by Agnes a Paris
Mon Nov 27th, 2006 at 07:17:13 AM EST
Originally title of a brilliant and witty semi-autobiography by Toby Young.
Thought it was a good way to sum up the below the fold principles, which I initially posted on my short-lived personal blog.
I like sharing, reactions, discussion and, no kidding, disagreements, even if I tend to overract when facing a potential conflict, as many of you have experienced. I take this opportunity to apologise and hope for no hard feelings. That's why community matters, and I feared getting dumb for lack of feed back on my blog.
The below principles, or "my very own guide to perfect relationships" are a parody of self help books. Not that I question the purpose of these publications : they can be very helpful, but as Paul Claudel put it "Nothing can be more dangerous than an idea when you only have this single one".
The more ingredients you put into the cooking jar, the more interesting (and, true, potentially explosive) the result will get.
This diary is for you to react and quote positive counter-examples, if you so wish.
So many guides having been published in that respect, I thought I'd share with you my own selection of tricks to make relationships work (to my advantage). This list only partly applies to relationships at the working place, as these are theoretically a pure and perfect trade between competences and money. Things may not be that simple, which is why Freud comes in handy to specialists of human behaviour at work and the pharmaceutical industry thrives on anti-stress pills.
Relationships addressed here are private ones. True, the border bewteen public and private life may be tricky to set. To make things simpler, let's say we deal only with relationships the loss of which theoretically affects our private life (friends, mates, pals, buddies, lovers, partners, etc). A handful of ideas to have only the others possibly adversly affected, and you making the most of it.
Rule of thumb : all relationships eventually turn into zero sum games. Be sure to secure the winning side.
-Never ever vest too much interest into one person. The only worse thing would be letting tat person know how much they matter. Allocate your feelings and likings as a wise and prudent investor, depending on your aversion to risk. Your fund manager is fully qualified to tell you what type of investor you are ;
-Always come up as though you had enough distinct contacts to fill one year's agenda with a distinct one every day ;
-Make yourself scarce. people value you by the effort it took to have you in their inner circle. Major flaws : needy, earnest, too keen, anxious to spend quality time with people. This is not cool, and coolness is the essence of post-modernity. See Gilles Lipovetsky (unfortunately not translated into English) : "L'ere du vide" ;
-Make sure you keep the lead and steer the relationship : the key to that is maintaning a feeling of uncertainty as to your level of commitment to the relationship. Use jealousy as a prudent and experienced operator. Some people are strangely immune to this once quite predictably efficient tool ;
-Yield to people's wishes or demands in two cases only : the cost is nil to you ; you got yourself a powerful leeway by giving in ;
-Always dump friends or lovers before being in danger of becoming expandable, or even better, make the relationship so hellish to them that they will eventually break it up, bearing the brunt of guilt for it ;
-Always hold in store a substitute for each kind of relationship : the devoted and plain girlfriend you go shopping with, the mate who has free access to the edgiest clubs, the fantastic lover, the lifetime confident. That will ensure you not have to experience any feeling of loss. Bear in mind no one is unique, except you ;
-Relationships are assets. Be sure to closely monitor their market value and dispose of them when the value to cost of your time falls below a 4 digit percentage.