Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The cost of friendship

In 7 Habits of Highly Effective Adults, there's a chapter about maintaining and building relationships.
Let's think about bank basics. It's deposits and withdrawals, right? Think of your friends as banks. Not monetary banks, but instead they are filled up(or depleted) of interactions.
If you do something nice for someone, they will generally think a little bit fonder of you.
If you do something mean to someone, they will most probably have a lower tolerance for you.

So think of good deeds as deposits into a person, and not so nice things as withdrawals, ok?
How do you value interactions? Say someone gave me flowers. I would say this would be a nice gesture, but it's not the best. You still get some points, for sure, but if you were to give me a hug- you'd probably get even better points because that to me is a very sweet thing to do. A hug and a kiss? not so much. Let's just leave it at hugs.
To another person, the gesture of giving flowers might be the ultimately nice thing to do for them, versus a hug being so every day.

My interest and fear is: I don't necessarily interact with anyone in real life of any value very often. I have so many friends in the digital realm, and my interactions with people are primarily via chat/text/email. I think my banking system is pretty much as follows:
Points being 1-5, worst to best

Online transactions:
message me first on chat= +2
message me after i say goodbye and close your window= -1
email me a forward= +2
email me a personal letter= +4
like my status= +2
comment on my status= +3
comment on my photos= +3

Some IRL transactions:
Call me= +3
text me= +2
invite to hang out= +4
Go to a show with me= +5
handshake= +1
highfive= +4
hug= +5
visit me= +a million

I assume everyone is my friend, you all start at +1 after meeting you. I trust easy and I think most people always mean well.
I'm having a hard time grasping that I don't really technically have any close friends, and I'm not sure if commenting on other people's status' or leaving a wall note sway a person one way or the other. I know I feel satisfied- I've reached out to communicate with this person. To me it means I'm showing I care. But what if most people don't see it that way?
I fear that maybe each transaction I make with someone, anyone, is actually a negative. I fear that the internet is not enough. I know it sounds nerdy- but I think it's a common occurrence.

I was chatting with Olivia the other day about how strong lol vs haha vs lmao are.
I think that lol is a generic response to anything that you might find a bit amusing. I don't expect you to literally be lolling about. when I say haha, especially more ha's, it's because I am actually laughing or giggling about what you have told me. Technically it's a short outburst of laughter and then me saying oh my god...
Olivia thinks that lol is stronger than haha, she says that lol is actually more like lmao.
So if I say something to make her lol it's like +2, whereas if i say it, it's a +1.

Does any of that make sense? Do you think of your interactions/transactions in this manner?


  1. We never quite discussed the factors of haha vs HAHA. HAHA is definitely stronger!

  2. I believe people allow themselves to "receive" what they "give". So if someone shows love by picking on another, they will only feel loved by people picking on them. It's insane. Humans are insane. But somehow, we find a way to figure it out as best we can. :-)