Friday, January 21, 2011

therapy thursday: loyalty vs. satisfaction

Note: I began writing this post yesterday, so it counts for Therapy Thursday.

Back in mid-December 2010, I was at a conference in Chicago for work. The keynote speaker was an expert on loyalty. He was funny, energetic, and kept his message real. He talked about customers being loyal versus satisfied, but used real-life examples to get his message across.


Dogs are loyal.

Cats are satisfied.

Dogs are always there for you. They are always excited to see you and are eager to please you at all times. Their love is unconditional. Loyalty is a behavior. Cats do the minimum to keep you filling up their food bowl. They are affectionate on their terms and don't feel compelled to please you in the least. Satisfaction is a mood.

Satisfaction is easy to feel, but loyalty needs a purpose and trust. The keynote speaker said there are two questions you should be able to answer 'yes' to in order to be loyal: 1.) Does it make my life easier? and 2.) Does it make my life better?

Take my Chipotle addiction for example. Does it make my life easier - you bet. I don't have to cook, and it's conveniently located in a plethora of places along my route home and close to home. Does it make my life better - abso-freaking-lutely! It is delicious, plain and simple, and that's enough for me.

Loyalty is fueled by emotions and connections. People are addicted to other people and we want the relationships in our lives to make us feel good. So ask yourself: Does Friend X make your life easier? Does Friend X make your life better? If you answered 'yes' to both questions, chances are you are loyal to Friend X, and would have their back in a fight in a dark alley. If you answered 'no' to one or both of these questions, either you are merely satisfied with your relationship with Friend X or Friend X is more of a burden in your life. If you're satisfied with your relationship with Friend X and don't need more from it, then carry on. If Friend X is a burden and takes more energy to be around than you can afford to expend, then consider trimming the friendship fat to focus on healthier relationships that evoke positive emotions.

The bottom line is that both cats and dogs make great companions, but can you settle for satisfaction or do you yearn for deeper, more meaningful connections from your relationships? I must admit that I am both satisfied with and loyal to the various relationships in my life. You can't be all things to all people. So think about the relationships in your life, which ones are you loyal to, which ones are you satisfied with, and which ones are you just not that into?

2 comments:

emily said...

great topic to think about.

cal ;) said...

great post, holls...lots of good ideas to ponder.

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