Why are interpersonal relations important?

" We must love another or die." - W .H. Auden

 Interpersonal relationships are the heart and soul of human experience. Interpersonal relationships are not only necessary for procreation, but also for the survival of our society. Healthy interpersonal relationships, i.e., relationships which are cooperative, interdependent, and supportive, contribute to our well-being but unhealthy interpersonal relationships, i. e, dependent, coercive, and non-supportive, can be one of life's greatest source of stress.

  David W. Johnson states that we are not a "thousand points of separate light, but rather, part of a larger brightness". [1]


Imagine your life for a moment as a nexus as represented in the cluster of stars depicted above. Place those with whom you feel most important  in the middle of the inner circle. Now place those whom you feel less important in the next outer circle, and finally, place those who are least important to you in the outer circle. Send your diagram via email to your instructor.

What did you learn about yourself and your relationships from this exercise?  Your instructor would also like to know how you heard about the course and indicate why you are interested in taking the course.

 Extra credit

( 10 points ) Search the internet and find an article that is related to the importance of relationships. Provide a brief summary, the hyperlink, and indicate how you think it applies to you.

( List the URL exactly at it is given. e.g. Author's name, title of the document, title of complete work, date of posting, <URL beginning http://> ( date of access)

In short: How important are relationships?

Indicate the assumptions  that you are making, if you intend the opinion to represent anyone, or anything, other than yourself, or your own experience.

1.   David W. Johnson, Reaching Out: Interpersonal Effectiveness and Self-Actualization,10th ed., ( New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc., 2009), 3

Email :rbrehm@msn.com  Copyright 1998 [Robert Brehm]. All rights reserved.