PQ 14.9 — Has anyone been harmed by this agreement?

a picture of Godzilla in front of a skyscraper
Image by mxmstryo / CC BY

PQ 14.9 — Has anyone been harmed by this agreement?

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Godzilla rampages through the city, toppling buildings, pulling down high-voltage power lines. Electricity spits along the pavement like an exclamation point.

Godzilla beats his chest. Roars.

Under his gigantic feet, citizens scurry every which way. It’s a mad kind of dash since there’s no way of knowing where the monster will turn next. Seeking cover in a building could backfire if he decides that skyscraper looks particularly tasty. Or that your car said something nasty about his mama. The civilians scatter haphazardly like a bag of marbles spilled for a children’s game.

In the nearby hills, a general and a scientist watch the proceedings from a safe distance. “What’s that in his hand?” the general says. “It looks like a piece of paper or something.”

“That?” the scientist says. “That’s a relationship agreement.”

“A relationship agreement?” the general says. “Why the Hell is he holding that?”

“Anything can be wielded as a weapon,” the scientist says to the military general, with a knowing look. “Especially when you’re a kaiju.”

Even a Good Relationship Agreement Can Be Weaponized in the Wrong Hands

So here’s the deal. Basically anything we ever say or write can be weaponized. Even a perfectly reasonable and good relationship agreement can be distorted in the wrong hands. It can be used in any number of awful ways: To control people or to make them feel excluded or diminished.

The relationship agreement isn’t the ultimate authority in any relationship or relationship system — that has more to do with the people involved.

Still, it’s worth taking the time to properly negotiate and most likely renegotiate your relationship agreement (since things do change and agreements often pan out differently in reality than in they did in theory).

Not because it’ll safeguard against any and all potential abuses of power (temperament and personality tend to be better safeguards against that) but because it’ll help to ensure a state of mutual understanding and give everyone involved more informed consent as to what exactly they’re signing up for.

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This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions and answers, please see this indexed list.

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