5 thoughts on “Extraversion, object permanence, and investing in relationships

  1. Jimmy

    I don't really fit "Rao-extravert" and also appreciate the "alterations to soul" type of friendship that don't require relationship maintenance, but I do also see relationships themselves as "real" and important.

    A "relationship", to me, is the *interface* between myself and the other person. Social norms and the like make for a starting template, but often would stifle the best interactions we could have. It's somewhat like starting with the common language of English and then building me-specific jargon to reference otherwise awkward to impossible concepts. For me, at least, this can take a considerable investment of time and energy before we can interact efficiently without "talking past each other", metaphorically speaking. And it's something I create by conspicuously steering our interactions towards places that demonstrate these discrepancies in "frame" so that they can be resolved.

    One term I like to use is "relationship capital". If we routinely generate large amounts of value for each other at small cost to ourselves, then our relationship is *valuable*. If I want you to pick me up from the airport and I we have an extremely valuable relationship, then you can't really say "no" without risking the whole relationship (unless you have a good reason, of course). However, if I'm just some guy you talked to once or twice, that hour of your time might be worth more to you than the privilege of continuing to interact with me. In this sense, "drawing from the energy of the relationship" feels like asking a favor, knowing the other person doesn't really want to be doing it for their own sake.

    Of course, you might intuit that I'm the kind of person that would pick you up from the airport out of "soul modification" even if we haven't yet accumulated a history (or potential future) of valuable relationships, but that seems like the kind of "relationship" you get if you can quickly and easily verify enough trust to allow a "credit limit" with bounds large enough that you don't expect to run into them. That's cool when it happens, but isn't really something most people can expect from each other most of the time. In the rest of those cases, "relationships" can help to define how the interactions between them are expected to go, and they have value to the extent that the default template does not allow the same trades.

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  2. Lindsay

    So meeting with people is generally an exponential curve for me. The first time we meet and have awesome one on one conversation fun times is good, and every subsequent time is better exponentially. Unless it's a crappy time for unrelated reasons obviously. Thinking about it I don't actually know why, part of it is getting to know them but that's not close to all of it. That's just how relationships work I guess?

    Also this is how I am now but it's definitely changed a little over time. Also I can *feel* the relationship degrade if I go months without seeing someone.

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