When we think this way it's typically because it's a relationship you value, a connection you want to strengthen, and a collaboration you believe is meaningful and valuable. When we care about our connections, we want to make others happy, work together in ways that matter, and reap the wonderful benefits of sharing time and experiences with those people.
As I think of the many people in my life that I value, I am thinking about what they want from me--what is unique about each person's desire and what trends exist with regard to what people want.
In general, people desire respect. They want to be listened to, and they want to be acknowledged for their hard work, contribution, interests, and passions in life. People generally want to have fun and enjoy times together too. That's why they connect around similar interests, questions, challenges, and strengths.
Specifically the people in your life desire all different parts of who you are and what you do? What your parents, boss, children, partner, neighbor, clients, and friends want will all differ in multiple ways, and affect the way you use your time and energy. It's important to think about this differential and to intentionally use time well to strengthen the relationships you value in ways that fit the kind of connections you have with each person.
It's also important to sustain and build a relationship that provides what's needed, but possibly that does not over provide or give too much. Sometimes what an individual wants from you is quite concise, simple, and too the point, and to give too much or extend that connection too deep is to compromise the relationship and harm the good connection you have. In other circumstances, what's needed is more depth, time, and commitment to make the relationship more meaningful and long lasting.
Every relationship is different and it's worth thinking about those relationships with questions like these:
- Why do we connect? What is our relationship?
- What is essential to this relationship? What do I have to do to maintain this relationship in a healthy way?
- What can I expect from the other person? How do I communicate that if needed?
- Is this a relationship that requires greater depth or is this a relationship that requires a more superficial actions and responses?
Taking a moment to think about how those we connect to would answer the question, 'What do you want from me?" will help us to support those relationships in ways that matter.