A little known secret about relationship building

Consider for a moment that relationships are like airplanes moving from takeoff to landing, point A to point B.  Wind, weather and other circumstances both natural and mechanical will determine how efficiently and effectively that airplane travels between these two points. The pilot, a trained professional, has two major responsibilities. First, he must prepare and take precautionary steps, including adjusting the plane’s altitude, speed and mechanical controls, avoiding danger along the route. And second, he must react to the circumstances and conditions presented, keeping the plane and all occupants safe the entire flight. He has no control of the circumstances. He is able to control his actions as they relate to those circumstances. Wind shear, weather patterns, and unexpected mechanical emergencies are outside of his control. However, with proper training and discipline, the pilot will be prepared in the event any issues arise during flight. Even when no adverse circumstances are presented, the pilot, co-pilot and other staff are constantly checking conditions, monitoring variables and making adjustments. These adjustments are needed to keep the plane safe from mechanical danger, allow for a smooth journey for the passengers and to ensure an on-time, safe arrival at their final destination.


Relationships are much the same way. If you get involved with someone, whether it’s personal or business, be aware that relationships are not static. By nature, relationships are dynamic, always changing. Making adjustments along the way is very important, even if you do not necessarily sense a big change in conditions; just like on that airplane.

Little changes made along the way will have a lasting impression in the long run.  The secret? It’s so much easier to make small, almost unnoticeable adjustments along the way than to make big changes to your relationships. As a matter of fact, the small actions you take will be fun, create lasting memories and be easy to institute. Conversely, making big changes could potentially rip the fabric of your sometimes fragile relationships. Even relationships you think are not fragile can be very delicate. And since many people do not like change, it may potentially destroy a relationship you have built.  

Put small, everyday positive actions into your personal relationships and you will find your relationships will flourish.  The effort will be minimal but the impact will be tremendous. Telling your partner, "I love you," leaving small notes on the kitchen counter, a 30 second phone call during a busy day just to say, "Thinking about you." Something as simple as a single flower picked from the garden or purchased at the gas station when filling up. The point is, it doesn't really matter what you do, but the mere action of doing something shows you really care. 

Don’t assume your partner knows how you feel just because you help contribute to the monthly rent payment or that you cleaned up your dishes in the sink. Keep the spark alive and the fire of the relationship burning.  It reminds me of the couple that has been cold to each other for years, not communicating properly or showing affection toward each other. When asked about it, years later in therapy, while trying to salvage their failing marriage, one of the partners says, “I don’t understand what happened. I told her I loved her when we got married. I promised that day if anything changes, I would let her know. Nothing has changed, I’m not sure why she’s so mad all the time. Now that we are in therapy, I bought her a Mercedes and she’s still angry with me.” Show affection before it’s too late and appreciate your partner now and stop taking them for granted.

As it relates to a professional relationship, it’s the little things like sending a handwritten note to say thanks for the business, a text message to say “hello, I appreciate you and your business,” or a well-timed delivery of donuts or goodies that says, “You are awesome!” 

Every relationship requires work, effort, patience and understanding. As your relationship begins, lots of energy is expended getting it moving, just like a plane during takeoff. But once airborne, even small shifts in steering and other instruments, over the long haul, can make dramatic changes to the journey. Make adjustments and take positive action to improve the relationships in your life. The words, just because, will create lasting, positive results. As your relationship develops, your actions, even small ones under the guise of, just because, will help steer the direction of your relationship. So what are you waiting for, send out that text message, pen that handwritten thank you note or hand deliver those cupcakes to someone special in your life. And if asked why, tell them, “It's the little things.”