Many people think they know what relationships are, but do they really?
I find it often that people have any idea of how they should act, what they should do, or even who they should be in a relationship with, but what they don’t do is really understand what a relationship is and how they can go about building or maintaining a successful one.
This usually comes from the media or other influences such as friends or society, but no one really teaches us these things such as how to relate with others and how to have great friendships and relationships. It’s not our fault that we weren’t taught who we should be in a relationship with and how they relationship should in reality. So where do we even start?
The place that would benefit us most today in talking is what specifically is this relationship thing?
Very simply a relationship at its core is nothing more than an alliance where an exchange of value takes place.
This is true for any kind of relationship. A person will choose their friends or lovers based only on the value that the person bring into their lives for that person. If there is no value, there is no relationship. While it is true that we can get value from anyone in life, it is also true that our most limited resource will always be time. In that regard, it only makes sense to spend your time with the people who provide you the most value.
Value is always relative to the person. The value that you can provide to me, to someone else, and to yet someone else is always going to be different.
The most important thing to remember here is that relationships exist to facilitate the exchange of value. If you can provide something to others and they can provide something to you, then there can be a relationship formed here.
The salesman forms a relationship with his client because he can provide the information about his product and facilitate a sale; the client provides the financial capital to complete the sale.
Two friends develop a deep friendship because one understands the other (Kristin talks a ton, but Susan listens). Kristin values being the center of attention and Susan loves the how Kristin makes her feel comfortable and wanted as a friend.
The granddaughter is guilted into seeing her grandmother on Thanksgiving. The granddaughter receives the value in the form of being relieved from the guilt while the grandmother receives the value of maybe being appreciated, getting attention, or just seeing her granddaughter for the first time in ages.
A man dates a women because she is attractive and he enjoys having sex with her, he might even enjoy spending time with her, but she continues the relationship because she likes spending time with him, he is popular and introduces her to new people, and he buys her dinner. It makes no difference the types of value anyone gets from the relationship. We don’t have to judge whether this is bad or good now. The point here is only that both people involved receive value.
These are all examples of value that one can receive from being in a relationship with someone else. Whether it is for friendship, business, or romance, relationships exist so that we can get what we need and want.
The next step is to understand what someone wants and needs. When you can do this, you have a better chance at getting what you want and need from that other person. And when you can do all that, you can relate to the people you are in relationships with.