A big part of developing and strengthening your relationships is about really knowing the important people in your life. We all know many people on a superficial or even friendly level; but how much do we really know about who they are under the exterior we see and interact with every day?

It’s important to develop solid and meaningful relationships with the people around us for many reasons, personal and professional. In order to do so it’s helpful to first examine what we want and need from the people in our lives; as well as how we tend to relate to others. We can then consciously work on building and improving our connections by focusing on existing strengths, and by identifying and correcting what isn’t working so well.

But in addition to all this, I got thinking about the above question after receiving an email from my mother some time ago. The structure of the email was that it asked a bunch of personal questions, and you were supposed to fill it out and send it onto your friends. Your friends were then able to see how much they knew about you; as well as learn some new things they didn’t know.

Truth be told, I was a little surprised (and more than a little ashamed) that seventy-five percent or so of the answers completed by my mother was new information to me.

My mother’s responses contained some obvious things I couldn’t help but know after being acquainted with her for 40 years; but there were also a lot of things I would only have known had I actually asked. It made me realize that I actually know very little about the people in my life outside the regular stuff I see every day.

Despite “knowing” certain people in my life for many years, I realized that within each one resides a whole world I’ve never seen: a world filled with hopes and dreams; likes and dislikes; goals and fears; victories and disappointments.

Within each one lies a history of choices and experiences that have shaped who they’ve become, and have brought them to where they are today: experiences rich with lessons to be shared and morals to be embraced.

I hope that you’ve put more effort into knowing the important people in your life than I have. If not, think about how much more enriched your life could be; simply by asking them about the things they don’t generally share for the sake of casual conversation.

Author's Bio: 

Chris Hammer, Ph.D. is a certified professional coach and licensed psychologist. He offers leadership and life coaching services, as well as various self-development tools for people who are passionate about reaching higher levels of success and becoming the best they can be.

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