First off, thanks to everyone who attended my first rock show! We had a blast and I was blown away by how a large crowd influenced the energy and the experience.
I’ve been thinking about songwriting lately and our songs are kinda obscure and they change and pivot in many places, not really sure we have a common structure. So I looked up what most people’s songs are about and it looks like heartbreak takes the cake. I then connected this to my dear friend Jason Hreha’s article about loss aversion. You should check out his stuff, it’s my go-to for updates on behavioral science.
What Is Loss Aversion?
In as few words as possible, losing something usually hurts us MORE than gaining something (of equal value) makes us feel good. So if you were swimming in the ocean and you had a $100 bill in your pocket and realized you lost it, that pain is way more intense than the good feeling of swimming in the ocean and finding a $100 bill.
So, being at Jaunty I related this all to relationships. The build-up of meeting someone new is a really great experience. Learning about their humor, fun quirks, possible business deals and views on the world feels pretty magical. But still, it is more of a gradual buildup rather than an amazing feeling all at once. It requires some investment and time. Now losing someone, on the other hand, has the chance of being very quick. Though losing someone could be a gradual decline in the relationship, it can also be a bad fight, a better deal or offer from another party, or even a death.
Loss aversion is a very powerful system that led to our survival. Today many people are so worried about losing their job that it paralyzes their motivation to pursue their hobbies, or true passions. My thought on hedging this is by somehow making the relationships you have or that you are creating feel as good as possible. I am still playing with this idea but doing more feel good things consciously with people or consciously checking in to feel happier when with them may help.
Having positive and exciting experiences with people you care about can embed quick hits of a connection that feels a bit more memorable. A big part of this is how you connect with them within your social interactions, using of course, your social skills.
For instance, can you remember to be silly which may lead to something funny where you both laugh uncontrollable together in that moment?
Now, there is no way around grieving a loss, and by no means can anything fill that unique gap of losing someone but maybe more constant flooding of positive feelings with others can help us move on more smoothly.
This week I decided to really start checking in with people who are/were important to me. In fact Jason and I are planning to start monthly get-togethers where I hope I get to connect with people that I have been meaning to. I’ll probably invite you soon!
Of course the ultimate goal is not to lose relationships, but sometimes this can’t always be the case. So get out there and pay attention and dig up extra emotional elements in moments you have with people. These are things like added laughter, adrenaline, touch, and love. In case you lose a relationship, as hard as it may be, you really can also hedge it with positives from other relationships.
And then, as our Jaunty alumni know, the ultimate hedge is having as many people as you can handle already there.
Written by Eric Waisman