СодержаниеRelationships → Часть 2

“Most disagreements are like my example. Two people have different information, but they think the root of their disagreement is that the other person has bad judgment or bad manners or bad values. In fact, most people would share your opinions if they had the same information. If you spend your time arguing about the faultiness of other people’s opinions, you waste your time and theirs. The only thing than can be useful is examining the differences in your assumptions and adding to each other’s information. Sometimes that is enough to make viewpoints converge over time. ”

“Hey, if you can teach me to get along with women, I could sure use that. ”

“I can tell you some things. ”

“I’ll take storekidworld.ru whatever help I can get. ”

“Women believe that men are, in a sense, defective versions of women, ” he began. “Men believe that women are defective versions of men. Both genders are trapped in a delusion that their personal viewpoints are universal. That viewpoint—that each gender is a defective version of the other—is the root of all misunderstandings. ”

“How does that help me? ” I asked.

“Women define themselves by their relationships and men define themselves by whom they are helping. Women believe value is created by sacrifice. If you are willing to give up your favorite activities to be with her, she will trust you. If being with her is too easy for you, she will not trust you. You can accomplish your sacrifices symbolically at first, by leaving work early to buy flowers, canceling your softball game to make a date, that sort of thing. ”

“Why does it seem like the rich and famous guys get all the women? ” I asked.

“Partly because the rich and famous are capable of making larger sacrifices. The average man might be sacrificing a night of television to be with a woman. The rich and famous man could be sacrificing a week in Tahiti. There is much to be said about the attraction of power and confidence exuded by a rich and powerful man, but capacity for sacrifice is the most important thing. ”

“What do men value? ” I asked.

“Men believe value is created by accomplishment, and they have objectives for the women in their lives. If a woman meets the objectives, he assumes she loves him. If she fails to meet the objectives, he will assume she does not love him. The man assumes that if the woman loved him she would have tried harder and he always believes his objectives for her are reasonable. ”

“What objectives? ”

“The objectives are different for each man. Men rarely share these objectives because doing so is a recipe for disaster. No woman would tolerate being given a set of goals. ”

“So what should a guy do if the woman in his life doesn’t meet these secret objectives? How can he get her to change? ”

“He can’t, ” he replied. “People don’t change to meet the objectives of other people. Men can be molded in small ways—clothing and haircuts and manners—because those things are not important to most men. Women can’t be changed at all. ”

“I’m not hearing anything helpful here. ”

“The best you can hope for in a relationship is to find someone whose flaws are the sort you don’t mind. It is futile to look for someone who has no flaws, or someone who is capable of significant change; that sort of person exists only in our imaginations. ”

“Let’s say I find the person whose flaws I don’t mind, ” I said. “The hard part is keeping her. I haven’t had much luck in that department. ”

“A woman needs to be told that you would sacrifice anything for her. A man needs to be told he is being useful. When the man or woman strays from that formula, the other loses trust. When trust is lost, communication falls apart. ”

“I don’t think you need to trust someone to communicate. I can talk to someone I distrust as easily as someone I trust. ”

“Without trust, you can communicate only trivial things. If you try to communicate something important without a foundation of trust, you will be suspected of having a secret agenda. Your words will be analyzed for hidden meaning and your simple message will be clouded by suspicions. ”

“I guess I can see that. How can I be more trusted? ”

“Lie. ”

“Now you’re kidding, right? ” I asked.

“You should lie about your talents and accomplishments, describing your victories in dismissive terms as if they were the result of luck. And you should exaggerate your flaws. ”

“Why in the world would I want to tell people I was a failure and an idiot? Isn’t it better to be honest? ”

“Honesty is like food. Both are necessary, but too much of either creates discomfort. When you downplay your accomplishments, you make people feel better about their own accomplishments. It is dishonest, but it is kind. ”

“This is good stuff. What other tips do you have? ”

“You think casual conversation is a waste of time. ”

“Sure, unless I have something to say. I don’t know how people can blab about nothing. ”

“Your problem is that you view conversation as a way to exchange information, ” he said.

“That’s what it is, ” I said, thinking I was pointing out the obvious.

“Conversation is more than the sum of the words. It is also a way of signaling the importance of another person by showing your willingness to give that person your rarest resource: time. It is a way of conveying respect. Conversation reminds us that we are part of a greater whole, connected in some way that transcends duty or bloodline or commerce. Conversation can be many things, but it can never be useless. ”

For the next few hours the old man revealed more of his ingredients for successful social living. Express gratitude. Give more than is expected. Speak optimistically. Touch people. Remember names. Don’t confuse flexibility with weakness. Don’t judge people by their mistakes; rather, judge them by how they respond to their mistakes. Remember that your physical appearance is for the benefit of others. Attend to your own basic needs first; otherwise you will not be useful to anyone else.

I didn’t know if I could incorporate his ingredients into my life, but it seemed possible.

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