Relationships synonyms, antonyms and 4 types of relationships

Definition of concepts

Relationships are a kind of behavioral program that determines how a person or other creature will interact with something.

Types of relationships:

  1. Natural. They are determined by the laws that exist in nature: physical (I weigh more, and he weighs less), biological (a rabbit is for a lion and plants are food for herbivores) and others.
  2. Social. Interactions between individuals that take place according to the laws and norms that are established in this society. They are divided into administrative (director and subordinates), legal, national, interethnic, army and civilian.
  3. Personal. Each person has a subjective experience, on the basis of which he builds relationships with other people. A person’s subjective attitude, formed under the influence of many factors, towards someone or something relates to interpersonal relationships.

Relationships are mutual behavioral programs. That is, for example, a relationship between two people, each of whom has a certain behavioral program about the other, is a relationship.

What are interpersonal relationships

Interpersonal relationships refer to any type of relationship with other people . As a rule, they reflect the inner world of a person, convey his emotions and moods. Interpersonal relationships imply a complex of different types of communication: verbal and non-verbal, facial expressions, gestures, behavioral characteristics, emotional manifestations and much more.

The main purpose of social connections between people is to establish contact in order to share emotions, receive certain benefits, apply their cognitive abilities, gain new knowledge and experience, and also expect support from the opponent. All types of interpersonal relationships should be based on mutual trust and understanding.

Misunderstanding always causes aggression. The degree of aggressiveness can probably be a measure of misunderstanding. © V.V. Nalimov

The formation of interpersonal relationships begins from the very birth of a person and lasts throughout his life . Initially, an individual learns to build correct interactions with society with the help of parents, educators and teachers. But over time, when the individual’s personality is finally formed, the construction of interpersonal contacts depends purely on the individual’s individual qualities and his ability to communicate.

Classification of relationships between people

In psychology, there are three main types of relationships, depending on:

  1. Directions. There is a vertical format of relations and a horizontal one . We should talk about vertical relationships when people interacting with each other are at different levels in the social hierarchy (student and teacher, educator and pupil, parent and child, superiors and subordinates). Accordingly, horizontal relationships are those that involve people who are at the same level in the social hierarchy (colleagues, classmates, classmates).
  2. Goals. When starting social interaction, a person always thinks about why he needs it. If he seeks to find friendship, camaraderie, love, then such interactions are called personal . If this is communication with the goal of concluding an agreement, jointly completing a work task, and so on, then this is a business relationship.
  3. Emotional coloring. In the process of communication and other interactions, a person begins to better understand how he relates to another person.
    Depending on the emotions that people experience during social contact, they distinguish between positive , negative and neutral relationships.

The degree of closeness between people is also of great importance. The following levels are distinguished:

  1. Acquaintance. At this level, people practically do not know each other, and in order to get closer, they need to communicate and find common interests. However, not all acquaintances progress to the next stage.
  2. Friendship. Friends are acquaintances with whom you have become moderately close. Sometimes you can have fun with such people, get their advice and sometimes help, but you don’t share your secrets with them.
  3. Partnership. An intermediate stage between friendship and friendship. Comrades have common interests, common affairs, they enjoy spending time with each other, they can offer help, they can be trusted with a lot, although not everything. A significant part of people, already at the stage of partnership, are ready to recognize a person as a friend. Over time, camaraderie can develop into friendship.
  4. Friendship. Strong, time-tested relationships in which harmony and trust reign.
    Friends feel comfortable in each other’s company, like to spend time together, and are ready to provide support and help. Friends usually have a lot of common interests and activities, and many key opinions converge. As a rule, the average person has relatively few real friends: he can hardly have more than five people. Also, the friendship level is divided into additional sublevels. At the first sublevel, people are simply friends, at the second, they consider themselves best friends. The degree of mutual understanding and trust at these sublevels varies.
  5. Love, marriage. In an ideal love relationship, there is the highest degree of trust, openness, and a willingness to start a family. Sincerely loving people are ready to do almost anything for the sake of the object of their love. But in practice, unconditional trust in some couples is observed only in the first years. For it to last for decades, it is important to work on yourself, be able to find compromises, and accept a partner.

