Network Weaving

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The happiness/unhappiness continuum

Valdis and I have been having this conversation about the quality of relational transactions in networks. We're thinking outside the usual box of the continuum from win-win to lose-lose. In any set of transactions, there are 6 possible outcomes.

A. Happy-Happy: both of us are happy with the outcomes
B. Happy-Tolerably unhappy: one of us is happy while the other is unhappy at acceptable levels
C. Tolerably unhappy-Tolerably unhappy: both of us unhappy at acceptable levels
D. Happy-Intolerably unhappy: one of us is happy while the other is happy at unacceptable levels
E. Tolerably unhappy-Intolerably unhappy: one of us unhappy at acceptable levels while the other is unhappy at unacceptable levels
F. Intolerably unhappy-Intolerable unhappy: both of us are unhappy at unacceptable levels

Obviously, A is the best outcome. B and C are OK in the short run or occasionally but in the long run cannot support the relationship. D, E, and F are to be avoided because they are unsustainable in the short and long run.


  • I see things very differently, Jack. We are not always aware of what our real needs are. Many of the things that happen to us which appear to be problems are really blessings.

    I suppose it would be possible to extend your list of possible outcomes by adding a dimension of time. This could result in something like the following:

    A. Happy-Happy right now
    A1. Happy-Happy (or satisfied with the outcome) in the future
    B. Happy-Tolerably unhappy
    B1. Happy-Tolerably unhappy (or satisfied with the outcome) in the future


    I don't think we necessarily learn our lessons, so, in the future, we may still not "get" what are truly blessings. But, at least this enables us to have a chance to learn.

    Since we are social beings, we may want to also add in a dimension of whether the outcomes are "Happy" for our family, our community, the world etc. But, I suppose there are enough permutations as it is!

    By SteveHabibRose, at 1/31/2007 3:42 PM  

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