Today's thought of the day is the idea of Unconditional Interaction and subsequently, its antithesis the Covert Contract*. These concepts are surprisingly powerful and they have done wonders for my social interactions and social anxieties over the last few weeks.
So what is Unconditional Interaction you ask? Why, it's the idea that every interaction you have with others, whether strangers or friends, should be one without expectation of something in return. A Covert Contract is therefore interacting with people on the assumption that they will then provide you with something in return be it emotional or physical.
For example, holding the door open for someone would be an example of a Covert Contract if you then expect that person to verbally or physically signify gratitude. Im pretty sure we have ALL done this before! Think about it, how many times have you become incredibly frustrated when you take the time out of your supremely incredibly overly busy manic schedule to hold a door open and the person doesn't even say thank you!? It's annoying right! It's damn right rude of the recipient! You go out of your way and spend time to be polite and they can't even say thanks?! Disgraceful! Exaggeration kinda pokes fun at the situation but it all seriousness it can be quite frustrating, however, there are many factors at play. For instance, the other person could have just come out of a very stressful meeting and could have a million and one things on their mind, they could be completely oblivious of their surroundings. They could have received some incredibly bad news or they could have said thank you and nodded their head but you didn't realise. Normally the situation ends by creating an internal environment of frustration and anger and this only affects one person, ourselves! It serves no purpose but to make ourselves miserable. By taking this concept of Unconditional Interaction you remove any chance of creating this toxic internal environment. When you interact with such unconditionality the joy of your own intent is sufficient to make the action worthwhile and nothing can take that away from you. A large source of unhappiness comes from the gap between reality and expectations, when you remove these expectations from your interactions there can be no gap with reality. This leads to a decrease in the negative emotions that arrive when things don't pan out as expected. In addition, anxiety can be caused by focusing on potential negative outcomes. If you go into your interactions today without expectation, you cannot possibly focus on any such negative consequences! Less anger less frustration and less anxiety. Wonderful!
The example of holding open a door is rather mundane I know but it is one from every day life that we can all associate with. The effects of Unconditional Interaction are far reaching and the consequences can be substantial. When you take this idea into your other interactions people are more likely to see you as more genuine and less manipulative. Despite it being very subtle us humans can be very good at subconsciously picking up on people's intent and if someone realises that you are acting and interacting from the bottom of your heart, in an altruistic unconditional manner, their opinion of you is likely to elevate (but don't act in this manner just so people think higher of you!!! That would be a Covert Contract!!)
So go out into the world, interact unconditionally and let me know how you benefit from today's Thought of the Day!
As always you can contact me on Twitter, @danielcodd1994, Instagram, daniel1994codd or you can leave a comment below!
Breath deep, shine bright and have a great day! Thank you.
*The idea of the Covert Contract is one discussed at length on one of my favourite podcasts, The Art of Charm, brought to us by Jordan Harbinger. Check it out, most of the content is great, but nevertheless, the content that isn't so great still broadens your the expanse of the ideas populating your consciousness.
P.P.S. There are going to be some exciting changes on this site over the next couple of weeks, predominantly an expansion of content and contributors and a new aesthetic to fit. One of these changes will be the introduction of a self help section including these "thoughts of the day" alongside self improvement book reviews and concepts.