seem to foster many relationships that are more co-operative in nature.

    The relationships between men and women and the challenges therein have been the source of inspiration for art, music, prose and poetry since our species found the means to convey emotion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickettsie View Post
    What do you think determines/describes the depth of interpersonal relationships?

    Just came to my mind today and I'd like to hear some opinions of other people
    I think most of my relationships are quite shallow, but not because of spending too little time on them, or not understanding the other people or not caring about them... I can't find any reason, why do I feel they are shallow...
    You might find them to be shallow, because as you say, you weren't all that 'invested' in them, from an emotional view. I think that what we put into a relationship, will in effect, be what we get out of one. HOWEVER, the caveat to that is that there are times when you simply align yourself with the wrong people, and no matter how much time and effort you invest into the relationship, you are going to end up with the short end of the stick. So, in the best and healthiest of relationships, I'd say...what you put in, will be what you get out of it. (thus, that will determine the ''depth'' of them)
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    All relationships satisfy a 'need' or 'desire', therefore it is the 'need' or 'desire' that defines the relationship, to my simple mind.

    What these needs/desires may be will vary from person to person and species to species as well as be mitigated by the systems and environment that each may find itself in. The majority of needs and desires center around the strategy of 'staying alive' and so we form relationships which are largely helpful to that purpose.

    Competition and the relationship of enmity also serve a purpose in that these challenge us to become stronger and more strategic.
    “There's ways you can trust an enemy you can't always trust a friend. An enemy's never going to betray your trust.”
    Daniel Abraham, The Dragon's Path
    That's an excellent point. I think too, we need to examine what our needs are, and is it 'fair' to expect from another person to grant us those needs. If we are lacking something inside of ourselves, and we think that a relationship will 'fulfill' that need, it most likely will not. And it will be wholly unfair to expect the relationship to fulfill such a need.
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    Relationships are WORK!!!
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    There is an advertisement by one of the religious organizations that I actually hold to be quite an astute and accurate observation, irrespective of any other tennets of the group...

    "Love isn't something you fall into...
    Love is something that you grow."

    Relationships require input from all of the parties involved otherwise they eventually become disparate to the point that they dissolve, leaving the principals to seek new bonds, not unlike the constituents of chemical compounds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    There is an advertisement by one of the religious organizations that I actually hold to be quite an astute and accurate observation, irrespective of any other tennets of the group...

    "Love isn't something you fall into...
    Love is something that you grow."

    Relationships require input from all of the parties involved otherwise they eventually become disparate to the point that they dissolve, leaving the principals to seek new bonds, not unlike the constituents of chemical compounds.
    and learning how to fight fair *chuckle*.....and there IS such a thing
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    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    I talk to my husband every night on the phone....the conversations aren't long. We speak of business, personal, kids, medical, finance. My goal every night is to make him laugh. If I succeed, and I mean LAUGH ....I remind him of what makes him love me. I have always been able to make him absolutely burst out laughing.....which with his persona is not an easy task. I made him laugh 3 times this evening....I succeeded. Interpersonal relationships from 3000 miles away.
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