I had thought that trying to see the good in people was a positive trait, but it turns out I’m only seeing the 75% friend and not the 25% enemy.
The online dating site OKCupid has many interesting characteristics. It has quizzes to take, questions to answer, and lots of ways to filter profiles. One unique characteristics is that, based on your answers to questions, the site will tell you to what extent someone else is your friend or your enemy. If someone is at least 85% friend, their profile is worth considering. If they are more than 20% enemy, you just pass on by.
It turns out, though, that the % Enemy number is much more helpful in determining potential matches than is the % Friend number. For example if you think that being a 75% friend is a good proportion, it is disappointing to realize that, in spite of being good-looking, well-educated, and rich, the person is racist. On the other hand, if he’s 25% enemy, you will never, ever, get along. He’s pompous, racist, chronically unemployed, and leaves litter.
So, now I think I have been going about forming all my relationships from entirely the wrong angle. I don’t normally go around figuring out to what extent my friends, associates, family, and colleagues are potentially my enemy, but maybe I should. If I could clearly identify Joe the Plumber or Great Aunt Minnie as 25% enemy, I would probably steer clear of them–entirely.
In the OKCupid scheme of things, 25% enemy trumps 75% friend.