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Your Psychological Contract And You

Written by: Richard Hilton, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Richard Hilton

In a conversation with my friend Ali, who co-hosts a podcast with me, we delved into the topic of Moral Injury and its profound impact on individuals. I previously explored this subject in an article. Ali introduced me to the concept of the psychological contract, which originates from the workplace. Intrigued by its relevance to our personal lives, I have decided to write this article to emphasize that the psychological contract goes beyond professional settings.

woman sitting on cliff raising both hands

We firmly believe that it encompasses our individual aspirations and expectations from a psychological perspective. It involves assessing what is acceptable to ourselves and the level of commitment we have towards making changes, such as quitting smoking or embarking on an exercise routine.


The first area is the "self-contract," which encompasses personal aspirations, goals, boundary setting, and finding a sense of purpose. By acknowledging this contract with ourselves and nurturing the areas we want to improve, we can develop a positive sense of self-worth and a strong identity.

This, in turn, allows us to prioritize personal growth, well-being, and cultivate a positive relationship with ourselves and how we perceive ourselves in the world. Breaking this contract can harm our psyche and go against our moral values and personal standards.

Family Contract

The next aspect is the family contract, which involves our roles as providers, the establishment of trust, and providing support to our loved ones. This contract encourages open and honest communication, empathy, and active participation in each family member's emotional well-being.

Respecting the boundaries and desires of each family member creates a nurturing and safe environment that strengthens family ties.

Failing to honour this contract can potentially lead to psychological problems, as boundaries are not set or respected, and trust can be breached within the family unit.

Friendship Contract

While we cannot choose our family, we have the ability to choose our friends. Friendships offer guidance and advice that may differ from what we receive within our family circle, and they provide opportunities for shared activities outside of the family.

The friendship contract involves a mutual understanding of each other's needs and desires. It includes loyalty, respect, and a commitment to supporting each other's growth, happiness, and aspirations. Being present and offering support during difficult times strengthens the sense of community and enriches our lives. When this contract is broken, it can result in feelings of betrayal and mistrust, causing harm to all parties involved.

The Reciprocal Nature

Similar to the reciprocal agreement between employers and employees in the workplace, the contracts we form with ourselves, family, and friends also rely on reciprocity. Just as we expect fair treatment, respect, and understanding from our employers and colleagues, we must extend these principles to ourselves, our family, and our friends.

By fulfilling our obligations in society, we contribute to fostering a harmonious dynamic that promotes trust, fulfilment, and well-being, providing us with a sense of belonging.


The psychological contract extends beyond the confines of the workplace and into our everyday lives, allowing us to feel fulfilled, happy, and engaged. By actively participating in these contracts, we experience personal growth in all aspects of our lives, mentally, physically, and spiritually, which enables us to navigate life's challenges. We become better equipped to handle the ups and downs, embracing all that life has to offer.

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Richard Hilton Brainz Magazine

Richard Hilton, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Richard is a former member of the British Army. Upon leaving the military he studied extensively in self-defense, Conflict Management. Due to going through a difficult period on leaving, he realised that he needed to make major changes in the direction of his life He then began to study NLP and Hypnosis. He is now helping veterans and first responders with the difficulties and challenges that they are facing on a daily basis. He has also self-published his first book "Whispers over Windermere"



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