Altruism: The Exception, Not the Norm
Altruism, people helping each other out of the kindness of their hearts. In a perfect world, the average person would hold a way of thinking that goes along the lines of, “why do you have to get something to give something?”
Unfortunately, that is not how the world works. Its a cousin of the survival mechanism. People want to better their position in the world and if you can help the other party with this desire, they will be extrinsically motivated to help you out if you dangle that carrot in front of them.
Quid Pro Quo
Of course this practice is mutual. The only reason you are willing to engage with that other party is because there is some benefit to you that you can obtain by engaging in that relationship. The Latin term for these types of relationships is Quid Pro Quo, translation, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours when it all comes down to it.
Though this is not to be mistaken for being a confrontation because it is not. This is a trade between 2 parties that involves the goods, services, money that is common in economic transactions but also seeps into the political and social realms as well.
For instance, perhaps one of the parties is in need of a connection to a 3rd party that the other party knows and can give an introduction to. The first parties incentive for doing business therefore, would be to help the other person because they want to expand their social capital. And minus underhanded manipulation, normally both parties need to see the agreement as being fair for the deal to follow through.
And at the same time, it is only normal for both sides to be jockeying for concessions out of the other individual. It is only natural as each is trying to better their position. And when deals fall apart as they inevitably do, more oft then not, it is because there is a disagreement over how much each side should contribute.
“I Need You Less Then You Need Me”
In relation to that, there is a saying between negotiators that in any prolonged silence, who ever speaks first loses. The reasoning behind this is that whoever speaks first wants to prolong the conversation that may lead to a partnership. In other words, they need that relationship more, they are more desperate and therefore more malleable to extract concessions out of.
This leads to getting the short end of the deal so to speak. The answer to resolve this is to be less desperate then the other party. How so?
In short is to have options at your disposal so that you can exit a relationship without great loss to your positioning.
Kingston S. Lim
October 28, 2020
Dar Es Salam, Tanzania
About Kingston’s Journey Series: Kingston’s Journey is a lifelong series. This is the travel journal I take with me. Whether you have questions such as how to change my life or how to travel the world, I think you’ll find value in the life lessons I’ve experienced and documented in this travel notebook. They may serve as travel inspiration for you. In Chinese, there is a saying, “讀萬卷書,不如行千里路.”
This means, instead of reading ten thousand books, why don’t you walk a thousand miles. This is my inspiration to travel every nation (or as many as possible) in my pursuit of my global MBA by learning as much as possible and recording these life lessons learned only by travel. In the end, I think the achievement of dreams, personal growth & aspirations out there through travel and adventure will lead to a more fulfilling life. Living and experiencing the “now” is how I’ll make my life a great memory in the future.