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Monday, October 08, 2007

Tacit Agreements

Like my musician friends here, tacit agreements coming from a shared subculture can sometimes give the conviction of bonding by how easy it is to “read” each other's intentions and needs in the context of circumstances. The challenge in tacit agreements is to make ways to determine how much it matters if the agreements are or are not done, so another tacit agreement can be substituted or created to take the place of an outdated one.

It is this feature that can make tacit agreements can be tricky to manage. Often they are made below the awareness level of their long-term effects – as if the people involved are playing a role that may or may not fit who they really are – or who they are becoming or have become. In a sense, being able to do this artfully will avoid the ritualistic ways of fulfilling the expectations of a relationship that most people must fall back on. Instead, by being able to make these agreements purposefully, the people involved have delightful surprises and potentials that change with the times.

With the context of your every action concerning the other person, it's easy to evolve a tacit agreement of how people are supposed to treat each other. Problems come when you tacitly agree to match slightly different cultural standards, causing what could become endless confusion where these differences overlap.

At some point, you'll want to find out how it matters to the others involved in proportion to how much trouble it is for you. Tacit agreements may require you to do more than you really want to continue doing, or to accept or assign a meaning that you don't want your actions to have. If either person can't make changes for implied or expressed agreements with their partner, it’s not good for either of them or the longevity of the relationship. Either way tacit agreements can lead to big disappointments when people figure out that the deal they thought they were making or definitions of bonded love was quite different for their partner than they expected.

If you could foresee a problem coming about tacit demonstrations, it would be handy to know how to avoid problems.. Something you will do, have already done or are about to do for each other could become troublesome, (or the business you have together. These ideas can be applied to any close partnership.) It would be an eventual problem to be expected to continue or indefinitely expand your intention to do for your partner or with them. The problem for the demonstrator, is you wouldn’t really know how much it matters to them that you do those demonstrations of for them. (Or in the case of a business partnership, they may not acknowledge or agree on the need for what you might think should be done to expand the business to make more money.) Because you don’t really know, you can’t tell if it makes any difference to them how you continue to expand your demonstrative actions, or change them. So this can become a real puzzler for the later stages of the relationship, and make people who are perfectly suited for each other go their separate ways.

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