Was thinking about which of my relationships are the strongest, most meaningful relationships. There’s clearly many ways to look at this - family, long term friendships, been thru the wars together…
I had an interesting conversation the other day which forced me to verbalize one way of thinking about relationships (thank you Julia!). I find my relationships that are multi-mode are the strongest, most meaningful relationships.
To me that means relationships that are not based solely on one mode - colleague at work, watching our kids play sports together, active and interested in a non-profit, love of food/cooking. It’s pretty obvious at one level but as I’ve been thinking about how and why certain relationships have really been crucial to who I am and what I’ve done in my life, this tends to be the driver. Sure I’m close with good friends from college - really good friends with a few - but the people I’m most influenced by, trust the most have been involved in my life more than socially. They’ve either helped me think about a challenge in my work life, shared frustrations/joys about married life and children, or any myriad of other experiences.
A few other questions emerged for me. Is there a minimum number of modes before someone is truly trusted? Why do multi-mode relationships correlate so strongly to my most trusted relationships? Is multi-mode the cause or the effect?
For me, there tends to be a few simple answers. If i have more than 4 or 5 modes of a relationship with someone, it tends to be really strong and I don’t tend to have so many modes of relationships with casual relationships. I think they correlate because of the trust I build in someone I’ve interacted with and seen in several different situations - it tends to reveal the underlying person to me. I can be fooled in single mode relationships - not multi-mode.
I have NO clue about the cause. I believe the multi-mode relationship is not causal but an amazingly good indicator and pretty actionable. I tend to break modes of a relationship if I am not building trust. I also think I can strengthen relationships not just by frequent contact but by adding modalities to that relationship.