The Key to Creating Meaningful Relationships

The kind of relationships you have greatly affects the quality of your life. It is important to your sense of well-being to know how to create and sustain meaningful relationships. Wherever you find yourself, you have an opportunity to strengthen relationships and your sense of engagement with daily life. These relationships may be at work or in your personal life.

Relationships require two kinds of energy:

• Material (food, housing, physical care and money)
• Psychic (investing attention in each other’s goals)

Almost everyone understands the need and value of material energy. Men, in particular, are often very good at providing material energy at home. The problem is misunderstanding that this energy alone does not ensure lasting relationships. In previous generations, material energy was often all that was needed to assure relationships would last. Now, that is no longer true at work or home.

Psychic energy has become the key to creating and sustaining a relationship. Examples of psychic energy are sharing activities, ideas, emotions, dreams and memories. You choose whether or not to put psychic energy into your relationships. What does this actually mean you need to do?

This means that the integrity of a relationship is a matter of attention and choice. The major source of psychic energy is flow or engagement. This is a state of being that is characterized by:

• Focusing your attention which is highly motivating
• Using your strengths which results in feelings of happiness or heightened satisfaction.

Once you have psychic energy (either from focused attention or using your strengths), you need to learn how to use it well to enhance relationships. This means investing attention in the other person’s goals by taking time to listen and share activities, ideas, emotions, memories and dreams. This requires an investment of time, thought and energy on your part. To keep a healthy relationship, you have to understand:

• What his/her goals are
• What makes him/her proud
• What motivates him/her
• How to support or participate in activities that are important to him/her
• How to let him/her know they are appreciated

To understand how important psychic energy is, remember when someone took the time to give psychic energy to your relationship. What was that like for you? When you give someone increased attention and concentration, it helps you determine:

• What are his/her goals?
• What is he/she interested in now?
• What is he/she involved in or doing?
• How is it going?
• What is he/she trying to accomplish or has accomplished?
• How can you participate or support him/her?

Knowing the answers to the above questions decreases stress and builds strong feelings of connection and harmony in your personal life. In your work setting, it also can build trust. Trusted leaders help others reach their goals as well as their own.

How often do you make the time to do this in your personal life and with others at work? Many times, we can help ourselves best and experience flow by helping others reach their goals. If you want to enrich a relationship and strengthen your role as a leader, try investing psychic energy (thoughtful attention and support). Notice the difference in a week.