All of us, at some or another, will find ourselves in the midst of a confrontation. It could be between husband and wife, brother and sister, boyfriend and girlfriend, or manager and employee. The differences that we hold will all be different. Both sides will believe that they are right, and for that reason, they will be victorious. Being right or being wrong have nothing to do with victory or defeat. Victory is always shared by the same group of people. Victory goes to those that care the least.
Anytime that you find yourself in an argument with another person, you have two choices; you can either not give a shit, or you can lose. You cannot and will not do both. Allow me to give some examples:
Your son’s room is a complete and total shit-pit. You have told him countless times to clean it but he just isn’t getting the message. In spite of your words, the room remains as a swill hole. You see, you care about the condition of his room. He does not. That is why you lose. At some point, it is time to implement punishment. You take his Xbox away, and now the tables have turned. You are now in a position to be victorious because you don’t give a shit about his Xbox or how much time he does or doesn’t spend playing it. Trust me that little bastard is going to cave.
Let’s say you and your spouse wake up and go into the living room. Both of you would love to have a nice hot cup of coffee as you ease into your morning. Neither one of you want to make the coffee. Guess who has to take the losers walk to the coffee pot and make the coffee. That’s right the one that cared the most. The winner is still sitting on the couch waiting patiently. They did not care; they did not lose.
There are two roommates living in an apartment sharing the same kitchen, and bathroom. Weeks of neglect have resulted in a seemingly unlivable circumstance. Both of you have contributed equally to this mess so who is to clean it? I can guarantee you that the person who cares the least will in no way be involved in this task. It will be done by the person who cares more about having a clean place to live.
Some of you might be saying, “Tom, I am in that situation at home right now. Is there anything that I can to do achieve victory even though I care more?” Sometimes there is. The only question you have to ask yourself is, can you go the distance?
This will not work for a circumstance in which the other party doesn’t care at all. This is only going to work when they care a little less than you do. All you have to do is hold out longer, and put on a subtle display of acceptance. We will use the coffee scenario. You and your spouse are sitting there. You are both, wanting that cup of coffee. You need to believe that you are going to win. You have had the benefit of my counsel whereas they have not. Instead of getting up, to make coffee, you get up and get yourself a glass of ice water. This will have a two-pronged effect. Your spouse will first see that you are not going to make coffee, and second that you have resolved your morning beverage through easier means, and moved on with your life. It is no longer about who cares the least. You are now figuratively wearing a t-shirt that reads, “Hey, I’m good either way asshole!” Congratulations.
I must warn you of something, and for your own sake, heed my words! Pick your battles. This is FIRE. This can get out of control, and have the reverse effect. Listen to this tragic example.
Your spouse has always done your laundry. They have just been doing it for so long that a precedent has been set and it just seems to happen now. Well a year or so down the road, you are in the midst of an argument. At some point in the argument, they say, “Well fine then, until you do this or that you can just do your own damn laundry.” Now if you are a student of this philosophy, then you would simply just begin doing your own laundry. You will do it promptly and without a word of complaint. You will do this to show your spouse that laundry service is not worth doing whatever was discussed in your previous argument, but Do Not Linger. You may inadvertently set a new precedent for which is far worse than you bargained for. You might discover that your spouse now has decided that the other thing is not near as important to them, as not having to do all the laundry. Now they care less about that other thing and you have lost a huge battle that you will be reminded of every week when your laundry basket is full.
This battle could not have been won, except for the truly committed opponent. It would have to be something completely unreasonable and ridiculous to justify these measures. I know I am more than capable of this tactic, but I don’t think most normal people would be willing to go this far. I would have just waited until the last clean thing I wore was dirty, and then where the same thing every day until my wife just couldn’t take the smell any longer. Then it would be; Game, Set, Match, Tom Nardone.
I seldom lose these days. There are sooooo many things that I just don’t care about. I remember that my wife and I were once having a little playful banter back and forth and she said she would write something on my website that would embarrass me. I responded by saying, “What would you write darling?” She just accepted defeat at this point. She realized that if the things that I have written about myself don’t embarrass me, than what else could she add that would embarrass me. I just don’t care what most people know about me anymore. Therefore, that lessens the value of their approach. When you don’t care, you are unbeatable.
I will stand by everything I have said thus far. Some things are worth arguing, but many are not. This is not the normal way to people who love each other should behave. A relationship is give and take, and you can’t have a good relationship if you are constantly manipulating every part of it. You can’t have a good relationship if you don’t care. When you feel that the other party is wrong, and if it is a big life-changing thing that you cannot accept, then perhaps this is a way to handle it. Not caring is a way to win an argument or a confrontation. It is not a way to live your life.
We have all heard this since we were kids, and it is my personal belief as well. “Nobody wins a fight.” While this is true that nobody wins a fight, it should also be noted that there are degrees of losing.
I am Tom Nardone and you are welcome.
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