# The Relationship Continuum

All human choices and all human relationships can be described as falling on a continuum.

I define an adversary relationship to be any relationship wherein the participants are less happy, less effective and less productive than they would be without the relationship. An adversary choice is any choice that reduces the happiness, effectiveness, and productivity of the participants in the relationship. The sum of the whole relationship in terms of happiness, effectiveness, productivity, profitability, satisfaction, etc. is less than the sum of the parts – less than the sum of the individual's ability to be happy, effective, productive, profitable, satisfied, etc. outside this relationship.

I define a neutral relationship to be any relationship wherein the participants are equally happy, equally effective, and equally productive as they would be without the relationship. A neutral choice is any choice that has no effect on the happiness, effectiveness, and productivity of the participants in the relationship. The sum of the whole relationship in terms of happiness, effectiveness, productivity, profitability, satisfaction, etc. is equal to the sum of parts – equal to the individuals's ability to be happy, effective, productive, profitable, satisfied, etc. outside this relationship.

I define a synergic relationship to be any relationship wherein the participants are more happy, more effective, and more productive than they would be without the relationship. A synergic choice is any choice that increases the happiness, effectiveness, and productivity of the participants in the relationship.

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 The sum of the whole relationship in terms of happiness, effectiveness, productivity, profitability, satisfaction, etc. is more than the sum of the parts – more than the sum of the individual's ability to be happy, effective, productive, profitable, satisfied, etc. outside this relationship. Let us say that you are capable of "X" happiness, effectiveness and productivity. I am capable of "Y" happiness, effectiveness and productivity. If we choose to interact the results can be as follows: We can have neutrality, your "X" and my "Y" are unchanged by our relationship. The sum of the whole (X +Y ) is equal to the sum of the parts (X) + (Y). We can have adversity, your "X" and my "Y" are reduced by our relationship. The sum of the whole (X + Y ) is less than the sum of the parts (X) + (Y). 54

 Or, we can have synergy, your "X" and my "Y" are made greater by our relationship. The sum of the whole (X + Y) is more than the sum of the parts (X) + (Y). These are the three classes of relationship described in Edward Haskell's Unified Science1. Haskell further explained that the two parties to a relationship would experience one of nine possible co-actions. A relationship can be effected in three ways. Your "X" can go up, remain unchanged, or go down. And, my "Y" can go up, remain unchanged, or go down. 55

 Our relationship might be good for you, good for me; it might be good for you, neutral for me; it might be good for you, bad for me; it might be neutral for you, good for me; etc.; etc.. Again in our language of games, we have nine possibilities when examined particulately for gross effect. And, if we examine the nine possibilities wholistically for net effect, we see the emergence of our three general classes of human relationships. 56

If we examine our three general classes of human relationships we discover some striking differences. In the adversary class, there is a net loss. We humans lose something, we are less together than we would be apart. The neutral class reveals no change. We are the same together as we would be apart. In the synergic class, there is a net gain. We humans gain something, we are more together than we would be apart. Recall our relationship boxes.

## Neutrality

Edward Haskell called the loss of adversary relationship the "conflictors's deficit". Let us represent that loss as ( - Z ).

He called the gain of synergic relationship the "cooperator's surplus". Let us represent that gain as ( + Z ).

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## Truth lies in eye of the beholder

Each participant determines for himself whether a relationship is synergic or adversary. This is determined from his point of view, and he cannot be fooled.

He is either more happy, more effective, more productive because of the relationship; or he is less happy, less effective, less productive because of the relationship, or he is unchanged by the relationship.

The truth is in the eye of the beholder. The effect can be partial. There may be relationships that are partially synergic, and/or partially neutral, and/or partially adversary.

True synergy exists when all participants are more happy, more effective, and more productive. True synergy is WIN-WIN. True synergy is +,+. True synergy maximizes the cooperator's surplus – maximizes ( Z ).

1 Edward Haskell, The Unified Science, Private Papers, 1947-1986

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