Can you think of one friend who you have not been in touch for a long time, but when you finally talk or meet, you pick right from where you left off as if the time between meetings shrunk like magic?
That is a special.
You wish you have many more such special friendships.
THAT is not an easy thing to do.
Unfortunately, there is no recipe to create that magic on an everyday basis.
The goal of this article is not to outline the steps to create such special friendships, but to help you reflect, acknowledge and be grateful for already existing special relationships.
If you don’t acknowledge and be conscious of such relationships, you might take them for granted unintentionally.
Here is one element that is common in these special relationships
It is when you and your friend care so deeply for the other and speak without filter knowing you don’t have to worry about what the other person thinks.
In other words both of you are very comfortable to be your original selves when you are with each other.
Masks are left behind for other occasions.
Pretense is not required.
Unfilter is powerful as it reduces the cost for both parties.
Think what happens when unfilter is absent (or you and your friend have to filter dynamically)
When you are sending a message, you have to package everything. You may not realize it, but packaging introduces additional cost – to think and ensure that you don’t rub your friend in the wrong way. In short, you have to bring your mask for temporary use.
On the other hand, if you are on the receiving end of that communication, you incur a huge cost as well. This time the cost is even more difficult to calculate.
Because the criteria you use to filter what your friend is saying is vague at best. There is no standard set of tools you can use to determine the right way to filter an incoming communication.
In short, a filter is an interference that introduces serious cost for both parties who are communicating.
Now the question:
How to get started and grow your unfilter network – a true source of the power of deep relationships?
At the risk of over-simplifying, you can start with three things:
1. Listen to your heart
Your head is super important, but it routinely interferes when your heart is trying to communicate with you. If you succumb to that interference, you will start to make “informed” decisions without having a lot of information.
2. Learn to scale giving
My mentor Opher Brayer says that every friendship has a price that needs to be paid. If you become very good at something that is valuable, you can pay your part of the price with very little incremental cost to you. When you know how to scale giving, magic happens. You know you can contribute at scale if a single 1-1 conversation with you creates massive value for the other person. This helps you as only a small number of people who help you will end up qualified to be in your unfilter network.
3. Mentally stretch the shelf-life of a relationship
What if you start viewing all heart-empowered relationships as lifetime relationships until the other person proves it is not worth giving it the “lifetime status”? If the other person also views the relationship with the same viewpoint, you and that friend have taken membership in each other’s unfilter network.
All the best!
Photo Courtesy: Friendship by Andrej Tmkoczy