How to Cultivate Deep Relationships


BE HONEST.


Do you want to know how to cultivate surface-level relationships? 

Hold back how you really feel. 

Reject the truth of who you are for what you think others love more. 

Use all of your energy to avoid feeling uncomfortable in your relatinoships. 


Beware of the illusion that is self-rejection. 

If you change who you are for others... 

That's rejecting yourself. 

When you face conflict in relationships... 

You can either stay honest to yourself (and maybe go against the other party)... 

Or you can change yourself to match what they (the other party) wants you to be. 

In the short term, self-rejection feels better. 

In the long term, it kills you.

Because what are you, really, if you just become

whatever your environment wants you to be.  


If you're interested in going deeper into learning about being "too nice", check this book out. 

Recently, in my life, I've uncovered how negative an effect being "too nice" has had on my life. 

I really want you to understand this illusion, because before it was not clear to me. 

Before, I never wanted to be angry. I never wanted to disagree with someone, or say 'no' to anything they were asking. I was entirely slave to my need for the approval of everyone I met. 

But this whole story is based on one wrong assumption:

Having someone disapprove of you is a bad thing. 

In fact, having someone disapprove of you might be the most important thing...

because it means you have a shot at being yourself. 


Allowing yourself to exist honestly, however you are, regardless of what others think of you, is the greatest gift you can give to the world. 


1. It gives other people permission (and inspired them) to be themselves. 

2. It attracts people to you who like you for the most effortless version of yourself, which makes deep relationships more enjoyable (and actually deeper) for everyone. 

3. It feels better to live as yourself than as any filtered version of yourself. 


Hiding parts of yourself to avoid getting uncomfortable in relationships makes it easy to stay on the surface. 

Here are five ways that you can cultivate deeper relationships by being a more honest version of your true self.

1. Never be too busy for a conversation. 

When you're too busy to talk to someone, you guarantee yourself no chance at cultivating a deep relationship. 

If it's crunch time and you need to get work done, that's fine, just do it alone. 

But all the other times, ask how your friend's lives are going when you see them. 

Every conversation counts. 

2. Develop the habit of sharing (not hiding) how you feel. 

Instead of disagreeing with a friend and ignoring this, learn to share these types of thoughts. 

It's easiest to avoid causing a stir, but this only guarantees surface-level relationships in your life. 

When uncomfortable stuff comes up, share it right away. 

The longer you wait, the more distance you create between you and your 'friends'. 

3. Ask for help (share your problems). 

Problems aren't made to be hidden, they're made to be shared (and solved). 

Give your friends the opportunity to deepen your relationship by asking them for help. 

When you open yourself by saying 'I don't know how to do this', you create depth in your relationships (by being vulnerable). 

Plus, by giving your friend an opportunity to create value for you, you can both get closer. 

4. Have long conversations. 

It's easy to kid yourself that you have 'friends', even when you don't know their siblings' names. 

Talking with friends for stretches of time opens you both up to the chance of getting deep with each other. 

And push for that depth. 

Not just because you want it, because you know it's right for you both. 

5. Ask deep questions. 

By giving your friends opportunities to share their deepest feelings and thoughts with you... 

You both can get closer. 

And by sharing your deep thoughts as well...

 You get double close. 


We’re all just walking each other home.
— Ram Dass

(by home he means death)

And you have the choice... 

Is it going to be an enjoyable, interesting, deep walk home... 

Are you going to get closer to others (and yourself) by cultivating deep relationships?

Or are you going to stay on the surface... 

Creating an unmemorable, unspectacular walk home for you and those around you. 

Connecting more deeply with others becomes easier when you can connect more deeply with yourself.
— John Samuel Gray