Do you ever feel that some relationships “get off the ground” more easily than others? Why do you think that is?
Unbreakable bonds stabilize and empower the rest of our community. But what does it take to develop those strong cords in the first place? This post continues our exploration of what it takes for our relationships to having staying power.
Some believe that in order for two people to develop a kind of point-of-no-return bond, you need to have something significant in common. If so, those with a significant shared history (such as those who grew up together), those with a non-trivial common interest, or those working together for the same passion or cause are the ones most likely to form stable bonds. The common ground is not itself sufficient, but it may be a Petri dish necessary for the relationship to overcome the inertia of disconnect.
Work relationships can be opportunities for developing lasting relationships. But it’s been my experience that even working with people regularly for years on a cause you both believe in is not sufficient for a stable bond to form. It may be the opportunity for such a relationship to begin, but other factors, such as interest in one another as whole persons, are necessary to go from friendly colleague to enduring relationship.
However, if you’re the boss, it can be almost impossible, and in some cases inappropriate, to develop mutual friendships with those who work for you. Furthermore, many who work for the same company don’t necessarily share the same passion for the value of that work.
But if the work you do is truly a passion for you both and/or if you find other common ground with your colleague, you would automatically have the double advantage of both shared interests and regular, unforced time together.
Negative common interests—those formed out of similar brokenness or pain as in groups like al-anon, divorce groups, etc.—can be the basis for a bond, but only temporarily. Ideally, our lives do not continue to be defined by our past brokenness indefinitely. To transfer those relationships to enduring bonds, we must find (or develop) positive common ground and history.
What Do You Think?
To what extent do you think it’s possible to form a lasting bond with someone with whom you have no major common interests or significant history? What do you think it takes?
In your stage of life, to what extent is it a challenge to find people with whom you share common interests?