Conditional Relationships

As a general rule I don’t like conditional relationships with one big exception and that would be marriage. Marriage has a set of conditions that I willingly accepted at the onset.

I became keenly aware of conditional relationships as a young adult in a competitive work environment.

Whenever I hit my production goals I would be lavished with perks and praise but if I fell short I was shunned. Supposedly this was to motivate me to receive phony praise and get my mind right and hit production goal. This conditional praise turned me off at the onset because it wasn’t genuine. I chose not to play the game. This may have been the roots of my mental vacation.

I recently had a relative by marriage ambush my wife down to the “f**K you” in retaliation for a rather benign comment she made in comparison to his retaliation. His conditions were not met without questions on a family matter and his behavior far out weighted the benefit of any pleasure derived from the relationship. This guy can apologize or kiss my ass for life.

I had a friend once since 1st grade and over the years the relationship became more and more conditional. It reached a point that 12 years ago I left him a message to call me please and just recently he returned the call with an apology and sincere effect to re-establish our friendship. There was just too much bullshit tied to the old friendship.

I have struck up a casual friendship recently through this blog with Micky-T and we know exactly where one potential rift lies. He is a screaming liberal and I am a dyed in the wool conservative and we have very different back grounds and vocations yet we are enjoying our new founds friendship. No conditions for now. I think we have agreed to not go to the mat on politics because it would only be destructive. We do fire shots over the bow but never press.

Just so I don’t come off as a complete phony I do have conditional relationships with a hand full of clients. Most of my clients are great sincere people but a handful of relationships are conditional and so far the payout in return exceeds the bullshit of the conditions. I am always on guard with these people.


Ken said...

Ha! But I'm just shooting with a pea shooter...


...and lots of conservative values just under my skin.

Jay said...

I started reading this blog conditionally about 2 years ago.

terri said...

It seems to me that many relationships have conditions, even if they're just under the surface. We're just intuitive about those conditions and abide by the rules in order to make things work. It's a rare relationship that is unconditional, and those are the best kind.