Personal relationships & the peak-end rule – a case study

The Peak-End rule:

… people judge an experience largely based on how they felt at its peak (i.e., its most intense point) and at its end, rather than based on the total sum or average of every moment of the experience.

These are three relationships I have had all my life – U1, A1, and A2. They are all equally closely related. All of them did something terrible recently – together – that has ruined these relationships.

The three relationships - over time
The three relationships – over time

The question is, are the relationships equally spoiled? Or, despite their joint betrayal, I should treat them differently based on the ‘sum total’ of the past experiences?

Continue reading Personal relationships & the peak-end rule – a case study

No group chats

That’s the new rule I’m trying to follow.

People are different. Some like being at the center of the widest possible social circle, others just like to keep up with a big social circle. And some, like me, prefer fewer but deeper social connections.

Group chat, like much of social media, is designed for the first two groups. Not just because they’re the heaviest, most reliable users. But also because number of connections (or followers, friends, or people in groups) is an easy metric to calculate and promote.

Depth of those connections is not such an easy metric to devise. And it is naturally capped. It’s hard to have real deep connections with more than a handful of people.

As I continue to clear the noise in my life, this is one more area where I’m making changes. I want a handful of deep connections, and reduce the noise from the many.  Continue reading No group chats

The rules do not apply

It’s a brilliant book. It’s amongst the best written books I’ve ever read. It’s got the magic that made me smile, nod my head in agreement, screech inside, and be sad. Be very sad.

It’s probably the best book I’ll read this year.

That’s not good. Because it’s over. I didn’t want it to be over. I finished it in three sittings, but I want it to go on for ever.

It also means that anything I read for the next while will feel like it’s taking something precious away. Like eating a dessert after having a steak at Le relais de venise. When I want to savour the taste of that steak in my mouth, anything I eat next will spoil it. And yet, I can’t go without eating forever. Or without reading. Like she says: “nowhere to go but down”.

For another, I’m already in a rump. I’m not happy. I’m not working. I’m not working out. I’m still injured. I’m gaining weight at pound-a-day. And all my relationships are already on that slope that has nowhere to go but down. I didn’t need another source of sadness. And such a beautifully written source, at it.

:(

Money. Shame… Death?

Money may change everything, as Cyndi Lauper sang. But lack of money definitely ruins everything.

Financial impotence casts a pall of misery. It keeps you up at night and makes you not want to get up in the morning. It forces you to recede from the world. It eats at your sense of self-worth, your confidence, your energy, and, worst of all, your hope. It is ruinous to relationships, turning spouses against each other in tirades of calumny and recrimination, and even children against parents…

Financial insecurity is associated with depression, anxiety, and a loss of personal control that leads to marital difficulties…

My Secret Shame, in The New Yorker

Continue reading Money. Shame… Death?