The company you keep, reveals a lot about your values and who you are. You are compelled towards different relationships for different reasons. You may love spending time with family and long time friends because you have a shared past. Or with people who have similar interests and like the same activities. You may have one friend who makes you laugh like no one else (very compelling!) or a new partner you adore and can’t wait to learn more about. And then, there are the people that you spend time with simply because they have something you want. Perhaps you believe they have the power to further your cause or elevate your status.

These people are like shiny pennies. Their sparkle can dazzle you into believing they may hold the key to an easy path or a secret shortcut to your desired destination, and for this reason you want them to be a part of your life. These are the people that you feel are ‘good to know.’ Yet…

Your ulterior motives can lead to disappointment. When you Want it BAD, You Get it BAD.

Hopefully, you just want it good. Getting really honest about what is driving you in a relationship is the quickest way to uncover your motives. If you discover that the relationship serves as a means to an end, then it is time to reevaluate.

People can feel when you want something from them. If you’ve ever experienced this yourself then you know what I’m talking about. When someone is being inauthentic in their desire to know you, it feels gross.

When you Give to Get, you always LOSE @Terri_Cole (Click to Tweet!)

I learned this lesson the hard way when I was a talent agent. Early on I was blinded by the sparkle from some ‘shiny pennies’, and ended up in a few pretty unhealthy, imbalanced relationships, as a result. Eventually, I learned and made a rule for my personal life: No befriending anyone highly visible and loaded if you would never befriend them if they were unknown and poor. This cut out many relationships and spared me the inevitable break up conversation or disappearing act explanation.

Still feeling unclear around your motives for being in a relationship, or about someone else’s? An effective tool that you can use to avoid the challenges and pain that often come from a relationship based on getting rather than giving or sharing, is to become the observer. Watch yourself and others, when you feel unsure about the motives in a relationship. When words and actions don’t align it is one of the quickest ways to tell that someone may not be trustworthy, and therefore may not have your best interest at heart (or vice versa).

You may decide to keep the relationships that you have despite feeling that there may be ulterior motives. The point of these tips and tools is to give you a better understanding of what you are being driven by and why. From this understanding you can make more conscious choices that will lead to healthy relationships. Hopefully, ones that make you feel good, safe and bring more joy into your life.

This is an interesting topic so if you have any questions or comments please share them below. I always love hearing from you. Taking some time to evaluate the relationships in your life is an effective way to keep it real. Have a wonderful week and as always, take care of you.

Love Love Love


Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Tune Up Tips and follow her on Twitter.

Image courtesty of Fe IIya