Problems in Relationships?
Problems in Relationships?
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2006.03.02 00:00
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  Nowadays people lack conversation in their relationships due to their busy lifestyles. However, the importance of human relationships has grown bigger than ever. As many self-help books attest, managing one's relationships well is one of the keys to success. What are some of the choices we must make in a relationship? Who to become friends with, what to do together, and how to establish friendship are common but difficult choices in every relationship.
  Who to choose depends on the person who is choosing, as each person has their own ideal type of friend in mind. Kwon Young-june (Ajou University, 3) says, "My common interest is important in starting a new relationship. Having the same hobby naturally links people together, and becomes a source of a conversation." Also, Kim Geun-young (International Studies, 2) says, "I think honesty decides whether someone is my true friend or not. If the relationship lacks honesty, the relationship gains no depth." Some others stress external aspects of their friends. Lee Byong-linne (Molecular and Life Sciences, 2) says, "First impressions influence my decisions about who to choose as friends. Not that I judge a person by appearance, but I think someone's attitude such as the person's way of talking or way of walking reflects who the person is."
  Deciding what to do together may seem easy, given the similarity in most people's choices. According to a survey conducted by a headhunting company Ains Partner, 73 percent of male workers answered that they keep up their relationship by smoking and drinking together. Meanwhile, 38.4 percent of women said their most common shared activity was eating, followed by 32.7 percent who said they kept friendships through instant messenger chats or mini homepages. "While eating, people are off guard and become more open, so it is easier to become friends," says Hong Hae-ddem (Social Studies Education, 2). Despite these common activities, it is still difficult in deciding what to do. Lee says, "When choosing something to do together, it is hard to find a refreshing and healthy pastime. After agonizing over where to go, I always end up going to a karaoke or a bar." However, says Lee, some new ideas such as visiting a book cafe or a museum might add some diversion to a monotonous relationship if you and your friends are searching for new things to do.
  Above all, the most troubling choice to make in a relationship may be how to establish the friendship. Kang Soon-hwa, head researcher of the Ewha Counseling Center, gives a guideline of how to approach a new relationship. First of all, Kang says, before being critical of another person, have an open mind and decide whether you want to start a relationship or not. After opening up your mind, step closer to that person. Don't wait until the other person approaches you, because then it may be too late. Also, when starting a new relationship, the best way to communicate effectively is first be a good listener. While the speaker speaks, you have to catch three key elements: content, emotional feeling, and body language. If any one of these is missing, you cannot be a good listener. Only after you note all three, you can give an appropriate feedback. For instance, when one confesses her worries, giving a solution with a bright smile on your face might offend that person, because you only caught the content and didn't consider her emotional feeling. In this case, responding with a caring face and sympathizing with her worries might be appropriate. This kind of procedure makes real heart to heart communication and helps promote a friendly relationship.
  Finally, Kang notes a change in people's habits of forming relationships over time. In the beginning, relationships form naturally, but they become fewer as people get older. Therefore, what Kang lastly advises is to broaden your views and make as many friends as you can while you are still young and open to new friendships.

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