Relationships (all types) are twofold, give and take. If you give nothing, then (by definition) you are merely taking, which is unsustainable.
Lately I have questioned many of my relationships, whether or not they are sustainable (in their current form), and most are not.
So this raises two questions:
- What is this type of relationship?
- How much time should one commit to this relationship?
Often times the first question goes unanswered, but sometime ago I discovered Dunbar’s Number.
Dunbar’s number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships.
This methodology is actually quite clear, explaining that a person can sustain roughly 150 relationships, with 5-10 being the closest (meaningful), inner circle.
The second question, however, is quite easy to answer. Because, every moment you spend on a directionless relationship, is time you could have spent on a meaningful relationship.
I prefer to spend my time wisely, because it is the one thing that does not return. So I asked myself this question:
- With whom am I dedicating most of my time: my inner or outer circle?
There is no doubt that the answer to that question should be the former. After all, if roughly 93% of your relationships are not deep, then those should only get 7% of your time.
The other 93% of your time should go to the 7% of relationships within your inner circle.