Relationships from God’s Debris

In a conversation with my sister mentioned that she was reading God’s Debris and mentioned something about the chapter called Relationships in it.  I read the book back in 2004 so I couldn’t really remember it.  It was a free ebook and it still is available for download for free.  I do remember that it was a philosophical eccentric crazy book but I did enjoy reading it very much.  It is the kind of book that you need to read with an open exploring mind.   The author of the book is Scott Adams, who is also the creator of Dilbert, the books is a very interesting and unexpected if you keep who the author is in mind.  He describes the book as a thought experiment.  I looked up the section she was talking about, and felt I had to share.  If you are interested the link for download is at the bottom.

Excerpt from the book page 110 – 114

“Women believe that men are, in a sense, defective ver-
sions of women,” he began. “Men believe that women are
defective versions of men. Both genders are trapped in a
delusion that their personal viewpoints are universal. That
viewpoint—that each gender is a defective version of the
other—is the root of all misunderstandings.”
“How does that help me?” I asked.
“Women define themselves by their relationships and
men define themselves by whom they are helping. Women
believe value is created by sacrifice. If you are willing to give
up your favorite activities to be with her, she will trust you.
If being with her is too easy for you, she will not trust you.
You can accomplish your sacrifices symbolically at first, by
leaving work early to buy flowers, canceling your softball
game to make a date, that sort of thing.”
“Why does it seem like the rich and famous guys get all
the women?” I asked.

“Partly because the rich and famous are capable of mak-
ing larger sacrifices. The average man might be sacrificing a
night of television to be with a woman. The rich and famous
man could be sacrificing a week in Tahiti. There is much to
be said about the attraction of power and confidence exuded
by a rich and powerful man, but capacity for sacrifice is the
most important thing.”
“What do men value?” I asked.
“Men believe value is created by accomplishment, and
they have objectives for the women in their lives. If a
woman meets the objectives, he assumes she loves him. If
she fails to meet the objectives, he will assume she does not
love him. The man assumes that if the woman loved him she
would have tried harder and he always believes his objectives
for her are reasonable.”
“What objectives?”
“The objectives are different for each man. Men rarely
share these objectives because doing so is a recipe for disas-
ter. No woman would tolerate being given a set of goals.”
“So what should a guy do if the woman in his life
doesn’t meet these secret objectives? How can he get her to
change?”
“He can’t,” he replied. “People don’t change to meet
the objectives of other people. Men can be molded in small

ways—clothing and haircuts and manners—because those
things are not important to most men. Women can’t be
changed at all.”
“I’m not hearing anything helpful here.”
“The best you can hope for in a relationship is to find
someone whose flaws are the sort you don’t mind. It is
futile to look for someone who has no flaws, or someone
who is capable of significant change; that sort of person
exists only in our imaginations.”
“Let’s say I find the person whose flaws I don’t mind,”
I said. “The hard part is keeping her. I haven’t had much
luck in that department.”
“A woman needs to be told that you would sacrifice any-
thing for her. A man needs to be told he is being useful.
When the man or woman strays from that formula, the other
loses trust. When trust is lost, communication falls apart.”
“I don’t think you need to trust someone to communicate.
I can talk to someone I distrust as easily as someone I trust.”
“Without trust, you can communicate only trivial things.
If you try to communicate something important without a
foundation of trust, you will be suspected of having a secret
agenda. Your words will be analyzed for hidden meaning and
your simple message will be clouded by suspicions.”
“I guess I can see that. How can I be more trusted?”

“Lie.”
“Now you’re kidding, right?” I asked.
“You should lie about your talents and accomplish-
ments, describing your victories in dismissive terms as if they
were the result of luck. And you should exaggerate your
flaws.”
“Why in the world would I want to tell people I was a
failure and an idiot? Isn’t it better to be honest?”
“Honesty is like food. Both are necessary, but too much
of either creates discomfort. When you downplay your
accomplishments, you make people feel better about their
own accomplishments. It is dishonest, but it is kind.”
“This is good stuff. What other tips do you have?”
“You think casual conversation is a waste of time.”
“Sure, unless I have something to say. I don’t know how
people can blab about nothing.”
“Your problem is that you view conversation as a way to
exchange information,” he said.
“That’s what it is,” I said, thinking I was pointing out
the obvious.
“Conversation is more than the sum of the words. It is
also a way of signaling the importance of another person by
showing your willingness to give that person your rarest
resource: time. It is a way of conveying respect. Conversation
reminds us that we are part of a greater whole, connected in
some way that transcends duty or bloodline or commerce.
Conversation can be many things, but it can never be useless.”

For the next few hours the old man revealed more of his
ingredients for successful social living. Express gratitude.
Give more than is expected. Speak optimistically. Touch
people. Remember names. Don’t confuse flexibility with
weakness. Don’t judge people by their mistakes; rather,
judge them by how they respond to their mistakes. Remem-
ber that your physical appearance is for the benefit of oth-
ers. Attend to your own basic needs first; otherwise you will
not be useful to anyone else.
I didn’t know if I could incorporate his ingredients into
my life, but it seemed possible.

Download the book.

4 Comments

  • At 2009.11.11 01:14, ibhog said:

    interesting!

    Many of the tips accord with John Gray’s.

    downloading and ooon to my reading list!

    thanks :)

    • At 2009.11.11 12:17, jessyz said:

      It really is about more than that, read it and let us know what you think.

      • At 2009.11.11 13:23, loolt said:

        This is my fave comment cuz it is soooo true:

        “Without trust, you can communicate only trivial things.
        If you try to communicate something important without a
        foundation of trust, you will be suspected of having a secret
        agenda. Your words will be analyzed for hidden meaning and
        your simple message will be clouded by suspicions.”

        Thanks for sharing!

        • At 2009.11.11 17:30, jessyz said:

          True, what did you think about the men and women part?