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He's Making a List and Checking it Twice

Santa's listEverybody wants to have a sense of fairness in their relationship, and many people do this by what we call making lists and keeping score.

Maybe you take turns to make dinner, but sometimes your partner is busy and you have to double up, or they offer pizza in exchange for your elaborate feast.

Maybe you each have different tasks, but do not value each other’s contributions correctly. What is seen as the simple act of driving to school, picking Jane up and coming back is actually getting the car out of a tight parking spot, needing to get gas, running into road construction, finding Jane’s friend vomited on her backpack, and having mother call twice for help because her email isn’t working.

Measuring and comparing leads people to ignore the very differences that bring richness to the relationship in favor of some unified scale that seeks to put each partner on the same level in each activity. This brings a false picture of sameness and devalues the unique qualities each contributes.

Click here to find out more about the dangers of lists.

Kit and Kat have something to say about list-making, too.

Book Report

"How Two" book in library "How Two" in library
We're proud to announce that How Two: Have a Successful Relationship is now in the main branch of our local library in Santa Barbara and can be taken out in any of the Black Gold system. It can be found in the Local Authors Emerging Authors Collection and in the card catalog.


Successful Relationship Reading Corner

In this week's blog we wrote about making lists and keeping score. These articles have some amusing anecdotes about this.

Do You Keep Score in Your Relationships? "You and your partner just argued for the umpteenth time about whose turn it is to walk the dog:
“I walked her twice yesterday,” you point out.
“And I walked her for three days last week,” your partner retorts.
“Well,” you counter, “I took the kids to the doctor on Tuesday.”
And so it goes. You and your partner seem to be endlessly keeping a tally on who did what for whom, when, and at what cost of time and effort."

Kindness and Keeping Score "A few years ago, seated around a luncheon table at a business meeting, I tuned into a conversation among my table-mates. A woman whom I knew only barely was describing with unconcealed pride the electronic filing system she had created some years before to track Christmas cards. She described an elaborate program which maintained both a database of names and addresses, and a spreadsheet."

Why 'Keeping Score' Ruins Relationships (And How To Stop NOW) "'Some view relationships as a bank account. It is an interesting analogy, but it is inherently flawed as it is hard to quantify deposits and withdrawals,' says...Laurel House. How do you value and therefore quantify the difference between deposits that are financial, emotional, or time and effort-oriented? 'If this in in fact the measure that both partners in the relationship agree on, yet the weight of each type of deposit or withdrawal is not defined, it's easy to feel like there is an imbalance as one person in inevitably always going to feel as though they are the one making the greater contribution,' says House. Obviously, this causes resentment."

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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