The family stands apart: a person cannot choose which parents to be born to, but a close connection is always formed between the child, mother and father (and especially between mother and child), which is not always healthy.

In the first years of life, a child desperately needs his parents, they are his ideal, and he is most attached to his mother. Later, as he grows up, he separates and begins his own life, and communication with his parents becomes less close .

What is an open relationship? Read about it here.

Patterns of behavior in relationships.

Patterns (or strategies) of interactions in relationships differ. Basically, the centers of their differences are the goals set by each person, the methods of achieving them, and the peculiarities of influencing each other in the process. In total, there are 5 main tactics.


In cooperation, people's goals can be both common and different, but not contradictory. At the same time, the participants necessarily help each other move towards the end point, not forgetting about their needs and guidelines. This is the best option for interaction, as it allows you to take care of another person without violating your own principles. And the result is a goal achieved.

In order for cooperation to be effective and to take place at all, it is important to observe the 5 components of a healthy relationship, which have already been written about in the first paragraph. In addition, it is based on complete reciprocity, since the efforts of one party will not be enough. Then cooperation will turn into altruism, which will be discussed later.


Individualism is movement towards personal goals without taking into account the interests and needs of a partner. In this case, the landmark or end point may be identical. However, partners, despite the benefits of working together, prefer to move alone.

A typical example is the heads of competing companies. They can join forces and enter into a partnership to achieve more together. However, they choose competition to single-handedly take first place in their niche. Individualism is also chosen by both parties if one of them refuses to cooperate when the other has a desire (refusal of altruism).


In modern psychology, in contrast to the theories of the twentieth century, it is generally accepted that compromise is not a solution to the problem. This is a mutual voluntary sacrifice of part of one’s interests for the sake of the “common good.” How does this manifest itself in everyday life?

  • Conditions . Spouses have different interests and weekend plans. The wife wants to go to the theater or any other cultural institution together. My husband wants to relax in nature.
  • Solution . As a result of the conversation, the spouses agree to compromise - to spend some weekends according to the woman’s plan, others according to the man’s plan.
  • Problem . Every second weekend, one of the spouses is forced to endure an unloved activity. Over time, the situation heats up, discontent accumulates, it becomes harder to adapt, and conflicts arise.

There are two solutions: either the spouses find an option for cooperation, that is, they avoid sacrifices (for example, she goes to the theater with her friends, he goes on a hike with colleagues), or constant quarrels will lead to a breakup or a negative form of the relationship.


Altruism in this context is helping an opponent achieve his goals while ignoring or abandoning his own. That is, this is one-sided assistance, making their altruist a victim of the situation at his own request.

Usually, the patience and selflessness of altruists do not last long in personal relationships and do not appear at all in business relationships. The only exceptions are spiritual, consciously platonic, sublime relationships. However, they appeal to few people.

Types of relationships in teams

As a person grows up, he encounters many groups that work according to similar models and have similar formats of relationships. These are school teams (class), teams in secondary specialized and higher institutions (group), relationships at work.

Main types of relationships in teams:

  1. Conflict. Conflicts are a natural part of human relationships, and they are not always harmful.
    However, frequently arising conflict situations signal that something needs to be changed in the system of relations: discuss problems, talk with the instigators, find compromises.
  2. Competitive. Both healthy and unhealthy competition for the best place in the team is a common phenomenon. It is important for managers (teachers, management) to encourage healthy competition in the team they control, and to promptly eliminate competition that causes conflicts and quarrels.
  3. Friendships and other close relationships (friendship, camaraderie, love). Having close connections is important, especially in academic groups. However, this is not always beneficial in work relationships: if an employee's personal relationship with another employee deteriorates, this will affect productivity.

In work teams, relationships are also distinguished:

  • between departments;
  • with partners of the organization, company and with organizations in general;
  • with the state;
  • international.

Also, as already mentioned, relationships, including those that exist in teams, are divided into vertical and horizontal.

