The Pareto principle is based on observations by economist Vilfredo Pareto and is commonly regarded as the 80 / 20 rule of distribution. It’s applications can be explained through mathematics theory and apart from economics and mathematics it is used in business, in software programming, quality assurance, safety principles, criminology and more.
Since the principal is so universally accepted there’s no reason it shouldn’t be applicable to other aspects of life, including social interactions and relationships. This got me to thinking about the application in my life
80% of my problems stem from 20% of my personality (quirks)
Those eighty percent of my problems – eighty percent of them can be easily brought back to Communication deficiencies.
And the twenty percent of my personality – eighty percent of the personality is probably quirks of my Myers Briggs INTJ condition, or what some might call “being a Virgo.”
No one is perfect. Not even the perfect woman I’ve asked to marry me.
80% is what I love of you, 20% is what I hate
I’ve had several years to come to terms with this.
I know you’re mad at me right now, and I’m kinda mad too…so, lets just say we’re both wrong and that’ll be that – Matt Greoning via Homer simpson
Not everything in the relationship has to be all about love. Hate, of course, isn’t the right word pe se, but it’s ok to be angry at what you dislike about the relationship, your partner and even your own actions some of the time, let’s say for the rule 20% of the time.
It’s all about what that anger entails, how it is expressed and what the couple is prepared to do in order to resolve it. Determining these factors for each couple is entirely more important than necessarily striving for the impossible perfection so many assume must be the corner stone of their relationship.
One of the greatest mistakes made is the “happily ever after” mindset instilled in children regarding the romantic premise. As if simply entering into a romantic relationship, sealing your civil and religious promises in marriage or anything else would ensure forever happiness. Anyone who’s done any counseling on the matter will tell you a good airing of grievances on a regular basis is not only healthy it is mandatory for a successful relationship, not just romantically but in all your human interaction.
It’s also important to remember the 80-20 rule for the airing of issues: 80% of the disagreements will be successfully resolved in some way, but this will only happen 20% of the time.
Some of the problems just aren’t resolvable and you have to be ok with that fact. You’re just never going to come to terms with certain things because you are two individuals with no choice but to defer to your individuality sometimes.
And, even the ones that are resolvable, they take several tries to come to a conclusion. There are so many factors to human behavior that contribute to why problems aren’t completely resolved when the are first identified. Plus, some of our best defenses strategies don’t actually work since agreeing to disagree is rarely an actual resolve, it just pushing the problem off to another time. Coming to a “compromise” that really isn’t an actual compromise but begrudged concession isn’t a resolve either, it’s also simply delaying the inevitable resurface of the problem. And, of course using a pacifying yes and then ignoring it for the time being is never an actual resolve.
80% of successes is derived from 20% of your time.
What you do in that block of 20% is exceedingly important. That 20% represents the very crux of the verbal communication between you and your partner. It’s the time you spend listening to them explain their expectations, needs and desires and you spend explaining yours while they listen. It isn’t interpretative interaction, it isn’t non-verbal cues, it isn’t observational assumptions or anything else that takes up the other 80% of your time that your processing information with your own filter.