Interpersonal Relationships

Interpersonal relationships are critical to your success in college and throughout life. How many different relationships do you have with people? What do you offer to each of these relationships? What does each of these relationships offer you? Learning to listen, to communicate and to develop relationships is the foundation of the human experience.

" Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as real strength."

Ralph W. Sockman

Looking Back:
A Self-Reflection

What scripts do you use for the following people? Friend? Parent? Teacher? Law Enforcement Agent? Grandparent?

Check out our worksheet.

Quiz Ideas

  • All relationships exist on a spectrum or range from healthy to abusive. Where does your fall? Take this quiz to find out.
  • Do you often find yourself misunderstanding others? Do you have difficulty getting your point across clearly? Find out how your interpersonal skills rate by taking this test.

Moving Ahead:
The Challenge

When was the last time someone got angry at you for saying you were sorry?

Check out our worksheet.


  • Interpersonal Relationships -WHAT IS A FRIEND?
    • Dennis Webster, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Director, University Life, Multicultural Research and Resource Center
    • Ric Chollar, L.C.S.W., Assistant Director, Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students
    • Rebecca Walter, M.A., Diversity Trainer & Curriculum Development, Multicultural Research and Resource Center
    • Lisa Snyder, M.A., Assistant Director for Family Programs and Services, Office of Orientation and Family Programs and Services

Campus Resources

  • Counseling and Psychological Services
    CAPS provides a wide range of free services to students, which are provided by a staff of professional clinical psychologists, social workers, counselors, learning specialists, and psychiatric providers. They offer individual counseling, group counseling, workshops, and outreach programs, as well as other resources.
  • Wellness, Alcohol, and Violence Education and Services
    WAVES helps students make healthy, safe choices and encourage lifelong, thoughtful healthy decision-making through individualized support, creative, programming, and evidence-based education and outreach. They help students feel empowered and have the capacity to grow to their full potential and reach optimal wellness and well-being. WAVES offers information on alcohol including staying sober, sober rides, safer drinking, talking to others about their alcohol use and more.
  • Center for Psychological Services
    CPS offers individual, family, and couples therapy, group therapy, assessment, consultation, and mental health evaluations. They use evidence-based clinical training in assessment, consultation and intervention, and provide accessible, affordable, culturally sensitive, and state-of-the-art services to the community.
  • Peer Empowerment Program
    PEP provides peer support to Mason’s students through drop-in support, educational programming, supportive services, and workshops. The staff consists of a diverse group of students who work collaboratively with other offices on campus to provide service to the Mason community.
  • Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Multicultural Education
    ODIME engages the Mason community in awareness and exploration of the diversity of the campus community, identity development, and global and cultural competencies. They offer services, resources, and experiences that assist students in recognizing, cultivating, and actualizing their potential to thrive and succeed and interact with people with different identities than their own and co-create an inclusive and welcoming campus environment.
  • Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center
    FAFC is a full service recreation center that offers recreational, fitness and wellness activities for all ages. They are the home of Mason's The EDGE. The EDGE offers team building, hands on experiential learning, and organizational development. FAFC is located at the Science and Technology Campus.
  • Center for the Advancement of Well-Being
    CWB catalyzes human well-being by promoting the science and practices that lead to a life of vitality, purpose, and resilience. As an interdisciplinary teaching and research center at George Mason University, the center is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations thrive in a world of complexity and uncertainty. They offer free weekly well-being practices for the Mason community, various well-being events and programs, and more.

Additional Resources

  • Northern Virginia Family Service
    Northern Virginia Family Service operates on the principle that families are the foundation of a strong society. The web site offers frequently asked questions, health care, housing services, foster care, life counseling and more.
  • Break the Cycle
    Break the Cycle is a non-profit organization whose mission is to end domestic violence by working proactively with youth and providing preventive education, free legal services, advocacy and support. They also offer statistics, warning signs of abuse, legal options, safety planning, and information on how and where to get help.
  • Psychology Today
    Psychology Today is a website that is all about people and what makes them tick. The site is supported by over 750 psychologists, academics, psychiatrists and authors. They offer a collection of articles about interpersonal relationships, different types of relationships, emotions in relationships, and more.
  • American Psychological Association
    The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA is the world's largest association of psychologists, with nearly 130,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members. They offer a collection of articles about interpersonal relationships, different types of relationships, emotions in relationships, and more.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    SAMHSA is a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) whose mission is to build resilience and facilitate recovery for people with or at risk for substance abuse and mental illness. SAMSHA support is divided into three components, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and the Center for Mental Health Services.
  • National Institutes of Health
    The NIH is the nation’s medical research agency – making important medical discoveries that improve health and save lives. NIH, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for conducing and supporting medical research to improve the health and wellness of all people from children to seniors. They offer information regarding interpersonal relationships.