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Don't Make a Transactional Decision Based on Relational Expectations

I think a lot of our heartache or disappointment stems from our mistake of making transactional decisions based on relational expectations.

Here’s what I mean.

Wal-Mart is in the transaction business. Meaning, you give them money, and they give you stuff. You can get outraged when it doesn’t seem like they care about you, your present reality, or your future plans. They’re not trying to build a relationship with you. So, get upset all you want that the cashier isn’t treating you nicely, but that’s not in their plans. 

Conversely, don’t be upset when the love you give isn’t reciprocated. Love isn’t a transactional relationship, where the balance sheet matches on each side. Love is seasonal. You may be giving a lot right now, but if you’re in the relationship game, the best you can hope for is that it’ll be returned at some point. But I’d advise that you don’t keep score. This isn’t a transaction. It’s a relationship.

And so our misstep occurs when we expect relationships from transactions and vice versa.

One night stands are transactional. Marriage is relational.
A purchase is transactional. Customer service is relational.
Recruitment is transactional. Initiation is relational.
A CD is transactional. A concert is relational.
Renting is transactional. Owning is relational. 

The world runs like it does because transactions and relationships can co-exist. Just don’t confuse the two.

Sam Davidson2 Comments