It was cold that night…
I was in the common room uncomfortably laying on a couch when a giant rat jumped on me. I jerked and threw it off me. The rat ran into a corner in the room and continued to chirp. I stayed half-awake throughout that night – baking/dreading the rat would attack again.
This is what happens when you find yourself in a strange land without money to pay for a hotel room, or the wit to quickly gain the trust of a stranger and get a free bed space for a night.
If there was one unforgettable lesson I learned from spending 5 years in school – in a strange land – it is that there are 5 levels of relationships, and the way you navigate through these levels would pretty much determine the quality of your life.
If you apply the knowledge right, you are assured to live a life full of happiness, comfort, and abundance, else, you would have a life full of anger, distrust, discomfort, pain, and lack.
Allow me to show you what I mean
THE 5 LEVELS OF RELATIONSHIPS
The world is a strange place full of aliens.
We were born into a world where we couldn’t recognize who cared for us. As babies, our only instinct was to suck on whatever gets close to our mouths.
As time passed, we began to identify our mother, then father, and subsequently siblings. We began to know whose breast to suckle and who to run to when we are in trouble.
These people were so close, and important, to us that they were automatically stamped at the highest level of relationships we could ever have. They became parts of us. We cannot “un-family” them.
We share the same blood. They are the people who would bury us one day. We live and die for them. And because these people are always by our side it is sometimes tempting to forget just how important they are.
We are sometimes tempted to think we can do without them, whilst in reality, without these people, a gaping hole is left in our heart and life – a whole which cannot be filled by anything else (not money, properties, nor pleasure).
But before we delve into that, I would love to first explore the other levels of relationships, starting from the least, and in no time, we would be back to this “most important” level of relationship.
LEVEL 1 (STRANGERS):
The lowest level is the relationship with strangers. Though this is the lowest level of relationship, it is not any less important. All levels of relationships are important.
Strangers are the people with who we share the earth. They are humans, probably from the same country, race, and share the same religion, and language. But that is all there is to it. They share no direct connection with us. We could live our entire lives without ever knowing them, nor realizing how they influence our lives.
A stranger dying from ingesting a liquid is the reason you know better. Strangers are the ones who discover the technology you hold in your hands. They are the ones who have and would buy from you.
Strangers affect our lives in a myriad of ways. They could be the reason something good or bad happens to us. Yet, we are oblivious to them. We know they exist, but they are faceless to us. Think about your 2k friends on Facebook.
HOW TO TREAT STRANGERS
- – Be nice to them
- – Smile at them
- – Listen and seek to understand them
- – Don’t take their compliments or critics personally
- – Be wary of their gifts
- – Don’t tell them your credit card details
LEVEL 2 (FAMILIARS):
Familiars are strangers who you now know their faces. These are the people who you see regularly in your school, neighborhood, place of worship, or maybe on Social Media.
You know they share a common language, or culture, or something else. You know where to find them, but other than that you don’t know them.
You might see them and wave. They might see you and smile.
These are the people who you can ask for a small favor, and who can also ask you for small favors. They could help you carry a heavy load, or pick up a pencil. They could help you stop the cab or share an umbrella with you, and you may even know their names.
But that’s all there is to it.
HOW TO TREAT FAMILIARS
- – Be nice to them
- – Listen and try to understand them
- – Help if you can
- – Don’t demand too much
- – Respect their privacy
- – Always smile and greet
- – Don’t tell them your card details.
- – And they don’t need to know your medical records.
LEVEL 3 (WARMS):
These are the people who you are familiar with, and who share common interests with you. You share the same favorites and hobbies. You probably fan the same clubs and love the same movies.
These are the people you can spend hours with talking about a topic of interest and it would be delightful as minutes turn to hours. They are the ones you play video games with…those you study with and even seat next to.
You know all each other likes – from the choice of food to your choice of lovers. They know how to excite you and you know how to excite them.
You could almost call them friends, but …
HOW TO TREAT WARMS
- – Be nice to them
- – Find out their birthdays
- – Wish them a happy anniversary
- – Don’t judge them
- – Learn from them
- – Ask them to link you up – with people and opportunities
- – Tell them about your skillset and qualifications
- – Tell them your projects and dreams
- – Show them your friends
- – Inform them about your medical conditions.
- – But don’t share your card details.
LEVEL 4 (TRUSTED):
These are your friends. They are the crazy people who nearly got you killed the other day.
You know each other like the back of your palms.
They think like you. You think like them. A stranger could almost tell your exact behavior by looking at them. They love and hate the same things as you.
They may have different approaches to things, but the end goal for both of you is always the same.
These are the people you dare to tell your family issues. The ones you tell your medical history. The ones you feel safe around.
You know that they would fight for you, and you are ready to die for them.
They are few and very hard to find or replace.
Whatever they say or do has a thousand times more effect on you. They are the ones whose opinion you seek. The ones whose criticism matters, and the ones whose betrayal kills.
HOW TO TREAT TRUSTED
- – Tell them everything – who you’re dating, what you did last night, where you are going tomorrow.
- – Call them to help you complete a project, or beat up a hoodlum
- – Go and drink and party with them
- – Wish them a happy birthday if you don’t want to get drubbed.
- – Buy them gifts
- – Call them at least once in two weeks.
- – They probably already know your Pins and Passwords.
LEVEL 5 (PARTS):
These are the weirdest.
People who are part of you could be different in a myriad of ways. They could have different cultures, races, religions, goals, dreams, interests, favorites, etc.
You don’t need them because they are fun to hang out with, you need them because they complete you.
They are your parents, siblings, spouse, or children.
They are the ones who you go out and fight for.
These are the ones who cannot be replaced.
They are the ones you didn’t pick.
The ones who would fight for you whether you are right or wrong.
You are their heartbeat. They too are yours.
HOW TO TREAT PARTS
- – Tell them everything
- – Give them everything
- – Support them
- – Fight for them
- – Defend them
- – Teach them
- – Correct them
- – Listen to them
- – Burry them when they die.
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