Relationships are very complicated societal institutions, which ensure that human interaction in the community is continual and progressive. There are positive and negative relationships in the society from family level interaction to friends, relatives and other members of the society. Interpersonal relationships are very important in maintaining community identity and are always a symbol of togetherness. Nevertheless, in every relationship, conflict is bound to arise. Even so, the major issue is dealing with these conflicts whenever they arise such as conflict resolution based on win-win, win-lose, or lose-lose situation. As a member of the society, I live amongst other people with whom we share different societal values. I have different relationships with different members of the society. In his paper, I will provide an analysis of my interpersonal relationship with Jeff, my childhood friend, who has always been there for me in good and bad times. In this analysis, I will apply the conflict theoretical perspective to define different moments in or relationship.
My friend and I have been very good friends since our tender ages and have remained dear to each other. Jeff and I have lived in the same neighborhood since our parents moved in from different destinations to work in a local firm. His father worked in the same department with my father in the company, and his mother was a regular customer at my mum’s store. The bond between our parents even helped strengthen our relationship. His father was a senior officer in the department. However, his mother, Mrs. Lessing, works in a distant company, but she returns home every evening so exhausted that we never get time to chat with her. Living in the same neighborhood, we attended the same school, attended the same church, and played soccer on the same team. We spent our free time together, and did our assignments together after school. We used to go to the swimming pool over the weekends and have fun every Sunday at the family fun club.
Competition is one of the aspects of a relationship that helped us grow academically and socially. As small kids, we used to compete in class and all other aspects of our life. We played on the same team and always competed on whom among us was the best player on the team. We used to compete in the play station and we could play the whole night. Nevertheless, despite our competition, we always remained supportive to each other in the time of need and helped out when another person was in need. Jeff’s parents were well off than my family was. Therefore, I always knew that they were above us in the social ladder. I avoided social competition because I was sure he would always win. On the other hand, Jeff always kept his cool, and instead of showing off to me, he usually assisted me with the things that my family could not buy for me. While we were home in the evening with our families separately, he used to call me on the phone and we talked till my parents would come to shut me up to sleep for the next day.
Support is an attribute that we embraced in school as well as other aspects of our lives. While at school, Jeff and I were very fond of each other. His weakness was English language since he grew up in France before shifting to the new neighborhood. I helped him very much with developing his English skills outside class hours. Our school also used the English only programs, which were challenging to Jeff in the first instances, but he later adapted to the system. Jeff was, however, very good at mathematics. He assisted me to develop my mathematics knowledge and ensured that I always came second after him in the class because I was also sure I could not beat him in math. The most interesting part is that by the time we graduated from school, he was first in English, and I was first in mathematics. Before graduating from high school, the worst happened; we fell out because Jeff suspected that I was telling on him. This happened after his parents realized that he was into drugs. I had never known about it because Jeff was very sure I would not support the idea. After several confrontations, I pleaded with him and made him understand that drugs were wring thing at that stage. I helped him identify a counselor, who helped him transform his bad behavior, which had made him lose the trust of his family. His father was very impressed that I changed his son and promised to pay for my first year’s college fee. Conflict resolution at this stage was never easy in the first instance. However, with the constant advice from the counselor, I managed to remain calm and ensure that, even at the time when he opted out of our relationship, I insisted that we are the best of friends. The counselor taught how to deal with teenage addiction and how to respond to different challenging situations that might threaten interpersonal interaction.
Nevertheless, every person has an opinion, which might be inconsistent with another’s opinion. Even best friends sometimes have different intentions and interests, which may lead to different values. Jeff had always wanted to study tourism in the sub-Saharan countries, where he could see the animals and nature as he learned in class with direct experience. After high school, he decided to move to Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya to study tourism. I was very happy when he received he received the letter from the United States International University (USIU), Kenya to study tourism. I was confused because I could not imagine life alone in the neighborhood, at school, and in the church without him around. I thought about convincing him to stay behind and disregard the offer and study in the United States. However, he was so convinced of going that he could not rethink the idea. The worst day of my life with Jeff was seeing him off at the airport. I consoled myself that at some day we would have to part ways, even if it would take long, but this was happening so soon.
Interpersonal communication in the world today has become very easy within wide geographical destinations. Technology has been the best thing that has kept our relationship in check. We communicate most of the time when we are free from class and other chores. After coming from his trips, Jeff usually sends me pictures of animals and landscape captured in the wilderness. We rarely make video calls due to the time differences. Most of the time when I am free, he is sleeping in the night. I also sleep when he is free in the day back in Kenya because of the time zones. I have since made friends after Jeff left, but none of my friends will ever match his company. I once visited him in Kenya in a trip his father sponsored and enjoyed the tranquility of the environment. If I would have the opportunity, I would relocate to Kenya to enjoy the homeland of the Kenya’s Hollywood sensation, Lupita Nyong’o.
The barriers to effective communication often affect people in different situations. Jeff and I had problems communicating when we first met. His low English language and my low sign language was a major challenge. Initially, Jeff could not make comprehensive statements in English and I could not understand the sign language that he used to show me things I did not understand. At times, we could be sitting by each other saying nothing, just smiling. Additionally, geographical differences such as time zones have also posed some challenges since the time when I am free for a chat; he is probably sleeping late in the night. technological barriers to effective communication also affects us. For instance, in some areas where Jeff goes to camp, mobile network is unavailable or too low to support communication therefore, sometimes we might go for about two to three weeks without communicating.