Types of Relationships

Relationships come in all sizes, shapes, colors and depth. To understand relationship building, it helps to know the various types of these basic interactions. As already mentioned, relationships are tough and the deeper you get the more complex things become. In each case, proactive action is necessary by all the parties involved and, let us not forget, that in all these situations humility, courage and honesty is paramount. Allow me to expand.


You are introduced to others or others are introduced to you or you introduce yourself to another person. You know each other by name and can recognize each other in the near future. There is little or no depth to the relationship, there may be attraction or not, but it is the beginning of an opportunity to move forward. You now know of each other but know little about each other.


You have been introduced to someone else and begin to learn a little bit about each other and there are many ways in which that happens. It could be through direct contact or even hearing about the person through someone or something else. In any event, you recognize the name and connect the information. A good example could be a penpal. You agree to send letters or emails to each other sharing experiences. You can find out what you have or don’t have in common and you begin to become interested. Meeting each other is haphazard and there is no real depth to the relationship. Curiosity suggests you move forward.


Friendship occurs when you would like to get to know more about each other and, just as important, you would like to share information about yourself. This is where humility, courage and honesty becomes important. The parties involved test the waters, so to speak. They are curious about each other, they’re interested, and become inquisitive. However, there is a fine line between being curious and inquisitive and being interfering. The more active you are in the relationship, the deeper the relationship becomes and both continue to get to know each other a little better and they continue to grow with each other. Keep in mind that these two people do not necessarily agree on all matters and they may not be exactly alike. Rather, they compliment each other. One’s strength may be another’s need and vice versa. As time and effort goes on they feel they are a fit and the relationship is beneficial to each other.


Although these are real relationships, the differentiation of these from other relationships is they have the theme of synergistic applications toward a common goal. It is working together to achieve an objective that results in more than just the sum of its parts. Many people naturally assume that classmates, teammates and workmates are friends. That, in fact, could occur but it is not necessarily true or needed. It does require a high degree of humility, courage and honesty and there is an expectation that all work together with the expectation of achieving desired results. The more effort, the more focus, the more understanding of each other’s responsibilities, the better the results.

The next three relationships involve relationship building at the highest and deepest levels. To help us understand them we need to consider some basics. From the day a person is born to the day they die, he/she wants two things: 1) to be loved and 2) to feel important. The complexity of this is that there are many types of love and one’s importance is achieved in many different ways, both good and bad. I do not want to play “amateur psychologist” to determine why people act the way they do. In my first blog we spoke about Life’s three S’s: Structure, Success and Satisfaction. We have all built our own personal houses and have witnessed our own successes and have felt our own glories. It’s not as important that we got there but how we got there and what we’ve become in doing so, these weigh heavily in the relationships we build, both good and bad and in the next blog we will discuss them.

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