Interpersonal relationship systems

In addition to the above types of relationships, there is also a systematic division into rational and emotional relationships, as well as parity and subordination. Let's look at them in more detail:

  • Rational relationships . It logically follows that the basis and goal of this type of relationship is the intention to receive benefit. A rational system of relations implies a certain mutual benefit for all participants in the communication.
  • Emotional social connections are based on personal preferences, based on sensory contacts, which may not always be positive. Along with friendship and love, emotional relationships also include enmity, antipathy, and hatred.
  • Parity contacts - communication between a couple or a group of people in this category is based on equality. The basis of these interpersonal relationships is complete freedom of choice.
  • Subordination relationships that have a clear hierarchy. For example, this could be communication between a boss and subordinates.

Types of business connections

Business relationships, depending on the consequences, are divided into:

  1. Constructive. They help business interactions develop in a favorable direction and have a positive effect on productivity.
  2. Destructive. Have a destructive impact on business interactions.

Business interactions are also divided according to content into:

  1. Direct. In direct relationships, communication is carried out directly, live, and therefore has more weight, since in such interactions there is more opportunity to assess a person’s reaction to certain information.
  2. Indirect. Interaction is carried out through textual information: written reports, letters, instructions, orders, and so on.
    Despite its dryness, indirect relationships are also very important for organizing the work process.

Basics of proper communication

The main problem of interpersonal relationships is a violation of communicative function. If a person does not know how to communicate correctly and is afraid to establish contacts with people, then any type of interpersonal relationships are unlikely to develop successfully.

Communication is everything in a relationship. Solve any problems through dialogue. © Ekaterina Makarova

Useful tips

There are several effective tips on how to learn to communicate with people:

  1. Be interested in what the other person is saying. Learn to listen.
  2. Watch your facial expressions. Smile more often.
  3. Call your interlocutor by name more often. According to numerous psychological studies, the sound of one's own name is one of the most pleasant to the human ear.
  4. Get rid of filler words. They make your speech vulgar and uncomfortable to hear.
  5. Develop a culture of speech. When a person speaks correctly and beautifully, it is not only pleasant to listen to him, but also much more understandable. After all, the ability to clearly and clearly formulate your thoughts guarantees that the interlocutor will also understand them.

There are situations when, during communication, people cannot find the right words, do not know what to talk about and how to build a constructive dialogue. As a result, misunderstandings arise in relationships.

Communication mistakes

What communication mistakes should you try to avoid so that types of interpersonal relationships are not at risk of unfavorable development?

  1. Watch your tone, facial expressions and gestures . Avoid an indifferent tone, a bored look, skeptical assessments - such manifestations discourage the desire to continue communication.
  2. The language barrier . This is not just a problem of people speaking different languages. Also, a language barrier can arise between people with different levels of development, age characteristics and speech culture. For example, you won’t be able to talk with children the same way as with adults, if only because most of the words and terms that adults use in conversation may be unknown to children.
  3. Manifestations of social phobia . It happens that a person, for inexplicable reasons, feels afraid of communicating with people. This is why awkward situations and pauses arise when trying to establish contact with the interlocutor. If you are faced with a similar problem, then you need to show inner willpower and resilience to work on improving your communication functions.

The only time in a person’s life when he is objectively dependent and when he can be considered a hostage is his childhood and dependence on his parents. It doesn't last long. In other cases of being in a relationship, it is the adult’s choice. © Mikhail Labkovsky

Every person is born and lives in society throughout his life. Complete isolation is completely impossible. There are options to trim and reduce the types of interpersonal relationships, leaving only the most necessary areas of social connection. But without successful construction of social communication connections, harmonious personal growth and development is impossible.


The main forms of political relations are observed between:

  • state regulatory authorities and constituent organizations;
  • state, government and social associations;
  • by the state and organizations that are not the property of the state;
  • various political parties and their supporters;
  • political parties and associations not related to politics;
  • representatives of the authorities and the bulk of citizens;
  • states;
  • state and international political unions.

