There is a school of thought that encourages you to play hard-to-get whenever and wherever possible.

Playing hard-to-get has been shown to increase leverage in business dealings, contract negotiations, and even relationships. There are some obvious benefits – negotiate harder on your next job’s payment and you’ll have squeezed a few thousand extra dollars. Or, play distant in your relationships and you will have increased your desirability.

I tend to do the opposite.

Instead of negotiating harder, I try to minimize any possible negotiation. Instead of playing hard-to-get, I err on the side of letting people know how much they mean to me and how much I’d love to spend time with them. And, instead of operating with low trust, I choose to trust.

All of this is predicated on picking the right people – people who won’t screw you over if you didn’t negotiate and people who’d love you more for being upfront with them. Sure, it means making a few mistakes along the way and being burnt a few times.

But, overall, I’ve found this to be a happier path. I’m not saying it will work for everyone. But, I definitely think it is a path worth considering before you think about your next optimization.

It is my belief that, in the long run, we all get paid our dues. And, I’ve found that to be true in my limited experience.

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