Connectivity — visualizing our connections and how we contribute to them

Since we know that empathy fuels connection, I think it’s important to understand the varying depths (or types) of connection we can have.

I believe all of our connections fall into four general groups.

  1. Humanity: random strangers connected as human beings
  2. Transaction or Tribes: these are business/customer connections or individuals connected by one or more common interests (e.g. cat lovers, GOT fans, coffee aficionados, etc.)
  3. Friendship: individuals who share more than one belief and do life together for a season
  4. Partner: spouse, significant other, or lifelong friend

Visualizing these categories helps us see the inverse correlation between the how many connections we have and how much we contribute to each.

The quantity of our connections (left) compared to the amount we contribute to each connection (right).

The deeper the connection, the fewer we have because we’re contributing more to each relationship. Understanding this dynamic helps us empathize wisely and generously while setting healthy boundaries.