Deal Breakers, Non-negotiables, and Us

“Later that night, I couldn’t help but wonder, when the hell did dating become so dump-friendly? What happened to the time when a bad kiss or a cigarette or even a ridiculous dream was part of a person’s portfolio? In today’s volatile dating market, is it wise to liquidate certain stocks, the first sign they might not perform as well as expected? Or are there certain things one should try and negotiate? In relationships, what are the “deal breakers”?”

Confession: I love Sex and the City. I hope as you read this post about non-negotiables, that you won’t consider my fandom a deal breaker.  Of course, if it is one of your deal breakers, you probably are not reading this.  So to those of you reading, congratulations on your open mind.

Deal breakers and the topic of non-negotiables appear in season 3, episode 5 of Sex and the City.   In this episode, “No Ifs, Ands, or Butts” Carrie sits on both sides of the non-negotiable fence. Her boyfriend Aiden considers smoking a deal breaker and asks her to quit.  She falls victim to another’s deal breaker.  Conversely, her friend Charlotte is dating a man, who arguably is the worst kisser. Other than that though, he is perfect.  So she draws her deal breaker line.

When it comes to dating, some people have deal breakers. “I won’t date a guy who is X, likes Y, or Z, A, B…” I have heard these complaints for ever and from everyone about just about every topic.   From my friends to my mother to my coworkers to professors in college, it seems everyone has these universal dichotomies that serve as their lines.  It is universal, everyone has their deal breakers.  And pop culture, like Sex and the City, reflects this phenomenon. In fact, I recently found this article from How About We titled, “The 50 Most Ridiculous Deal Breakers We’ve Ever Heard.”  From “She hasn’t read Harry Potter” to “He has a yahoo email account,” these deal breakers hold no punches.  It’s easy to criticize them from a far, but think about what we have as our own deal breakers.

An article in the Harvard Business Review blog titled, “Seven Non-Negotiables to Prevent a Bad Hire” David K. Williams and Mary Michelle Scott give insight into their successful hiring process.  Fishbowl Inventories has used a strategy with seven traits that are essential for a good hire.  During the interview process, they ask candidates to give examples of respect, believe, loyalty, commitment, trust, courage, and gratitude.

Now, I don’t work in HR and am not in a position to hire anyone right now.  But this article made me think.  These should be non-negotiable traits for my daily life.  How am I behaving?  What stories could I tell if someone asked of how I embodied these traits?

These traits cross borders.  Whether in relationships, social spheres, profession life, or any other facet of your life you can imagine, these values give you more valuable.  Over the next few days, I am going to explore each one.  They each are a piece of a puzzle that together makes a complete and valuable person.

Until next time.

With love,
Sweetest Caroline

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