We all have done it or experienced it. We get to the register or we are online and our card transaction comes back DECLINED! We are both embarrassed and pissed off at the same time. We want to call the financial institution up and scream at them and tell them how bad they suck. We have no idea of the cause, but we just want to get what we came for and be on our merry way. We get stuck in the transaction.
And that is how we typically live our lives. We are stuck in transactional relationships. We give, and we want to get. We give, and typically the minimum required effort, and then expect to get the world handed to us. We are selfish. We’ve all done it. We show up for a test expecting to ace it, and probably crammed the night before or those 30 minutes just before the test. That Red Bull worked wonders for me! Or, we let our neighbors borrow our tools and then get pissed when we don’t get the tool returned. We stare at their house saying all kinds of words under our breath. When we get into relationships that involve love, that’s when it really gets interesting. We give our time, experiences, energy, joy, compassion, and love. And if we don’t get something in return, we shut it down. The relationship eventually breaks down and it’s over. Sometimes unfixable!
So how do we get out of being transactional? We first need to understand its roots. A transactional relationship is based on expectations that if you give, then someone will return the favor and you get something in return. We get into the mindset that if we believe we are not going to get something in return, then we will not give. Transactional relationships are based in fear and scarcity, and it limits our ability to develop meaningful relationships. We close up shop and close down, not exploring relationships to their fullest. Yes, we are afraid. We are afraid of rejection, we are afraid of failing, and we absolutely cannot stand being rejected. We are even afraid that we are not enough.
The reality is that we are always enough. We have everything we need within us already to handle things. We must understand that we can handle anything that comes our way. We are made for and wired for it. Think about how many people are put in extreme situations, and succeed! There are plenty of examples to remind us of that. We also have to tackle fear head on. Typically, fear is not real. We make most of the fear up in our heads. We create stories, excuses, and some very good elaborate stories to justify the fear. We don’t like the uncertainty of what may come. It scares the sh%t out of us. We think that rejection is going to cause so much pain and hurt. Sure there is pain that accompanies rejection. That’s life. We have to understand that pain, hurt, and rejection is a part of the risk of living. We have to step out of our comfort zones to grow in anything, including relationships. You will be a stronger person through it. You will truly grow as a human being.
So instead of being transactional, you need to give, give, and give. Give your all, give everything. Even when you encounter pain, hurt, anger, and rejection. When you let go of being transactional and enjoy the wonder of each new interaction, we begin to play life full out. We are then authentic, and we give without the fear of having less. An accumulation of giving and good deeds will often provide a great return on the energy and time we invest in others. So really, giving and doing good deeds are their own reward.