How productive they will be and how long they will last depends on how much the goals and priorities of these associations coincide.

What is a serious relationship? Find out the answer right now.

Between the sexes

As with relationships in general, there are levels to the relationship between a man and a woman:

  • acquaintance;
  • friendship;
  • partnership;
  • friendship;
  • Love.

To become a friend , you need to go through the first three levels of communication in sequence.

But in the case of love, everything is more complicated: often, if mutual feelings arise suddenly, the beloved can automatically move from the first or second level to the fifth and become almost the center of the world.

Contrary to the common stereotype, friendly relations between a man and a woman are possible, but only if none of them has romantic feelings for each other , such as attraction, passion, infatuation, love.

In some cases, there is a friendship in which one of the friends (or both at once) hides their true feelings. If none of them decides to open up, the relationship will remain within the framework of friendship .

Also, in some friendly relationships between a man and a woman, there is sex, which is pleasant for them and non-binding. These friendships are called friendships with benefits .

Romantic relationships between a guy and a girl can be divided into the following types:

  1. Mutual development. The basis of such relationships is the desire for joint development. A man and a woman engage in joint activities, communicate a lot, have a lot of common interests, can conduct joint business, and support each other in the process of improvement. Such relationships are a frequent choice of rationalists and pragmatists.
  2. Full mutual understanding. This is a spiritual union in which each of the partners is so comfortable that they receive pleasure only from the fact of being next to each other.
  3. Calculation. In such relationships, at least one of the partners is looking for direct benefits.
    Such an alliance is not always bad, especially if the man and woman know how to negotiate with each other.
  4. Experiment. A man and a woman in such a relationship strive to make their partner their own, so that he is as comfortable as possible. This relationship is hardly worth continuing.
  5. Tightness. One of the most unpleasant types of relationships. A man and a woman in a union often quarrel, may diverge and come together again. They should have separated, but for some personal reasons they continue to be together.

What kind of relationships are there in families?

Every family develops its own type of relationship. It is based on life experience, upbringing, and professional characteristics. There are several types:

  • Classic is a comfortable type for all household members, characterized by stability and harmony. In such relationships there is love, mutual respect and support. Every conflict issue is resolved calmly, and everyone’s points of view and aspirations are taken into account. Such full-fledged families serve as examples for children, moral principles and a culture of behavior are instilled. However, such an idyll does not occur so often. As a rule, we see mixed models.
  • Patriarchy - in such a family, continuity of connections is created and preserved, traditions are honored. The man takes the leadership position in these relationships. He makes key decisions, supports the rest of the family, and also serves as an example to those around him. Such a marriage is strong and rarely breaks up. Such relationships between spouses may be characterized by strict control (only a man’s word is law), honor and respect of a man without universal control (partial patriarchy).
  • Matriarchy - the leader is the mother. Here the father may not be present at all.

The female dominant role is determined by the following: age, material security, experience. The spouse can be a creative person, a “servant”, ready to fulfill the whims of his woman, and also incompetent in making decisions due to life circumstances. In such relationships, everyone develops and does their favorite things. There is practically no infringement of rights, but the spouse always has the final say at the family council.

