Other than Adam, there has never been anyone alone in the world for any period of time. In fact, he got bored very fast after he finished naming every living thing on earth and requested for a helper. No one is self sufficient; and those that say they are of course massaging their egos. We all need other people to survive, exist and shape our personalities to who we define ourselves to be. Such is the importance of interpersonal relationships.
It is a proven fact that people who develop effective interpersonal relationships experience more all rounded success than those who do not. This is because they have mastered various skills that are important in developing, maintaining and strengthening interpersonal relationships. Communication skills are at the very heart of every relationship; whether it is with a parent, spouse, friend, the local shop keeper or a tout. What we say and do constitute a huge part of how people relate with us. The verbal complements the non-verbal, hence a first impression. Remember, you never make a first impression first.
Second, relationships are a game of quid pro quo. You give a little and get a little. Therefore, you also need to be a listener. Relationships that flourish usually feature a form of reciprocation of word, thoughts and deeds. This is also the way through which we interpret the interpersonal communication between ourselves and others. Listening is also a way of showing that you care about other people's opinions and also brings your own perspective into sharp focus. You also learn a great deal from listening.
Closely related is the skill of negotiation. Most times, we are guilty of bulldozing our opinions on other people and dismiss them as wrong. The skill of negotiation comes in handy because it ensures that a mutual compromise is agreed upon. Negotiation also shows that you recognize the other person's opinion. Negotiation skills build character and increase respect to the parties involved and is more often than not reciprocated.
However, you also need to be assertive with what you believe. Communicate your values, ideas, beliefs, opinions, and needs clearly and freely. This helps set boundaries and levels expectations for the other parties in the relationship. It also creates a feeling of self, and defines who you are and how people view you. A disclaimer , you can be assertive without being abrasive. This means you do not need to impose your ideals on other people in a way that makes you repulsive.
Finally, you need to have problem solving skills and decision making skills. Problem solving skills entails working with other people to define, identify and sole problems. As they say, a problem shared is a problem half solved. Decision making skills entail exploring the best alternatives and making sound decisions from them. These two skills go hand in hand in most occasions, a problem usually requires a solution, and the solution needs implementation which requires a decision.
This skills are constantly on display, like a movie trailer of who we are. Our every day interactions give a sneak preview of who we are on a constant loop. What is your preview like given the skills?