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Closeness- the most important psychological need shaped in relationships

Closeness is shaped by family relationships

Closeness is a basic human need which is realized in the relationships with others. Patterns of closeness are shaped in every experience in relationships. In a family where there are good, healthy, close relationships, a child derives benefits from the solid base he/she needs for their development. If mother and father are bound together by a strong relationship and they show one another love and support, they are in turn able to give their children sufficient care and attention. This will enable the child to form their own healthy bonds and rewarding relationships with others.

Closeness in child-mother relationship

The most important element is the first relationship between a child and his or her mother. This relationship is a kind of model, a base from which attitudes to others originate. Without a sensitive, present, close caregiver, responding to all of the physical and emotional needs of a child, this child will not survive or will be severely affected emotionally. This happens when there is a severe emotional neglect in the mother-child relationship. Furthermore, relationships with loved ones, friends and distant family members are all shaped by the original attachment style of a child as experienced with their mother.

Closeness in relationship with a father

The relationship with a father also has a vital importance for the development of bonding patterns. A child from the earliest days of his or her life is able to establish relationship not only with a mother, but with a ??father. A particularly important element of a child's relationship with a father is an experience of different type of bond that a relationship with a mother cannot bring. This creates diversity in a child's world and gives him or her a choice. For example, when a child comes into a conflict with her or his ??mother, they have the option of turning to their father. When he or she needs a hug and emotional support, they can turn to their mother. This means that a child is not trapped emotionally in a relationship only with one parent. At a later stage, these dynamics will enable a person to create deep and lasting relationships with others.

Injuries in first relationships

Any injury in the first close relationships may result in avoidance of closeness or the creation of relationships based on toxic patterns, fear of intimacy, dependency on another person or continuously distancing oneself, when the natural process of intimacy development in a couple reaches unbearable stage for a person who does not trust in it. It is sad when a person cuts themselves off from the satisfaction, safety and developmentally healthy benefits which closeness can offer.

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You need not, in fact cannot, teach an acorn to grow into an oak tree, but when given a chance, its intrinsic potentialities will develop. Similarly, the human individual, given a chance, tends to develop his particular human potentialities.

Karen Horney

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