Relationship and the Society (I)


A relationship can be described as the behaviour or feelings toward somebody else. It could also be seen as the connection between two or more people, or groups and their involvement with one another, especially as regards the way they behave toward and feel about one another. A relationship is based upon how we speak to one another, treat one another, and envision one another.

  • Family

Family is a basic social group united through bonds of kinship or marriage, present in all societies. Ideally, the family provides its members with protection, companionship, security, and socialization. The structure of the family and the needs that the family fulfils vary from society to society. The nuclear family, adults (father and mother) and their children is the main unit in some societies. In others, it is a subordinate part of an extended family, which also consists of grandparents and other relatives.

The only function of the family that continues to survive all changes is the provision of affection and emotional support by and to all its members, particularly infants and young children. Specialised institutions now perform many of the other functions that were once performed by the agrarian family: economic production, education, religion, and recreation. Jobs are usually separate from the family group; family members often work in different occupations and in locations away from the home. Education is provided by the state or by private groups. Religious training and recreational activities are available outside the home, although both still have a place in family life.

Different members of the family have different roles and responsibilities expected of them. For example, parents provide food, shelter, clothing, and money, a safe and happy home environment for the children. Nurturing and raising the children, making important decisions, and teaching the children morals and values.

Children have responsibilities in the family too. For example, children need to work hard and do well in school so that they can help the family later in life. Obedience and respect for parents, assisting with household chores, helping to take care of siblings and other family members. Children should discuss issues with parents respectfully. This manifests in you talking to your parents soon after you have a problem, when they are alone and not busy doing something else, being clear that you know they want the best for you, but that you think there is another way of getting it, talking calmly and clearly, listening carefully to their reasons and considering them before responding. If you do all these things for your parents, you can expect the same from them.

Families owe each other a lot. Every member of a family should try their hardest to understand, listen to, respect, help and above all, love each other in order to keep the house happy and peaceful. The key to getting along with your family is communication. However, the trick is, you cannot only talk to them when there is a problem. The better you communicate with your family when there are no problems, the less likely it is that you will have problems.

The family is still responsible for the socialisation of children. However, the influence of peers and of the mass media has assumed a larger role.

  • Love

It is obvious that you hear about “love” all the time. You definitely know about some kinds of love such as love for your parents, love for your brothers and sisters, and love for your friends. You also know that we can love many different people and that loving one person does not mean that you love anyone else any less.

Nevertheless, you may have also heard of another kind of love, such as the love that people in a romantic relationship may feel for each other. In this article, we are going to be focusing on that kind of love, as well as the other kinds of love in the world. Sometimes we confuse love with other emotions such as possessiveness, or jealousy. You need to know how to distinguish these emotions from love, which means having deep and warm feelings about oneself and others. Love involves happiness and responsibilities.

The way we love our parents, brothers and sisters is different from what we feel for our friends, spouses and other people. Love could be self-love which is love for oneself; friendship love which is love for friends; filial love which is love for parents and relations; romantic love which is love expressed by spouses and date partners. Complete love involves commitment, intimacy and passion. Infatuation love is love at first sight, which can be very passionate but dies quickly.

There are other feelings that look like love but do not fall into any of the categories mentioned. Feelings like possessiveness, jealousy, and a need to control. It is important to differentiate positive types of love from the negative. Positive love involves commitment, trust, honesty, tolerance, respect, forgiveness, acceptance, care, companionship, understanding, responsibility, reliability, and confidence.

It is not easy to find all these qualities in one relationship, but you try as much as possible to express positive behaviours that enhance loving relationships. These include mutual respect, good communication, thoughtfulness, sharing, making plans together working towards mutual goals, tolerance, remembering important dates e.g. birthdays.

Compassion and love are strongly connected, but they are not the same thing. However, all the behaviours that show love also show compassion. To be compassionate is to sympathize with someone in trouble. People who volunteer for social services and those that care for people who need extra help are said to be compassionate.

Compassion is bigger than love! A compassionate person cares about the people around them, whether they know them personally or not. So you can show love for all your family and friends, and compassion for everyone else. If everyone shows compassion all the time, the world would be a lot easier to live in. Things you can do to show compassion include, going out of your way to being nice to a school mate you see having a bad day, helping your little sisters and brothers with their schoolwork or their household chores.

  • Friendship

Human beings are said to be social animals. People need to have other people around them most of the time. For some people, it is their family, and for some, their friends.

Some people make friends easily, while others find it difficult to make friends. Most people make friends based on common interests. It could be that they are classmates or schoolmates. It could also be that they like each other’s mannerism or carriage, or they are working towards the same profession. However, sometimes friendships can be based on other hidden factors. You can tell a lot about a person by who they choose to be friends with.

Friendship is a relationship with someone you like and trust. You can find friends in many places, like schools, peer groups, neighbourhoods, religious gatherings, workplaces or playgrounds. Friendship is important because, it teaches young people basic social skills, helps build self-confidence, provides companionship, and involves sharing and caring.

It is important to make sure you have good friends because there are good and bad friendships. Characteristics of a bad friendship include gossiping, telling your secrets, bullying, dishonesty, selfishness, suspicion, and disrespect.

Similarly, characteristics of a good friendship include, forgiving each other, trusting your friend, being honest with each other, shared interests and ideas, support during good and bad times, listening to each other, respecting each other’s decisions, affection, respect for your classmates.

When you notice signs like backbiting, trying to make you do things you do not want to do, ignoring your opinions, you have to be careful, because that is a bad friendship.  However, sometimes bad relationships can be improved upon by being assertive about what is disturbing you, sharing goals and aspirations, visiting each other’s families and other friends, listening to each other, solving assignments together, giving support in times of trouble, and giving positive comments about each other.

Everyone has to learn how to tell who will be a good friend and who will not, but there are skills for making friends. These include being a good friend yourself, like being trustworthy, which means keeping secrets and confidences, or by being understanding and supportive even when your friends make mistakes. It is always good to be friends with people who treat you the way you treat them. That means, to find a friend you have to be a friend.

Uchechi Ojo
Uchechi Ojo, is a Lagos-born and based writer, newscaster and voice-over artist. A versatile and committed journalist with the yearning to make a difference in the industry. She writes balanced, informative and interesting stories. Uchechi has the ability to interact and listen with rapt attention, excellent time management and great communication skills while paying attention to detail. She is very approachable and a good team player. Instagram | LinkedIn
Mike Ojo

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