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Essential Relationships That Will Change Your Life


One of my mentors, Dr. Scott Makin, created an amazing resource that can help you identify the types of relationships that you may need in order to be a more well-rounded person.

There are various styles of relationships, which provide significant experiences that will build into your life, especially if there have been emotional scars in the past.

The reason these are so powerful is they are centered on the transfer of a need. They are need based. These types of relationships are organized according to the different character development domains, which they are growing inside of you as you are deeply and intimately a part of the relationship.

Here is a list of relationships that will help you grow and develop. Make a list of each of the relationships that you feel you need today.


The ability to reach out to safe relationships in a vulnerable way.

___ Closeness and empathy: Let me know you know what I am feeling

___ Comfort: Be present with me when I need to grieve a loss

___ Identification: Tell me your own experience to help me feel connected and not alone

___ Belonging: I can feel I am an important part of this group of friends, family, cause, etc.


The capacity to manage emotions productively

___ Painful or Scary Feelings: Encourage me to talk more about these kinds of feelings (e.g, anger, sexual, jealousy, shame, inadequacy) so I get used to them and not feel so overwhelmed

___ Containment: Let me express intense feelings and stay with me until they resolve

___ Clarification: Let me talk about how I feel or think to connect the dots more, which will help me understand myself at a deeper level

___ Feedback: Tell me how you experience me, to develop my own self-observation


The ability to experience and express one’s boundaries

___ Validation: Let me know my feelings are significant and not to be dismissed or minimized

___ Being Different: It needs to be okay with you that I am different than you and other people.

___ Self-Soothing in Other Ways: I need to find two or three things I enjoy that I can do to nurture myself and fill me up with good stuff when I start feeling overwhelmed with certain feelings.

___ You Are OK With My Anger: I need a safe place to be angry about what I don’t like.

___ Strengthening My “No” Muscle: You respect my “no” and I don’t have to make you happy or get you to like me.

___ Structure: Help me establish self-control by having a tighter schedule of things I need to do and accountability from friends to keep with it.

___ Encouragement: Let me know you believe in me to continue the growth path.

___ Being More Independent: Let me do things for myself instead of you doing them for me or telling me how to do it.


The ability to experience and process the negative aspects of life

___ Acceptance: Connect with the real me with no judgment so I can live in the real self and not the ideal false self that is perfect, or powerful, or smart, or beautiful, or all the above.

___ Weakness and Failure: Allow me to be weak and don’t let me defend my failures away but to feel them fully and yet feel you are still close to me and respect me.

___ Powerless: Help me not be as controlling or need to be powerful or prestigious. Help me to get more comfortable with not being in control and feeling powerless.


Equipping for life’s tasks

___ Parent Position: Don’t let me be controlling of you or situations but respect others’ opinions

___ Child’s Position: Don’t let me give up all my control to others or to please those in authority

___ Adolescent Position: Help me to find ways to express my anger instead of indirectly expressing it through rebellious acting out

___ Punitive Conscience: Help me get rid of the critical judge and be more accepting of who I am and what I do

___ Submission: Help me to submit appropriately to authority

___ Confrontation: Point out something I’m doing that is self-destructive so I can stop it. Help me to replace those behaviors with nurturing and self-care activities.

___ Challenge: Move me beyond my comfort zone to higher levels of growth

___ Advice: Recommend some action to help me change and grow (after you listen and I do my part in figuring things out)


Developing work ethic

___ Taking Risks: Help me to start taking one risk each week or doing one new thing

___ Initiative: Hold me accountable to be proactive in doing something about a situation instead of reactive, passive, and a victim

___ More Responsibility: Help me to take on more responsibility 


The capacity to realize that you are designed for a larger purpose than yourself.

___ Making Things Right: Focus on how to make things the way they should be so people are being helped, social structures reflect more justice and love, etc.

___ Spiritual: Pray or study the Bible with me so I can experience more of God’s connection with me and how I can join with him and his body to carry out the great commission.

These relationship needs can help to foster growth, commitment, and positive change. If you’re looking for a meaningful life skills workshop to help you align with your goals and what is truly important to you, then Unlock the Champion may be a smart choice. Browse our site to see how our executive coaches and mentors work to make a difference in our communities, and be sure to contact us if you have questions. We look forward to speaking with you!

VISIT to connect with Freddie and find out more about his work building leaders in the community and for speaking requests.

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