There are what we call invisible losses in life. These are losses we sustain without even being aware. The way life is structured a great deal of the value we derive is hidden in others. Therefore what they think of us matters. Call it social credit.
You’re more likely to do very well in life if your favourability rating in a community is high. The higher your rating the more people want to interact with you, transact with you, be around you, associate with you, identify with you. When it comes to marriage decisions those opinions come to matter. Yes, the man interested in you can form his own opinion but chances are he’ll ask around about you, wonder what people think of you, especially if he’s seeking an introduction. A series of negative reviews can pour cold water on his desire, even though he might like you a great deal. If a guy likes you and everyone says terrible stuff about you he’ll withdraw a bit to assess his desire. He’ll wonder if he’s going in the right direction. Of course the motivation of those individuals doing the review matters. They may be envious or just evil in expressing such negative comments about you. That is only mitigated if one or two critical people tell the guy to ignore those negative comments, ascribing a jealous motivation to them. That doesn’t take away the fact people’s opinion matters. It actually validates it.
No matter what you think of yourself or what you really are the opinion of others can torpedo a potential relationship. Opinions are powerful. Opinions are either objective or subjective, though in truth all opinions are subjective. Our biases somehow creep into those “objective” evaluations. For the most we’re expressing our sentiments. But here’s the link to the temperament thing we spoke about. That you control your temperament with this guy is not going to be enough if enough people tell him you’re highly volatile. He’ll have a rethink. Men struggle with temperament. And we all do that. We modify our behaviour around the person we’d like to marry in order to create the right impression. But what invariably determines the fate of that relationship is how we behave around others. And so you may not be temperamental around this guy but the fact you’re temperamental towards every other person outside of him is going to cost you favourability rating when those opinions are harvested. Temperament is costly. It generates invisible losses.
When you’re temperamental people will tolerate you by focusing on what they like about you. They’ll adjust to accommodate that temperament by going silent during display. They’re embarrassed. But they will have a negative rating of you. Unfortunately they will not tell you that temperament is bad. The emotional cost of doing so is high. The men who should be interested in you will stay away on account of that temperament. That’s an example of invisible loss. Your marriage will be delayed unnecessarily. But why are men wary of temperamental women? Perhaps it has to do with unpredictability. No one knows when the volcano will erupt. It IS a volcano! It spews fire and ash. Men don’t have the emotional capacity for molten lava. And so you may hit it off with a guy but he’ll refuse to approach or take things further if he sees a display of that temperament. He can’t cope in the long run. Doesn’t have emotional capacity. And so there’ll be interested guys who won’t bother to approach you on account of that temperament. You won’t know. You’d just think they don’t have the balls. Or you’ll invent a reason. But it’s invisible loss.
Let’s draw an analogy. Suppose you have a very talented but crooked guy. Everyone will like to engage that talent but the crookedness will make them wary. They’ll refuse to approach the guy for business. That’s invisible loss. Being selfish or self-centred produces similar results. When you’re self-centered you’re bound to treat people anyhow. It’s all about your convenience. It’s why you’ll arrive late on a movie date even though you had ample notice. Everything is supposed to wait on you. Even when you know he’ll miss the beginning of the film you don’t really care. It’s all about you. He’ll wait. That disregard for others will eventually cost you. Only by the time you realise it critical time would have elapsed. Your dream of marriage may be kept in limbo. Same thing with the issue of stubbornness, the fear being no one can talk to you. That’s scary. There’s no room for correction or behaviour modification. You’re right in your own eyes. In some way stubbornness is self-righteousness.
The history of other people matters in life. Those who have gone before us, or are older than us provide a trajectory of a course of life. We can either avoid their mistakes or learn from them. If for example you want to be a crook all you need do is look at the life of older crooks, what became of them and ask yourself pertinent questions. Is that what you want to become? That’s your trajectory you’re witnessing. Same thing if you’re temperamental, stubborn or self-centred. Look around. You’ll see people older than you who share similar traits. They’re your trajectory. If you don’t like what you see you have to modify behaviour. We tend to think in the moment and don’t consider the future. We use immediate short histories from the lives of others to take decisions and that’s not wise. We must look at trajectory over a period.
