When you create rules and principles for yourself – sometimes to change something and sometimes to make things less messy – you always end up having some rules, which may not necessarily make any practical sense but still would be something that will help you in some or the other way. One such rule that I have set for myself is “The rule of three tries.”
Simply stated, for anything emotional or potentially emotional, if I am supposed to attempt to do an action which requires a reaction from the person in front to end the interaction in a solid non-confusing way, if I do not get a proper reaction at the first time, I will try only two times more; after which I completely forget about it and never try again.
I know for a sentence starting with the phrase – Simply stated – that was a way too lengthy statement; but it kind of summarizes it all.
Consider for instance, I like someone and I would like to ask them out. I would ask them once. If no proper response is given, I may ask another time in a similar manner or maybe I will change something this time. If still no response; there will be one last attempt. These attempts does not have to be consecutive and may have too large or too small gaps in between them, but after the third attempt there wont be any more tries from my side. And this rule is applied similarly, for asking a friend for a hang out, asking your colleague to accompany you for lunch, calling someone, or anything that can come in the genre suggested by the definition that I had mentioned before.
Why such a rule?
1. It helps me move on faster.
2. It helps me stay less confused for a particular thing.
3. It helps me to keep my self-respect and dignity far away from things at stake.
Why to have any rules at all?
It helps me be less connected to things. When you have rules that define the way you interact with something, any outcome will be less associated with emotions and attachments and you can be living those moments like you are playing a game.
The best thing about a game? You “usually” do not die for real.
Is there any con of this rule?
Of course there is. There has to be a con to a rule which is made to interact with human beings, takes into consideration no human factors and is just based on a count.
The con is pretty clear, you cannot be right about the third attempt being the right one to move on. There can be a variety of reasons why three attempts are not enough. In the instance about the date, the person might have been going through some emotional phase and may have needed sometime or you may have not been approaching her in the right manner. There can be many reasons.
But the very purpose of making such a rule is to free myself from thinking about it much. I do modify and improvise, but after the third attempt it might be for a different person. Sounds a bit robotic, mean and wrong. Well, it suits the purpose.
Will I be improvising my rule?
May be. The rule started out to be asking just once. Its three now.
Don’t you think that you might one day piss somebody because of behaving on the lines of this rule?
Possible. But I will apologize if I feel I am wrong and wait for her to forgive me. I will apologize, three times.