Triangles

School of Temporary ThoughtAt Amplified we had an interesting series of exchanges around relationships.

I asserted my belief that in a 3-way relationship, say Alice, Bob & Carol, then Alice is responsible for her relationship with Bob and also responsible for her relationship with Carol, but that Bob and Carol’s relationship is none of Alice’s business.

That’s my belief. It’s what I try to practice in life, although when you do start to try to practice it, you see how entrenched in our social dynamics is the belief that we can tell two other people how to run their lives or believe that in some way we are looking after either of them by trying to make their relationship “work” or “better” or maybe “work better”.

“What about gossip?” I was asked. Yes, good question. Again, I try, I really try not to indulge in gossip anymore, it doesn’t do either of us any good, although I don’t deny that it can be absolutely delicious.

None of this is to say that I think myself any better than anyone because of this belief, it’s just what works for me.

There was an interesting point where we were talking about it and there was some disagreement. Someone asked for a show of hands as to who agreed with me. Funny. I think maybe one or two hands went up. Did I change my mind? Nope. Did I suddenly think, maybe I should start interfering in other people’s relationships? Nope. Forty years of llife has taught me not to stick my nose in. Peer pressure isn’t going to swing it.

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3 thoughts on “Triangles”

  1. Lloyd,

    I’m not sure that many people understood the outworking of the idea you put forward… it seems that due to the prevalent mode of interaction being something that doesn’t work for you, your description of ‘the triangle’ is negatively defined – it’s set out to be recognisable as distinct from the norm…

    I would guess that in practice, the positive energy, shared narrative and natural curiosity of the 3 parties would mean that there was a fair amount of requested, required and beneficial cross-over in the relationships, such that the ‘3rd side of the triangle’ became pragmatically your business, even if, in theory, your involvement in it was selective and could be curtailed by either of the other parties, and you had no right to ‘assume or expect’ involvement.

    Does that make sense? I really like what you’re getting at, in terms of how it sets out limits for unwanted interference in interpersonal relationships, but I think the nuance of how it works practically when all parties are lovely and interesting and Tuttlish was lost in your Amp08 talk :)

    Oh, and you’re lovely.

    Sx

  2. I’m not sure I understand what you are trying to say..or I’m missing something somewhere. So If I’m friends with Alice and friends with Bob, and Bob and Alice are friends between themselves, then you feel that if A&B are having problems with that relationship then you believe you should stay out of it. And most of the other people in the room believed you should interfere?

    I agree that it’s none of your business and you should not proactively get involved. There’s a but in this though, with 2 situations where I would consider it. The first is where issues between A&B are disrupting your relationship with the parties, so I’d discuss what it was doing to that. The second would be if I was directly asked for advice, where I would consider coaching them to some conclusion – but not offering advice directly.

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