The Value of Relationships!

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
                                                    Volume 17, Number 1

The holidays are over. We hope that 2023 brings you all that you wish for. This e-Letter marks our seventeenth year of providing helpful information to better your lives.

This month’s letter is about the value of relationships. Many of the clients that are seen in our office have some level of difficulty in their relationships. Be it child to parent, parent to child, friend to friend, spouse/partner to spouse/partner, or employee to boss, relationships can be very enjoyable and necessary.

Relationships can also create a lot of stress, frustration, depression, and medical problems. Social media and texting have changed the ways we communicate and relate to each other. It is common to see entire families on separate mobile devices at a restaurant rather than talking or being with each other. They may be digitally communicating with others but is that relating? Do they even know who they are communicating with?

Our January e-Letter is entitled The Value of Relationships! Dr. Kimmel’s blog is about taking an Air boat tour and can be found here.

We hope you find the enclosed information helpful and interesting. We also thank you for reading our e-Letters and for the positive and compassionate comments we have received.

The Value of Relationships!

                                                   (Photo by Fauxels)

Having good, meaningful relationships is critical to good mental health and the enjoyment of life. In 1938, psychologist Henry Murray identified the need for affiliation as a fundamental motivation of people. Having a strong bond with others makes a person feel as if they are a part of something important.

Abraham Maslow, another psychologist, in 1943 developed a hierarchy of needs among which Loving and Belonging immediately follows Physiological and Safety needs. He theorized that humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups whether it be family, co-workers, or teams. He believed that people need to love and be loved to avoid loneliness, depression, and anxiety.

Relationships are not only necessary but critical to good mental and physical health. While people accumulate possessions and status, what really matters is good health and feeling loved and wanted by people who care about you.

Having meaningful relationships allows a person to feel important, to feel connected, to be able to share, to get other viewpoints, and to help and be helped. Healthy relationships allow people to feel that they are not facing the world alone and that someone truly cares for them.

Relationships also allow us to learn who we are through feedback from others. In times of stress, knowing that you are not going through it alone can be extremely helpful in navigating those difficult times.

Yes, it seems that people do need other people to live a full and healthy life. Those who have unhealthy relationships or who isolate face the challenges of decreased health, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. They may feel unimportant, unwanted, and uncared for. They may tend to neglect their hygiene and their health needs. They may even question why they are living.

Relationships can vary from being acquaintances to being fairly intense. Good healthy relationships involve mutual trust, respect, the ability to communicate, and most importantly, the ability to forgive. Like plants taking root and growing, relationships need to be worked on and nurtured. They cannot be taken for granted or they will end. Relationships involve hard work and honesty, but the payoff can be huge.

Since we now live in the digital age and have social media, it remains to be seen how relationships evolve. Will people now relate better to their mobile devices than to others? Will relationships now become more superficial as the art of conversation seems to be dwindling? Will the quality of relationships change from having a few close friends to many, many followers? Time will tell.

We offer the following information:
                                        THE VALUE OF RELATIONSHIPS!
                      No man is an island, entire of itself…John Donne


  • Relationships allow us to identify who we are and who we want to become through feedback from others
  • Having a strong network of friends is a buffer against both physical and mental illness
  • Relationships vary from being casual to being very deep and intimate
  • Research has shown that people with strong social relationships are happier, healthier, and live longer
  • Low social support is associated with a variety of health problems including depression, high blood pressure, and lowered immune system
  • People have a basic need for affiliation; having relationships allows one to feel important, loved, respected, and connected
  • In times of difficulty or distress, relationships allow one to feel that they are not going through it alone and that they are cared for by others
  • Relationships also allow one to have impact on others and be remembered by them; there can be great joy in giving to and helping others
  • Conflicts occur naturally in relationships; it takes good communication to resolve problems and build stronger bonds
  • Unhealthy relationships can lead to codependency, being controlled, being abused, feeling humiliated, and being victimized
  • Healthy relationships require mutual trust and respect, the ability to admit that one is wrong, the ability to apologize, and the ability to forgive
  • While social media has allowed people to have instant and diverse relationships, there is a downside of depression when unfriended, not responded to, or rejected
  • Social media also allows for the opportunity to have false, enmeshed, and addictive relationships
  • While relationships have a great opportunity to enrich one’s life, show caution about false and fake online connections


  • Set and maintain your boundaries in order to be respected by others
  • In building and maintaining friendships, communication without hurt is necessary so that conflicts and disagreements can be resolved
  • Show respect for each other by allowing the other to talk; recognize that what they are saying is important and has value to them
  • Having the will to compromise is more important than the need to be right
  • Admit your mistakes and apologize for them
  • Do not intentionally be hurtful when angry; you will regret it later
  • Offer encouragement and try to make your friend or partner a better person
  • Respect the privacy of another and do not show distrust by snooping on them
  • You do not have to win every disagreement because if you always win, your partner always loses and then you both ultimately lose
  • Seek professional help if you think you are unable to have meaningful relationships

Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at [email protected]

        Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
        5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
        Coral Springs FL 33067

As always, we are interested in your thoughts. If you would like to respond to this e-Letter, email your comments to [email protected] and we will publish them next month.

Till February 2023…

The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

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Copyright © 2023 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.