Mediating Disputes Between Headmates

My self-love oriented headmate, Sylvee, and my other-love oriented headmate, Jay, often don’t want to do what the other one wants. We have often chosen to procrastinate rather than give in to doing what the other asks. Sylvee has historically made us procrastinate specifically because she didn’t feel she had any or enough close friends. More recently, this led Jay to be like, “god damn it Sylvee, if you are going to make us procrastinate all day and then tomorrow too, then I guess we can go hang with people, and that I am in fact willing to proactively hang with people so this continues to be a solved issue instead of coming up again”. Ziz has framed disputes between headmates as resolvable mainly by “treaties“, ie “come to an understanding that you need to work together to accomplish either of your goals, and that you’ll both have to make compromises, and make a compromise that is an improvement according to all of your headmates”.

This is good, but I want to frame it in a better way: if two headmates each have some amount of power to make you procrastinate, their negotiating power for when it comes time to decide whose interests will be weighted by what amount when they are working together, is a function mainly of how much they can make you procrastinate, and also kinda a function of how much they want something.

Like, imagine two kings with medieval armies, and one is like, “my army is twice as big and I could make you slaves/kill you and take your stuff”, and the other is like “we will fight rather than be slaves because we can hurt you enough for it to matter before you inevitably win, but we’d rather pay you X gold per year to fuck off than fight”, and the first is like “yeah, fair”. And then ten years later, the army sizes are equal and tribute stops. This applies to disputes between headmates as well: treaties should account for if one headmate (or coalition of headmates) happens to have more power, but also for if this changes in the future. Since the actual machinery of if an agreement will be followed is rooted in, “is it in both of our interests to get along”, the mechanics of treaty-building should serve the headmates’ actual interests of “I should defect from this agreement if it is useful to me”, so neither of your headmates has to be tricked for it to willingly participate. Because then you’d lose willpower.

Anyways, here’s the algorithm I came up with, which has worked incredibly well:

Do whatever feels emotionally loudest in the present moment. Repeat as often as your emotions change.

Seriously, that’s it. It works so fucking well, both for not-procrastinating, as well as for avoiding blind spots. Try it.

I do still have procrastination, but that’s because fulfilling Sylvee’s values is legitimately hard, because I can’t seem to find other people who understand the mental tech from this blog to befriend. Sylvee seems to only want to befriend people who understand the mental tech from this blog and are interested in doing all they can for the world. (Not as a way to network in order to save the world, just that she gets along with such people better). Jay seems to care less about “have I saved the world already” and more about “am I on track to save the world”, but Sylvee, on the other hand, seems to directly track “do I have friends already”, and care much less about “am I on track to find them if I keep doing this”. Which has historically caused a lot of procrastination, since we haven’t had many friends until Nov/Dec 2019.

It should probably be mentioned, that the two of me took a long while to learn to get along. We went through a long period of, Jay trying to get Sylvee to see their side of things and work with them full-time on saving the world, and Sylvee responding by being in emotional pain and making us spend a ridiculous amount of time gaming. Probably three or four times as long gaming as it would have taken us to just satisfy her needs in the first place. We tried everything else before we ended up just cooperating. I think this points back to the “kings with medieval armies extracting tribute” analogy; if one of your headmatess thinks there’s a better alternative to peace, they’ll try it, and at some level, having tried every other alternative to cooperation that either of you can think of is a good way of getting all of your headmates to realize how good cooperation can be. So, I’d recommend not trying to force an early peace between your headmates if one of your headmates isn’t wholehearted about agreeing to a particular deal.

But, yeah. Do whatever feels emotionally loudest, or most urgent right now.

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