I’ve often wondered if we can estimate the value of the many relationships we have through our lives – relationships with family, friends, partners, colleagues, your organization? How do you know if you’re getting into something that is worth your while and energy? How do we estimate the value of relationships?
- How much you give vs how much you get – I think this is basic rule of thumb we follow for all our relationships – reciprocation of what we get. From something as basic as the value of gifts you buy for someone – they gifted you something worth X so I need to give them something worth X too. If we are putting in X amount of work in the organization but getting paid only for X/2 – is it worth it? Similarly in relationships, if you’re going out of you way to do/talk to someone but they aren’t reciprocating in the same way – is it worth it?
- Your own value/self worth – sometimes how you view yourself also determines the value and quality of the relationships you get involved in. As the popular quote goes ‘we accept the love we think we deserve’ – if you have a high self worth – you will keep expecting a lot more from the relationships you’re involved in, similarly if you have a low self worth – you will be happy with the little you keep getting.
- The past/ Sentimental value – In the movie ‘Sex and The City’ – Samantha finds it hard to break up with her boyfriend. Her reasoning – ‘he stayed with me through chemotherapy, I should be able to stay in the relationship with him’. Often the grand gestures done in the past is how we value the relationship in the present. Sometime we determine the value of the relationship from the length of the relationship. We often value our childhood friends more than newer friends based on the length of our association with them and sentimental value of our relationship.
- The value they add to your life – Often we determine the value of a relationship basis the value they add to your life at present. We often outgrow people as we grow and let them go as they no longer add value to our lives. Similarly with jobs that don’t add value to us, don’t help us grow – we end up moving on from them.
- Family first – Often the relationships we have by birth hold the most value – putting family before everything else.
I’m sure you are wondering the point of this blog. I have been having serious thoughts about all the relationships I have – trying to understand the value they add to my life. (Yes, very dark thoughts but I guess adulting does that to you) So often we outgrow people, things, places, organizations and keep holding to them – which is the point at which you should let go? How do you really determine the value of your relationships? Can we even determine the value of relationships?