If you are an ambitious person by nature, you will most probably realize at some point that your relationships, just like your life, need to be managed effectively in order to get the most out of them. Unfortunately most people fail to invest in this area and most commonly end up experiencing feelings of dissatisfaction and regret.
These feelings usually originate from our attempt to view the world from a more utopian angle, hoping that things will work out alone. Sadly, once we realize that we have barely evolved from our primitive ancestors, only then do we start to pay more attention to the importance of management.
In my attempt to get into the nuts and bolts of how to do it effectively, I decided to divide the people who surround us into three main categories; the party people, the partners, and the followers.
Although you should take my advice here with a grain of salt, this categorization wasn’t a result of some momentary epiphany. It is mainly a result of years of social interactions and experiments and is also influenced by the opinions of well-known and respected psychologists and philosophers.
The purpose of this categorization is not to create stereotypes and discrimination among your relationships, but rather to give you a better understanding of behavioral dynamics and how you should use them to get the most out of your relationships.
1. The Party People
These are people in your environment who can be great assets when it comes to social gatherings. They are usually extroverted by nature and can easily adapt to dynamic and high-energy environments. If you are an introverted character, those people can help you discover your extroverted edge and also help you create new acquaintances. If you are an extroverted character, these people can supplement you in a great way and also boost your social value even more.
The caveat when it comes to party people is that their management requires extra attention when you want to keep them around you for a long time. They are usually people who seek validation and will most probably demand from you to reach their energy levels in order to get along with them.
There are usually three ways to successfully manage them:
- Give them validation in small amounts so they can keep coming back for it.
- Don’t stay too close to them and avoid speaking about personal matters that have no relation to the party environment.
- If you feel comfortable with meeting new people, introduce them to each other and also use a churn-approach when the fun you used to have with them is being jeopardized.
2. The Partners
These are people who you can build a strong emotional connection with. This connection usually comes from sharing common beliefs, values and ideas. They can become great romantic partners, business partners or intellectual partners and you can experience mutual benefit when it comes to emotional and intellectual activities.
The success of your relationship is founded upon the ideas of respect, loyalty, and understanding. If these ideas are not present, a partnership can never flourish and grow. Both you and them need to be constantly aware their presence and actively communicate it through your words and actions.
It is also crucial to understand that if your relationship with them branches out to the other two categories, you are flirting with the idea of imbalance. Partying with them, although it is an option, could lead to you questioning your relationship with them.
3. The Followers
These are people who admire you a lot and believe that they can be positively influenced by your presence. Although we have the bad habit of associating the word “follower” with something negative, we need to realize that we all are or were followers at some point in our lives. So the idea of a follower is great if you are conscious about the help you can provide.
From your perspective, a follower is a person that respects you a lot and looks up to you, thus helping you boost your confidence and increase your value as a person. From his perspective, the interaction with you can help him solve some personal problems and also put him in the right track for further growth.
Followers can become partners at some point, depending on how well you can evaluate your relationship with them, but in order for this to be accomplished both of you need to become aware of it and move from a follower-leader to a leader-leader approach in your relationship.
Although the three categories are open to further analysis, in a more surface level, they are the only categorization you need.
It is always up to you how and why you will decide to manage your relationships, but in the end of the day the famous African proverb makes a bit more sense:
“If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go with others.”