You can see the possible trajectory of your life by looking at the lives of people much older than you who share your traits. That gives you a long period of history to consider. If you’re lazy for instance you can see your trajectory in how the lives of much older lazy people turned out. Same goes for crooks, or wicked people. The plotting of trajectory doesn’t necessarily mean we’d end up like those people. The advantage of plotting trajectory is that it gives us opportunity to modify behaviour if we don’t like the end we’re looking at. There’s always a corrective opportunity in life. There’s always a redemptive opportunity. So, modify course.
Control that temperament. It’s already cost you a man or two you’re not aware of. They’re your friends but they couldn’t take the next step in your relationship because of fear of that temperament. And so even though you desire to marry, your temperament is scaring prospects away. Of course no one will tell you that. There’s fear of your reaction. And there’s also worry about your genuineness and commitment to change if you’re told. The men fear you may just modify your behaviour to achieve the marriage objective. After marriage the goddess takes over. And of course they’re afraid of you pulling a public scene with that temperament after the wedding. The gate is padlocked. And so even though you have very attractive qualities you’re creating fear in prospects with your temperament. And prospects tend to respect their fears. No one wants to be locked up in marriage with an uncontrollable individual. He or she is a social and emotional health risk.
Of course some will argue you shouldn’t modify your behaviour to please anyone. They insist your temperament is you. Either the man takes it or leaves it. The wisdom in that philosophy is doubtful though. There’s something wrong with a philosophy that does not advocate change in costly behaviour. When a course of behaviour costs us a lot we must as a matter of wisdom modify our behaviour. You’re going to modify your behaviour down the line anyway. The older and more mature you become the more you’ll find yourself calming down. Our behaviour is tempered as we grow older. Only you might have lost a lot before then. Even if you don’t want to calm down life will temper your behaviour. By the time you go through trials and difficulties in life you’ll calm down. But despite the efforts of life some people still find it hard to calm down. Some people are persistent with costly behaviour. There are temperamental old people for instance. The thing is that by the time life forces you to calm down and modify your behaviour a great deal of opportunities would have been lost.
It’s better we save ourselves heartache by modifying our costly behaviour ourselves. Better to do it willingly before life steps in. If it’s too costly modify your behaviour. When we’re young we believe we can get away with anything, even temperament. And we do get away with temperament for some time. And that’s largely because no one considers it worthwhile engaging us. But that you’re getting away with a particular behaviour doesn’t mean it’s not costing you. Life has a hidden taxation system for reprehensible behaviour. The problem as someone once confided in me, is that some of us weren’t taught certain values growing up. We were left to learn about life on our own. For some of us the street was our school of life. And in that particular school of life values are often upside down. For example a lot of what we call “smartness” is lack of values. We cheat and call it “smartness.” But it’s actually lack of integrity.
Lack of values is always costly. If you’re rude for instance you’ll pay for it one way or the other. If you’re fraudulent you’ll pay for it one way or the other. And there’ll be invisible losses. It doesn’t matter whether the world hails you for bad behaviour. You’ll pay for lack of values. And anyway the world always hails the guy who seems to be getting away with it. Until he’s not. That getting away with it is often for a short period of time. It’s very costly. A lack of integrity for example will make people wary about doing business with you. A crooked person makes his path crooked. And so what does it profit you if your temperament chases your prospects away? All you’ll have is the self-satisfaction of getting away with always trying to have your way for a moment.
Modify this behaviour before it costs you too much. Control that temperament. It’s already cost you a great deal. And those older than you have learnt their lesson. Though for some the lesson came rather late. There are things our parents must teach us and there are things we must teach ourselves. But ultimately our lives are our responsibility. Once you’re an adult you lose the right to blame your parents. You must take responsibility for your life.