#126: What I can get away with
Game theory of human relationships
In different relationships, I have different dynamics leading to different thresholds of what both parties “can get away with”. As a result, I behave differently with different individuals depending on that co-created threshold. How fast, detailed and warm my response to a message will be depends on the threshold with that person. At the core, I have to feel the investment I am making will pay off and I won’t be cheated.
This threshold is a dynamic bi-directional entity updated in real-time. I go out of my way for you and thus heighten the threshold: you feel that you can invest more into me now. Yet, if I stand you up multiple times, you feel that you can get away with that too. In response to the other party’s defensive behavior, we both start to cut down on our investments. We inevitably enter a compounding decline of our threshold.
This tit-for-tat might lead to actions I don’t approve of in myself: I’ll simply do them because I am threatened in the game. Understanding the nature of this dynamic will help me become aware of the direction in which a certain relationship is compounding. Depending on what I want, I will be able to craft relationships where I can’t get away with some things but have the bandwidth to get away with others.