Everyday Generalizations

50/50 Rule

50/50 Rule

I say that some people have wanted me dead or at least want me gone, but what I know is this. In the world, 50% of the people will like you (and want YOU to like them) no matter what, and 50% of the people in the world will NOT like you no matter what you do.

Most of the people in our worlds fall into the “50% like you” category. That is, most of the people around you will like you no matter what.

The problem, of course, is that you may not like all of them in the same way.

But, in my experience, most people won’t want you dead and, in fact, some people will resent you if you don’t like them back.

For instance, I had a neighbor who wanted to talk with me about selling my nice little house. They contacted another neighbor who knew me and asked that neighbor to give me their phone number.

When I called the person, they sounded like a real estate agent, so I abruptly ended the call. As a result, this person, whom I didn’t know, typed a one-page, single-spaced letter telling me what a bad neighbor I was and put the letter in my mailbox with their mobile number, email address and street address, in case I wanted to meet with them.

Clearly, this person was in the “50% likes me” group and I had rebuffed their efforts. The letter indicated that they weren’t real estate agents, but rather just a friendly neighbor looking for a house to buy for THEIR friend who wanted to live near them.

I think I still have the letter someplace.

I’ve also received notes from neighbors asking me to keep my cats away from their frog pond (the specific cat liked frog hunting) or asking how to tame a feral cat that frequented my porches, sharing food with squirrels (!), opossums and even raccoons.

50/50 Rule. You can’t choose your relatives. Some of them will like you and you will like some of them. However, some of them YOU will not like. And some will cite the “blood is thicker than water” axiom as they seek money or help or try to embarrass you more than you embarrass them.

When I taught about diversity in class, I reminded students that even our families are diverse. Nobody is the same as anybody else. So, I say, “when you find someone who disagrees with you less than other people disagree with you, marry that person.” More on what keeps people Married later . . .