  • The emotional variety, where passions rage. In these families, both spouses are very temperamental and consider themselves unique. However, there is no mutual understanding between the spouses, so conflicts and violent quarrels often arise. Their life resembles fireworks.
  • A type where the husband and wife have their own interests and goals. In this case, the separated life of the spouses is observed. Although they don’t look like that to those around them. In such marriages, husband and wife often live at a distance, but this does not prevent them from being happy. Such relationships are not in danger of breaking for a long time. The couple feel comfortable. And only a change in the life views of one of them, the resulting misunderstanding on the one hand, as well as a change in point of view in relation to family values ​​and marriage can lead the family to divorce.
  • Despotism is an unhealthy variety, which is characterized by the presence of a tyrant in the person of one of the couple. He is characterized by authority, rudeness, and a desire to control loved ones and suppress their will. A feature in relationships is the presence of a dominant position. Only the despots themselves have voting rights. They tightly control the state and distribution of the budget, tend to manipulate their loved ones, and put pressure on them emotionally. There may even be cases of assault. The union disintegrates when the strength to endure such tyranny runs out. Often a painful situation cannot be resolved because household members become financially dependent on the despot.
  • Mutual dependence on each other. This model is the most common. In these relationships, each partner is obsessive about the other. The couple practically lives with each other, giving warmth, care and love to each other, idealizing their soulmate. Sometimes such concentration of attention even becomes dangerous, leading to problems and suffering. Usually, after a divorce, both partners suffer from loneliness for a long time, they experience feelings of emptiness and longing for their old life.
  • A friendly family relationship is based on complete mutual understanding, support, and care. Everyone has common dreams, interests, goals. The peculiarity is the absence or weak expression of physical affection.
  • The parent-child model usually involves a large age difference between the spouses. Both husbands and wives can be elders. The elders take care, patronize, and often educate their younger partners.

Principles of family relationships

The basic principles in family relationships are:

  • Tolerance is a quality that presupposes the skill of taking into account the point of view of your significant other. You should love your soul mate, not idealizing, but accepting all its disadvantages and features as parts of individuality.
  • Priority – the ability to highlight the main goals and tasks. Not every question requires an immediate answer and search for a solution. And in a senseless dispute, the situation only heats up and vital energy is wasted. You should pay attention to things that are really necessary at the moment and situations that are potentially dangerous for a prosperous life.
  • Finding compromises is the ability to give in, which leads to family well-being and harmony.
  • The ability to communicate constructively is the key to mutual understanding and obtaining the necessary information. It is necessary not to hide feelings and emotions from your partner. Husbands and wives who are able to empathize with each other always provide the support necessary in difficult situations. Sometimes you just need to remain silent so as not to cause trouble to your loved one.
  • A joint budget involves shared income and expenses. What matters is how the funds received are distributed, regardless of their source.
  • Common plans are evidence that the couple is ready to live a long and prosperous life together. Unanimity in family planning is a sign of trust and mutual understanding.
  • Friendly attitude, delicacy of comments, satisfaction in terms of sex are very important moments of a happy family life.

What is the secret to a happy marriage?

In a happy marital relationship there is love, unanimity, trust, understanding, as well as warmth and support. But both partners must participate in their construction. The blame for conflicts and quarrels lies equally with the husband and wife. The life of every family is never without problems, moments of crisis, and grievances. Anyone who knows how to forgive, make compromises, delve into the problems of others, empathize and take other people's habits and beliefs for granted, as a rule, is happy in marriage. Every problem must be solved together. The secret to a happy life for a couple is not to avoid conflict situations, but to resolve them correctly. Misunderstandings can be overcome through mutual assistance and patience. And without care for loved ones and respect there is no family happiness. It is not an easy job to do every day, but it is for the greater good.

The couple must mutually engage in raising children. It should be remembered that excessive guardianship of children will not bring the desired result. They need to be given the opportunity to make their own mistakes and learn from them, as well as develop independence and initiative in them. Common interests and joint recreation, overcoming difficulties make the family united and strong.

Types of family relationships

There are several types of relationships in a married couple:

  • Cooperation is a type where husband and wife understand each other, support and care. This variety is the best option for marriage.
  • Equality of partners. Typically, parity is pursued by both partners for mutual benefit.
  • Rivalry is a clear desire to achieve success and get ahead of your other half. Such a marriage can be quite successful if they compete for the benefit of common goals. However, living in constant competition is quite difficult and uncomfortable. Not often, but a couple can go into open confrontation with each other.
  • Competition is characterized by dominance of one partner over another. Such a union cannot be called holistic and unified. Husband and wife are constantly fighting for their own interests. Such a marriage is not capable of lasting.
  • Intransigence - represents the confrontation between spouses. This is the result of the struggle of competitors. Usually some external factors hold back such partners from completely breaking off the connection. But this is a necessary measure and such a marriage is doomed to divorce.
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