Cooperation (3): passion and restraint of passions, Charybde and Scylla

’CharybdeThe ‘tit-for-tat’ strategy is distinguished by its regularity and its foreseeable nature . These two characteristics reinforce mutual confidence between partners. They also result in a network in which all relationships are not equal. Relationships maintained on a long term basis by repeated cooperative actions are worth potentially more than new relationships. It is a lesson which serial networkers from such social networks as LinkedIn and Viadeo would do well to contemplate. What is the use of having hundreds of connections in our network if nothing occurs after having added them? Such a social network behaves like a brain in which no nerve impulse circulates between the neurons.

Yet, regularity and foreseeability can be seriously thwarted by our passions and impulsive, chaotic reactions.

Who among us has never answered in an abrupt way to a misunderstood e-mail because we were in bad mood at the time, for reasons entirely unrelated with the sender of the message?

This kind of behavior creates misunderstandings which are real false notes in the cooperation.

In the long run, however, the fact that partners are able to overcome these sudden starts reinforces confidence. After all, we are only human.

 android with deferred emotions To resist the damage born from passions, there may be a temptation to contain them. And sometimes it is not possible to react immediately. To illustrate my point of view, I will analyze a personal case. Not long ago it happened to me that a partner infringed on one of my cardinal values, the appetite for freedom. The ridiculous part of it is that this partner probably wanted to please me. In fact, it concerned the organization of an event in my honor, but to which I had been opposed because I thought the timing was not right. Believing to do well in surprising me, my partner ignored my opposition. In that, he actually “aggressed” me. My reaction was to keep up a good image during the event, and to explode later on, out of context, against my partner. I could not react immediately and with the same intensity to what I had perceived as an aggression. All that happened as if I had not been able to sufficiently communicate my interests (to see my freedom respected). My later explosion was completely unintelligible to my partner.

What this example shows is first that cooperation is sometimes disturbed by an emotional background noise inside each participant. Taking it into account allows one to restart on a cooperative mode, even after a desertion. What is important is the quality of the relationship on a long term.

Second, the fact of not being able or not wanting to respond to a desertion from a partner creates an emotional load. If the emotional loads accumulate, they are sometimes released at the worst time. I refer by that to Eric Bern’s transactional analysis theory.

In other words, to answer a partner impulsively or to restrain ourselves from reacting (or to be restrained) is to take the risk of falling from Charybde (passions) to Scylla (restraining of passions). It is all a matter of balance and timing to express and make our passions understandable, which necessarily permeate the relationship.

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One Response to “Cooperation (3): passion and restraint of passions, Charybde and Scylla”

  1. Nura Says:

    I m now join to study cooperatives management at open university of nigeria, so pls i need your assistance.

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