Saturday, July 31, 2021

Humor: “No Ego Please” – How Relationships Work?

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Adarsh Vijay
Mr. Adarsh Vijay is currently pursuing his Masters in Political Science at Madras Christian College, Chennai. Mr. Vijay is a blogger and possesses a passion for writing, poetry and teaching. His academic interests vary from Strategic Studies, International Relations and particularly to Game Theory. Moreover, he is a regular contributor to 'The Bridge', the annual magazine of the Department of Political Science, MCC. He loves music and is an orator too.

love-number

The purpose of any relationship is to effect lifelong companionship. It is not unusual that Romeos and Juliets abscond themselves from their phones and pull down an iron curtain in their conversation at times. They are expected to continue their interaction, which is an inevitable element for those who do not wish to get rid of each other in the long run. The ego that guides them to wait for the other to break the ice, particularly during fights, has invariably resulted in causing unforgettable physical “bruises” and fractures on the men-folks.

Relationships and Games

I believe those machos who read Economics and Political Science might have managed to put a cap on their first aid and medication expenses to an extent. Guess why? Yes, you are right. It’s none other than the numbers who come to their rescue. Here, taking up the role as a love guru (though I am still single), I would like to share how I managed to reduce my visits to hospitals for accompanying my roommates.
Grabbing inspiration from John Forbes Nash (A Beautiful Mind fame) and considering romance as a game, I have diagnosed that the players (my friends) are suffering from Prisoner’s Dilemma. To be frank, my medication worked. The most difficult decision for the players (couples) to arrive at during strife is to resume the conversation.

This question keeps them dumb until the ‘notification LED’ blinks in their respective phones. More often than not, such “silent wars” have also led to the deletion of many “Janu(s)” and “meri Jan (s)” from the contact lists. The games become more complex when the number of players in the contact list increases from “janu” to “Mera Dil∞.” Anyway, the payoff matrix for the ‘ideal’ 2 x 2 chocolate love sagas in their rational decision-making is as follows.

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The Game Theory Rules

Assuming player 1 and player 2 to be a Romeo and Juliet, respectively, if he begins the talk while his love keeps mum, the former gains a better payoff ‘0’ than the Juliet who gets away with -1. The payoff for a situation wherein both are not ready to give their ego up and break the silence is ‘-2’ for each as it does not provide any utility rather a scar on their bond or a chance of eventual breakup.

The Tale of Relationships

He scores a point of ‘0’ as he feels comfortable when he shifts his strategy because he initiated the conversation, which is better than what his opponent earns when she is still silent. She earns ‘-1’ owing to her slight relief over his approach.

However, it remains in ‘0’ as he is not completely satisfied since a one-sided initiative doesn’t prove fruitful. So is the case for his love as well. She also receives a payoff of ‘0’ when her man is unwilling to open up against his point of ‘-1’. Finally, the strategy of a complete departure from their ‘silent mode’ provides a diametric opposite payoff of ‘1’ for each. None of them may have an incentive to change their strategy as it endows the maximum possible payoff among the given strategies.

Hence, the payoff ‘1, 1’ constitutes a Nash Equilibrium. Moreover, a rational player is expected to eliminate a strictly dominated strategy immediately. Here, the strategy ‘1, 1’, i.e., “talk, talk,” strictly dominates all other strategies when we draw a parallel between the strategy profiles in terms of the payoff structure and applying the Iterated Elimination Strictly Dominated Strategy. In extraordinary circumstances, such as if any of them do not last long for each other, it is highly recommended to let the silence reign. Relationships work, but sometimes they don’t.

After all, it is always advisable for every young rose who desire a life together to set their ego aside and open WhatsApp without fail to usher in an era of healthy relationship rather than a fading line in a stream. Yes, I repeat. My prescription works!!!

**Note-Silence up to 1 hour is permitted during clashes. (Pun intended)

About the author

Mr. Adarsh Vijay is currently pursuing his Masters in Political Science at Madras Christian College, Chennai. Mr. Vijay is a blogger and possesses a passion for writing, poetry and teaching. His academic interests vary from Strategic Studies, International Relations and particularly to Game Theory. Moreover, he is a regular contributor to 'The Bridge', the annual magazine of the Department of Political Science, MCC. He loves music and is an orator too.

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