By Dedrion Weweh
Blog Content Contributor
There is something exciting about reconnecting with old friends, having sparks fly with a romantic interest, or spending quality time with family. The thrills and sometimes perils of interacting with others is often a rollercoaster experience in life. What all of these interactions have in common is that they are interpersonal. Human beings thrive and depend on interpersonal interactions thus making our involvement with other people so important.
Interpersonal communication is defined as communication exchange via verbal and non-verbal messages. Now obviously everyone varies on their degree of desire for interpersonal interactions. Nonetheless, either it be a small inner circle, or a large clique of people, everyone has someone (or people) that they either fall/depend upon, seek out, or long for. There is something about what other people have to offer that leaves us coming back for more.
The benefits of maintaining interpersonal interactions are copious. Not only are we able to get things off of our chest that we simply needed to discuss with another soul, but the rewards seep into our well-being. Lower blood pressure, less anxiety, more defined sense of self (based upon the things other people display or inform you about yourself), better understanding of other people, inclusiveness of demographic groups, and lastly, increased listening skills. Social stimulation is more vital than one may realize and studies adhere to this belief.
Interpersonal communication also allows us to develop empathy. More times than not, it is very easy to forget about the will of others and how people feel. Empathy allows us to relate and understand exactly what another person is feeling. By allowing ourselves to become subject to other peoples worlds and experiences, we are embracing their perspective, and allowing ourselves to personally grow through vulnerability. Empathy may pose as a blessing and a curse to some who may feel as if understanding other people embeds too deeply into our own well-being.
There are more benefits to opening ourselves up to others as opposed to being reserved and closed off. Stepping outside of our comfort zones helps render a deeper understanding of other groups or specific individuals. Interpersonal interactions facilitate personal growth through revelations revealed through others. It also serves us well by allowing different people of various backgrounds to come together and produce a deeper understanding for their fellow man (or woman). Empathy is the path to the heart. I will leave you with this, as a dear, old friend once told me, “I bow to the divine in you. Thanks for letting me share myself with you.”
Featured image courtesy of Dedrion Weweh.