Some time ago I've reviewed social interactions and how one's feedback (in a [potential] relationship) should be interpreted. The story contains the following photograph, which was taken in a restaurant in Gent (Belgium). I became very impressed when someone translated it to me; I have never thought that such a profound message can be found in a restaurant... on a napkin!
"I'll tell you something revolutionary. Love is everything they claim it to be. That is why people are cynical about it. It's worth fighting for, and worth being brave for, and risk everything for. Because if you don't take the risk - you risk even more."
The story is about this napkin.
Let's analyze it in the context of the meditation on social feedback.
- The napkin may mean that one should bite the bullet and make a step forward when things seem to go wrong... because if you are not brave - you risk even more.
- It could also mean that one should be patient and never try to force themselves upon their 'target'. One should wait, and take the risk of letting time pass... because if you are not patient - you risk even more.
The statement advocates either approach, it is universally true, hence it doesn't really help us at all; it is both: pro-impulsivity, and pro-patience.
If I am impulsive, I am taking the risk of being this close to the moment she says "yes", but disconnecting before that [because I found another person whom I think is a better option]. In graphical terms, look at chart [c] or [d] in the article. The green line is decreasing, and it only starts growing at a certain point,
let's say that point is Friday. Now, the impulsive person will follow their impulsivity on Thursday and say "eh well, she doesn't like me, but there's this other girl who is also cool, so I'll try to get in touch with her". Had they been patient until Friday - they'd get their bonus the next day; but being impulsive - the revenue vanished like a fart in the wind :-)
If I am patient, I am taking the risk of "not disconnecting now", i.e. the risk of missing the chance to establish contact with another person [because I am loyal to the one who is currently on my mind]. In graphical terms, look at chart [b], and imagine that on the green line, after the "..." moment the line is still not growing. In other words, my patience tells me that I must wait and not expect an immediate return of investment, my patience will one day pay off. But little do I know about the fact that it never will :-)
"By not risking, you risk even more" can be applied to any of the two strategies described above, so it is "universally true". It reminds me of the rough days of mathematical equations... do this, do that, and when all evidence points to the fact that you're close to the final solution, you end up with something like 1=1, or 0=0, or x=x... How true, and how useless... Do you remember the joke about a programmer/mathematician and a marketing manager and a balloon?
The quest goes on.
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