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Wrapping Your Brain Around Transact vs. Relate

wednesdays with wayne Aug 30, 2023

I’m fascinated by puzzles and sometimes that means exploring everyday word origins. The study of the origin of words is called etymology. Maybe you knew that. Maybe that’s new for you. Don’t worry, today’s blog isn’t about etymology. It’s about two specific words and how we use them.


Trans – It’s important to understand this prefix: it means across. Think transatlantic, where you cross the ocean. Think transaction where you engage with someone giving and taking.


Re-Lation-Ship is Again-Coming Together-The State Of. That is, the state of coming together again. It’s not static and though transaction is a part of every relationship, it’s not what the relationship should be built upon. 


That is, in relationships, we can come together again to give to the other, to support the other, or to love the other. We don’t come together for the sake of giving, supporting, and loving IN ORDER TO be given to, supported, or loved. That, then, becomes transactional.


Relationships go badly when we expect something from what we’ve given.  Over the past four decades of elite coaching, I’ve seen it play out in families and in organizations. You’ll see it in narcissistic “relationships” a lot. It’s not so subtle when you become aware of it: “I gave you that, therefore that makes me quite special.”


Look out for the “Quid-Pro-Quo” (aka this for that) style of engagement. And beware of what I call “score keeping” in your relationships. 

  • I took out the garbage
  • Well I did the dishes
  • Well I painted the floors
  • Well I vacuumed the roof

It gets ridiculous when you think about how much it escalates. And you might even be guilty of it without realizing it. Again, one of the points of my writing this is to put this kind of stuff in front of you to examine and explore for yourself.


You might not want to change because it’s working for you.


But then again, you might choose to show up in a space of gratitude and giving. 


Gratitude and giving in a relationship without the expectation of something in return changes everything. EVERYTHING. 


It changes the nature of your work.

It changes the way others approach you at home (yes, how they approach you).

And you get to love more deeply and, without expecting it, you’ll feel more deeply appreciated. Observe, don’t expect.


Keep making your magic!


= Wayne = 

Showing up in support of yourself and others without expectation? Is that even
possible? Yes; yes, it is.
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