We are social animals. Relationships matter to us. The desire to connect with others begins at birth and continues to be important throughout our lives. In fact, our very survival as humans depends on our social relationships.
It only takes a moment or two of reflection to appreciate how important relationships are to our well-being. Relationships are our greatest source of happiness, joy and belonging; they are also our greatest source of pain. Our quality of life at home, at work and in the community depends on the relationships we have with family, co-workers and neighbours.
Some scientists believe that humans have larger brains with more pathways and connections than other animals so that we can manage the complexities of human relationships. Our greater “computing power” allows us to pick up on social cues and expectations, be empathetic, make and enjoy jokes, express disagreement and criticism with tact and diplomacy, solve problems through cooperation, collaboration and negotiation, put the needs of others before our own…. This impressive list is just the beginning of how we enjoy, use and manage our relationships with others.