It was a few months back when I wrote the article that blew relationships wide open. Here’s the original: The One and Only Secret To Life I’ve Learned It’s the bombshell piece that shut down Tinder, eharmony, and IceRoadTruckerdating-dot-com within a week. Okay, so maybe those sites were able to rebound, but I promised a sequel to add more clarity to that crazy manifesto and this is where I deliver.
The “one and only secret” basically offered a time saver when it came to assessing your relationships with romantic interests, friends, family or professional colleagues. The gist was that if you like something about someone or admire a quality about them, that’s great, but often there’s also a quality about them that drives you nutty. You aren’t fond of. My word to the wise postulated that sometimes those two qualities, the good and the bad, are linked.
Say a person is laid back, doesn’t go bonkers over every little thing. You love being around this person because you appreciate avoiding all the drama. But then one day when you need emotional support or maybe a bit of a cheerleader, some urgency in the workplace…that person really lets you down. They’re just too low key for those moments.
So you have to be prepared for the opposite of the good parts you love. And if you try to change the negative part of the person, you might flip the wrong switch and end up changing the good part too.
In my last rant, I didn’t offer much in the way of practical use for this paradigm. It’s a bit of a tough pill to swallow for some. To visualize it you must draw up a double line graph in your head. One graph for each person illustrating their good and bad qualities.
Or (gasp!), what about a graph on yourself? How self aware do you want to get? Can you predict what another person might have to visualize when they have to evaluate you? Is it your raggedy socks? I bet it’s something about your sock management.
First step, you chart how much you like the good qualities and compare them to the bad qualities. And you find out how much the bad drags down the good. If that point, when they’re both added together, falls below what you’re willing to put up with, then the solution is clear.
It’s like the Mendoza Line in baseball. Former MLB Player Mario Mendoza didn’t hit for a great average in his career and he became an early meme of sorts. So nowadays, if a player hits below .2OO he’s said to be batting below the Mendoza line. This usually means that the batter isn’t good enough to be in the Major Leagues no matter how good his defensive skills are.
His good doesn’t outweigh the bad.
So for evaluating relationships we’ll make up our own cut-off term…like the Scott Denim Shorts line. If someone’s line graph is even worse than the thought of Scott wearing his favorite jean shorts in public (below the Scott Denim Line), then maybe you need to send your significant other down to the minors.
You might have to go back to IceRoadTruckerdating dot com and find a new potential soulmate. And someone may make the same call on you. You sometimes have to ask yourself, what negative traits are dragging down my positive ones? Can another person or Ice Road Trucker (during the summer months) put up with your line dip?
It’s not an easy thing to think about. But here’s the healing aloe to slather all over this lesson. We know we won’t find anyone without negative traits. We all have them. But sometimes if you can link them to the positive traits you can see why a person is the way they are. You might be more forgiving. You might be able to make a case for keeping that significant other or employee on the team. Or you might catch some troubling data early.
Eventually everyone’s stats flash across that stadium scoreboard. Will you be proud of your OBP (on base percentage)? Remember to be kind when you run the numbers. Other people will be looking at the back of your baseball card to check your stats as well.
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