Everything in life starts and ends with relationships. Imagine trying to build wealth without others. Imagine trying to be happy without others. Imagine trying to learn without others.

Our very existence starting from the womb has relied on our relationships to others. But there are no rule books for relationship building. We grow up learning to read and write hoping our connection skills learned on the playground are good enough to get by.

If your wealth, education, love, and even happiness is contingent on others, imagine what would happen if you upgraded the way built and engaged your relationships? Your life would change right in front of your eyes.

I believe there are 7 principles for building meaningful relationships. I’ve noticed these principles show up no matter what. I believe they are universal rules. They apply no matter what culture you’re in, where in the world you may be, or what time in history it is. They’re fundamental for life, love, and business.

The 7 principles are:

  1. 1. Our external relationships are a reflection of our internal relationship
  2. 2. Focus your mindset on giving unconditionally
  3. 3. Serve others how they want to be served
  4. 4. A relationship must be give and receive (sometimes you say no)
  5. 5. Get on peoples maps…empathize
  6. 6. Always make others feel safe
  7. 7. Honor every behavior because it has an intended positive outcome, no exceptions

      #1: Our external relationships are a reflection of our internal relationship
      Our experience of life on the outside is a reflection of the internal relationship we have with ourself.

      If you operate from scarcity, believe people are out to screw you, and you’re not worthy of receiving, how will your relationships look?

      But if you’re abundant, believe people want to help you, and you’re deserving, what will your relationships look like? Meaningful relationships are a reflection of the way we build relationships with ourselves.

      This is also why I believe in bringing interpersonal work into business strategy. While the givegive methodology is a business methodology for growing sales through relationships with our clients and partners, the success of these relationships are based on our ability to develop a relationship with ourselves. The interpersonal work is as important, if not much more important than the strategy.

      #2: Focus your mindset on giving unconditionally
      Have you ever met someone that you felt an instant connection to? And have you ever met someone you disliked right away? What lets you know to like someone and what lets you know to dislike someone?

      Every relationship happens in three layers. The first layer is what can be observed on the outside. The second is what is happening in the conscious minds of both people. And third is what is happening in the subconscious minds of both people. It’s in this mind where the subconscious is scanning 2 millions items of information every second for anything that lets them know its unsafe.

      When we focus on giving unconditionally, we unconsciously align our body movements, posture, tone of voice, and the words we use with the best interests of the other person.

      #3: Serve others how they want to be served
      This is an upgrade from the golden rule- “do unto others as you want done unto you”. Instead, it should read, “do unto others as they want done unto them.” While serving others the way we want to be served in theory makes sense, it assumes that others experience what we want in the same way we do. This is in fact not true.

      In order to build the life meaningful relationships, you have to commit to identifying what others want, and serve them how they want to be served.

      #4: A relationship must be give and receive
      Sometimes its really easy to focus on giving unconditionally and serving others the way they want to be served. But it can be really hard to receive.

      A relationship is a two way street. With only one person giving and not receiving, it’s not a relationship. When we deny the ability for the other person to give, we deny them principle 2 and 3. Therefore, we have an obligation to receive just as much as we have an obligation to give.

      #5: Get on peoples maps (empathize)
      It’s easy to assume we understand what others mean when the use the same words that we do. But what their words mean might be completely different that what those same words mean to you.

      For example, if someone said, “I’m going to make $150,000 this year.” You might interpret that as being a lot of money, but they may be worrying about how they’re going to pay their bills.

      Each person has their own map for how they experience the world and until you can empathize with others from their viewpoint, you are not truly building a relationship (the root word “relate” being a key point).

      We don’t know until we focus on learning how the other person experiences the world. This is their map. When you can learn how the other person sees the world through their beliefs about it, you can start to connect in a whole new way.

      Everything in life starts and ends with relationships.

      #6: Always make others feel safe
      So many interactions are unsafe for others. Without safety, the other person can never truly open up and be vulnerable. Imagine trying to hang out with someone that’s afraid they’re in danger. Will they be focused on connecting? Will they present? Will they talk about things that are meaningful? Of course not, they’ll be focused on not dying.

      As silly as this might sound, when we feel unsafe, we remain it fight or flight until it the perceived danger is gone. Just like keeping the engine of the car running permanently incase you need to drive away in a hot second. It’s our jobs to focus on ensuring others feel safe, so we can bring them into a place where they will open up and share the most meaningful parts of them. This is where real bonds are formed.

      #7: Honor all behavior because it always has an intended positive outcome, no exceptions
      This is perhaps the hardest principle to accept but is also the most important. Every single behavior, from the most joyful to the most horrendous, has an intended positive outcome.

      There are two main drivers of behavior- pain and pleasure. We humans always make the best available choice at any given time between these two choices. Often, the choices are both painful so we will always take the less painful choice.

      For example, why did so many men run out into walls of machine gun fire during D-day in WWII? Because while that was an extremely painful option, not running out and letting down their country or potentially being shot by their commander in the boat was far more painful. While this principle doesn’t excuse hurtful behavior, it allows for you to empathize with others. If they had a better more pleasurable option, they would be making it. But when people do things that are not seen favorably, just remember it’s the best available option to them. If they had a better one, they would have taken it.

      This is by far the hardest principle to accept but it’s one that is also the most empowering one of them all. If you can own this and allow it to guide your interactions, you can free yourself from outcomes due to the behavior of others.


      Keep these principles top of mind as you interact with others. Your success relies on relationships with your clients, partners, associates, and community. The more you can build and strengthen these relationships, the more abundance you will create both in dollars to your business but also in your experience of life.

      reblogged from thegivegive.com

      by Jeff Riddle