Growing genuine ties better than building transactional ones

The ideas expressed by Mr Paul Heng were both astute and insightful (Axed workers grapple with identity, relationships and non-working life; May 31).

The second theme about relationships is particularly noteworthy because it is reflective of the times: How prominent transactional relationships are, and how they dominate lives.

To be sure, we all need relationships which may have some transactional element in them from time to time.

But it is unfortunate that the dominance of some of these transactional relationships is such that, to some people, the loss of these relationships equates to a loss in self-worth.

You would not find this phenomenon in a strong-minded person who sees such transactional relationships for what they are - fleeting and without substance.

This is where professionals like Mr Heng come into the picture, by helping those affected by the loss of such relationships to reframe and recalibrate their life priorities and relationships.

They may find that they are better off for it too, and there is research to back this up.

People with large transactional relationship-based networks are unhappier, more stressed and more anxious compared with those who focus on a few relationships that have genuine substance and meaning and that truly matter.

Woon Wee Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2018, with the headline 'Growing genuine ties better than building transactional ones'. Print Edition | Subscribe