What do I call friendship – my transactional or my transformational relationships?

Commentary by José Parés Pérez, Concepción, Chile.

We are permanently in contact with many people, since a not insignificant part of our activities involves a relationship with one or more people. Whatever the objective of the activity we carry out, the relationship that we create with the people who participate in it, depends on the objective and the frequency with which we communicate with them. Generally we interact with a large number of people whom we do not meet again after our initial contact. On the other hand, another high percentage of our contacts with people represents what we normally call transactional relationships; that is, the reason for our meeting is to carry out a transaction or exchange of some kind. Both parties, by common accord, decide to deliver and receive what has been exchanged. Conventionally in these cases, the completion of an activity that has been carried out satisfactorily implies no more than probity and good faith by both parties.

There are generally no consequences for the lives of those who associate in order to participate in this way beyond the business transacted, even in those cases where such activities take place very frequently. The level of mutual trust may increase between the parties but the same rules continue to apply to the business transacted.

Something very different happens in transformative relationships.

Instead of delivering and receiving, we give and accept. What is exchanged in this kind of relationship is love, that attitude in life that wants to give what it can, without expecting anything, anything at all, in return. Friendship is necessarily a transformative relationship.

He who really loves already possesses love and giving to others increases that love still further. He who accepts it learns how good it feels to be loved and will also learn to love. Love transforms people.

What do you really give your friends? Get to know yourself!