How to build strong relationships in 2022

Relationships are hard.

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about friends or lovers, or whether you’re single or married or divorced. It’s much like Philip K Dick writes in Ubik (also available on Audible):

You can’t live very long without arousing hostility; you can’t please everybody, because people want different things. Please one and you displease another.

Fortunately, it’s not all hopeless. For inspiration, here are some of my favourite Seth Godin quotes from his 2021 blog posts, together with a recommended title from Blinkist.

Kindness isn’t always easy or obvious, because the urgent race to the bottom, to easily measured metrics and to scarcity, can distract us. But bending the arc toward justice, toward dignity and toward connection is our best way forward. ~ Three types of kindness 

Learn more: Lovingkindness

Tolerance doesn’t mean permitting behaviour that undermines the community. In fact, it requires that we put the community first. Instead, it’s a willingness to focus on contribution instead of compliance. ~ Tolerance

Learn more: Moral Tribes

Sometimes, we assume that the person we’re engaging with knows exactly what we mean and want to express. But that assumption is often wrong, and a little redundancy can go a long way. ~ Useful redundancy

Learn more: Missing Each Other

Almost none of our choices in the world are the result of independent direct experience. Instead, we make them in the context of culture, of our surroundings, of ‘people like us do things like this.’ We choose to align with a segment of the culture and take our cues from them. ~ The coordinators 

Learn more: Social Physics

We might be settling scores or we might be opening doors. It’s up to us. ~ Grievance and possibility

Learn more: 30 Lessons for Loving

Culture is almost always improved not by what the masses want tomorrow, but by what a small and dedicated group of people are willing to commit to for the long run. ~ Publishers, curation and algorithms

Learn more: Human Hacking 

We can seek to trigger those we’ve decided are our enemies, undermine the standards and burn it all down. Or we can commit to the possibility that together, we can create something that works. ~ Count Me In

Learn more: Why Are We Yelling?

Flexibility, community, and a sense of possibility can go a long way. That doesn’t make it easier, but it’s our best path forward. ~ Resilience 

Learn more: Social Intelligence

“I’m sorry” can simply mean, “I see you.” ~ The confusion about “sorry”

Learn more: The Apology Impulse

We’re the sum total of the interactions we choose to create and the changes we contribute. ~ And who are you really?

Learn more: The Power of Strangers

Everyone has their own history, their own biases and their own irrationalities. Personification is a useful shortcut if it helps us make smart predictions about others, but it’s a trap if we assume that we’re the only ones who are right. ~ Errors in Personification

Learn more: Connect

The words someone uses don’t accurately convey everything they’re feeling and thinking. They simply stake out some of that in a way that the speaker hopes will express the point they’re trying to make. ~ The map is not the territory

Learn more: Reclaiming Conversation

When we have a chance to make things better for the people we care about, we usually realise that this is exactly the thing we hope to do. But first, we need to see what our choices are based on and where they lead. ~ Good fences

Learn more: How to Win Friends & Influence People

Every time we fail to give the benefit of the doubt to someone who can create value, we not only hurt them, but we hurt ourselves as well. ~ The benefit of the doubt

Learn more: Just Listen

If you’re the kind of person who believes in what’s all around us (which is most of us), then you won’t change your beliefs until the people around you change as well. ~ Two ways to challenge the status quo

Learn more: The Influential Mind  

Feedback is a gift. It lets you know precisely what the other person wants or needs. After you receive the gift, it’s up to you to accept it or not. But shutting down feedback with an argument or by appearing ungrateful makes it less likely you’ll be offered it again. ~ “No problem” is a problem 

Learn more: Mindsight

No need to change the world. A tiny part of the world, even one person, is enough for today. ~ “But of course!”

Learn more: Influence

Cooperation, connection and the power of being in sync is getting more important every day. We do better together. ~ Simple Connection Tools 

Learn more: How to Be a Power Connector

Favours are part of the glue of our culture. It’s not easy to ask for a favour, it’s not always easy to say yes, but when the two people engaged in this dance find a connection, it means something. ~ The programmatic ask

Learn more: Helping

No one wants exactly what you want, sees what you see, believes what you believe. That’s normal. ~ Raining on your picnic (on your birthday)

Learn more: Humble Inquiry

While there are definitely some super villains among us, it’s more likely we’re simply dealing with someone who feels like he’s drowning. ~ When in doubt, look for the fear

Learn more: Surrounded by Idiots

Insisting that someone choose sides might feel like the satisfying and urgent thing to do, but it rarely leads to enrollment and action. ~ “You’re either with us or against us” 

Learn more: Talking Across the Divide

As much as we might want an oracle, there aren’t any. What we need, it turns out, are supporters who trust us and have our back. ~ The oracle

Learn more: Daring to Trust

Markets often persuade us that we don’t have enough. Communities remind us that we do. ~ All the stuff

Learn more: Abundance

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