Relationships are the foundation of everything we do on a daily basis. From the moment you wake in the morning to the last thing you do at night before you go to sleep, you will be bound to interact with someone, at some stage during the day. Whether it be in person (grabbing your cup of coffee from the local coffee shop) or when you order your takeaway over the phone for your evening meal – you interact with someone at some stage in some form.
Knowing what the basis of the relationship is, is crucial to achieving the end result. For that cup of coffee, you have money, and a craving for caffeine. So the local coffee shop provides a way to satisfy your caffeine need. They provide a service and an item to consume. In return you provide them with the cash they require to make a profit for the owner of the shop. Part of that relationship allows you to indirectly provide employment to a number of people. If you and every other person in the neighbourhood stopped buying from the local coffee shop, then that relationship is broken, and the coffee shop owner needs to find a solution. If the shop is closed down, you lose the ability to get your favourite mocha or latte, the workers who had jobs loose income and need to find another job, and the coffee shop owner loses the income and profit he desired. So the coffee shop moves to a new neighbourhood and new buyer / consumer / goods provider relationships are established.
Everyone knows that relationships are not simple, and can become complicated to say the least. Especially when you consider romantic relationships. The relationship you have with the local coffee shop owner is both a direct and indirect relationship with multiple layers. The relationship you have with a romantic partner is very direct, and if you stopped to consider the emotional aspect to the relationship is very different from the rational aspect, then maybe you could find a winning formulae.
We all know that the TV and Cinema industry place a great deal of emphasis on the love story, where emotion wins the day. But most of those stories tell only of the moment of meeting, of the moment when the romance is established. Very few will stay the course of time to show the difficulties and the changes in the relationship over time. Have you ever considered this? We place a great deal of importance on the aspect of “love” in a relationship. But how many times do we make bad decisions based on emotion?
If you took away the emotion, would you stay the course of time? Would you still be romantically involved with that person, forgiving all the little flaws or chinks in their armour? Would you stay because they provide you with other things that fulfil your needs?
The coffee shop owner is very aware of the difference between the need for a caffeine fix, the emotion associated with coming into the shop, and the rational about how much money the person will spend buying their favourite cup of coffee (or tea for that matter). The interesting question to ask is : “If you knew of all the bad things, of all the chinks in the armour of the coffee shop, the way in which the owner might be unethical in his treatment of the staff, the way that he cheats you and instead of providing you 200 ml of liquid in the drink only provides you 180 ml – if you knew of all the bad things (or call them negative) like the environmental impact of how the coffee shop does not recycle its waste and byproducts created – would you still go to the coffee shop?”
Everything might look rosey on the outside but when you dig to explore the details things will definitely not be the same. So consider this : romantic relationships – if they are focused on the long game (as the movies would say forever into the setting sun …), would it not make sense to get to know the person better, to find out what exactly are their good and bad characteristics – BEFORE you got romantically involved and attached to someone who could break your heart in the months or years to come?
You make rational choices every day, and you also make emotional choices too. When last did you buy something you really did not need or want, but bought it because the sales person played the emotional game with you and got to pluck on your “heart strings” to make you feel that emotionally you needed to buy the item, rather than rationally you could have done without it.
That saying that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” was a concept and marketing ploy created in the 20th century to hike up the value of a gemstone which was so abundant that it was virtually worth nothing at the time. But the emotions associated with the saying, means that as a man you want to please your woman, and as a woman you want to be part of accepted society and not shunned because you don’t have a diamond on your finger! Up until that point, being engaged never required a diamond engagement ring!
You need to learn how to identify the rational choice from the emotional choice. And it definitely helps to be able to decide in a rational frame of mind, before you get emotionally attached to someone or even something. And yes, there will still be times when you make an emotional decision, but how much sweeter and more rewarding would it be knowing that your decision is the right decision for the “long game” ?
If you knew about how bad the coffee shop owner treated his staff would you establish that relationship with his business? Or if you knew that the person who owned the takeaway business gave out all the left over food at the end of the day to those who were less fortunate in life? Would that make a difference in the way you approached your relationships with those businesses?
We are emotional creatures by nature. But we also have the ability to be rational with our thoughts and decisions. When you learn how to split the two, how to select between an emotional decision and a rational decision – thats when you truly start to experience a better quality of life which has longer more rewarding results for everyone involved!