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What is a WYSIWYG relationship?

WYSIWYG relationships – or “what you see is what you get’, are relationships that are – in a word – simple. Clear. Without the need for or desire to implement any heroic efforts to keep it on track.

So many of our relationships are incredibly complex; personal relationships with spouses, family, friends – all of those individuals with whom we share “history” and a need to work harder than we may like to develop and maintain them. Of course we all recognize that our work or professional interactions come with all sorts of complexity levels by default. WYSIWYG relationships tend to bypass much of the anxiety that comes with those relationships.

WYSIWYG relationships are the ones that you don’t have to think much about.

They just are. I often think of the guys on “American Pickers”. They appear on someone’s doorstep and begin sorting and picking and digging through what can be someone’s very personal possessions. They are sensitive to what they are doing, but they are there to:

  1. Have fun because they love old stuff and,
  2. …make money, and are right up front about it

No hidden agendas.

It’s interesting to watch how they quickly formulate relationships with the owners, no matter what their personality or frame of mind might be. They are the same with every seller they approach; they come with a single goal that is based on a short-term relationship. They cultivate a WYSIWYG relationship. This type of relationship is warm, honest and clear – maybe the ideal type of relationship to have if you run a business.

WYSIWYG relationships can be as warm and familiar as the one you have with your spouse, or as arms-length as the one you have with the person at the drive-through where you buy your morning coffee. They can be among the most comfortable, realistic and rewarding relationships you can have. (The relationship we have with our pets is always WYSIWYG!) Midlife is a time when certain things get simpler…when we begin to appreciate a more relaxed approach when it comes to forging unique connections with others. Or maybe it’s just that we get tired of the opposite.

What WYSIWYG relationships do you value in your life?

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