Give What You Want to Get: Enhancing Relationships through Generosity 

When it comes to social interactions, it’s common for people to focus on getting what they want from others.

 However, the true key to successful relationships lies in giving what you want to receive. By shifting the focus from “getting” to “giving,” you can significantly improve the dynamics of your social interactions and create deeper connections with the people around you.

We tend to operate on two distinct mental levels: our base level and a higher, more advanced level. Accessing this higher level requires intentional effort and practice. By default, our base level takes over, functioning primarily in survival mode. Think of it this way: our perspective is primarily focused on the external world. We cling to things we enjoy and resist those we dislike. In this mode, our thinking is mainly transactional, as our minds constantly spin and urge us to take actions that preserve what we like and protect us from what we dislike. This behavior has become so ingrained that we often don’t even realize it.

Within this base level, we seek out validation, praise, safety, material possessions, and pleasure. (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs comes to mind.) The reason people tend to prioritize getting what they want is rooted in our base level of functioning. Or to put it another way, our base level is primarily concerned with survival, and it operates on a transactional basis. In this mode, our minds are focused on securing what we like and protecting ourselves from what we dislike.

In this state, our attention is mainly directed towards our own needs, and in the process of that intensive self-focus, we may not have the time or inclination to consider what others require. As a result, we become self-centered, fearful, and transactional, working tirelessly to obtain more of what we desire and pushing away anything we don’t. This state of mind makes it challenging to focus on others’ needs.  This is why a focus on our inner game is so important.

However, if we you to improve the quality of your relationships and foster deeper connections, you need to take the first step by demonstrating what you want to receive.

  • When you genuinely listen, show empathy, or provide sincere praise, you engage in the act of giving, benefiting both the other person and the dynamics of the interaction. By helping lift others to a higher level of functioning, you increase the likelihood of receiving what you desire.

  •  Operating from a higher mental state, rooted in compassion, peace, and ease, allows you to establish a genuine liking for others. This self-liking and other-liking connection enhances trust and rapport, fostering positive relationships.

  • Impressing others can be counterproductive if approached with the wrong mindset. When you catch yourself starting to brag about your achievements or qualities, it’s important to pause and reflect. Instead of continuing down that path, take a moment to redirect – ask that person some questions about themselves to draw out something you can be impressed by. Think about the well-known saying, “People don’t remember what you said, they remember how they felt after talking to you.” If your goal is to impress others and you are successful, it is likely that they will end up feeling inferior, inadequate, or even intimidated.

  •  Instead, focus on being genuinely interested in others and practice active listening. Active listening plays a vital role in building relationships. Everyone has a primal need to be heard and understood. By engaging in active listening and providing validation, you foster connection and trust. Strive to be a good listener and genuinely appreciate others.


Great listening is about listening with an authentic intent of having your mind changed.

 The principle of giving what you want to receive applies to both personal and professional relationships. As a leader, expressing authentic interest and appreciation for your team members is key to earning their trust. Balance your needs with a focus on giving, establishing trust and achieving better outcomes.

 Yes, there can be risks in letting go of dominance and control. But operating from your higher level of functioning allows for authentic connections. By prioritizing giving, you tap into self-love and compassion, which others can sense, leading to trust and genuine connections.

The principle of giving what you want to receive is also valuable in conflict resolution. Active listening, validation, and empathy create a space for understanding and compromise, breaking down defensiveness and finding common ground.

It’s not always easy. Maintaining a balance between giving and receiving requires continual practice. Cultivate a mindset of generosity and compassion, giving without expecting anything in return. Practice self-awareness and self-care to stay aligned with this principle.

By embracing the principle of giving what you want to receive, you can transform your relationships. Authentic connections, trust, and mutual respect will flourish, leading to enhanced collaboration, productivity, and overall well-being. Start by embodying the qualities you desire in others – and watch the magic unfold in your relationships both at work and at home.