Major Categories of Relationships

Here are a couple of ways to think about, classify, and understand the relationships you make.

Business vs. Personal – A business relationship is about achieving a goal or objective: you care about the services and skills, and you will not stay with someone with inferior services and skills if you don’t have to.  A personal relationship is about bonding with another person, and you may stay with them even if they have inferior services and skills.


  • Decisions motivated by money; competition and ruthlessness abound
  • Job/Career – If the world wasn’t based on money, perhaps I’d stay at a job because I liked my co-workers, but if two opportunities are equal except for pay, then despite liking the people at both I would switch–it’s business, not personal.
  • products/skills. You’re sick? See a Doctor. Want to learn dance? Hire an instructor.


  • Decisions motivated by kindness, empathy, human connection/relationship.
  • Help – there are things outside your control, that’s what friends and family are for. If you are ill and there’s nothing anyone can do, you will suffer something. This is where friends and family come to help you get through it. If you have to pay or bribe them to come, then it’s business. Same with love. It is in the un-necessities and the lack of “I give you this for that,” in the involuntary acts, that love and friendship is found.

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