Learn the difference between transactional and relational connections, and why they matter.

By Chardonnay Beaver




The human desire for connection is innate. We are profoundly shaped by our social environment, and suffer greatly when our social bonds are threatened or severed – according to Scientific American, a digital publication centering leading news in science across the U.S.

Social media platforms have created a brillant, yet semi-artificial, hub to forge a sense of connection. As a social media consumer, I have benefited from these platforms in a major way – especially as a creative. Social media grants users the platform to share their work, on a global scale, with those who share their common interests.

However, it’s imperative to differentiate the connection between our “followers” and our “friends”. In other words, relationship styles influence the dynamic of our connections.

Transactional connections are temporary and yield short-term benefits that lack substance. Transactional connections boldly declare “I’m here for a good time, not a long time.” These connections are fun and socially loud, but don’t require substantial investment – like emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical investments.

Whereas, relational connections are naturally reciprocal and yield long-term benefits. Relational connections proudly declare “I’m here for the long haul, not just the good times.” Although the dynamic of this connection may change, as individuals develop different interests over time, the foundation of their connection remains.

It’s through relationships that a long-lasting impact is made. Individuals are more likely to consider the perspective of those who invest in them– socially, emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Words of Wisdom by Char of The Week: Consider the dynamic of your connections. What’s the motive behind your relationships? Are you making investments in the lives of others? Are you being considered as an asset or liability? Ecclesiastes 4:10