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Old 10-26-2012, 03:18 PM
AggieSez AggieSez is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Cleo, I'm glad your negotiations went well, congrats.

I understand that your preferred negotiation style is not to include your additional partners directly in negotiations about your network of relationships; that you and your spouse choose to "represent" your respective additional partners in negotiations, and convey the decisions you make back to them. I'm glad that so far this seems to work well for you. I hope it's also working well for your additional partners.

I'd ask you to consider the long-term implications of this negotiating style.

What often happens in the long run when negotiations are handled hierarchically and indirectly is that a "game of telephone" crops up. In any situation where people are speaking and negotiating on behalf of others, and direct communication/negotiation isn't part of the process, errors of interpretation or omission are especially likely. That's not a big deal when things are running relatively smoothly -- but during a conflict or crisis, indirect communication often amplifies problems or misunderstandings and prevents collaborative solutions.

That's why it's usually easier and safer in the long run (though at first perhaps a bit awkward) to do at least some regular direct communication/negotiation that involves additional as well as primary partners. If you get used to this process on small issues, when things are running well, you're more likely to navigate inevitable major crises, changes or conflicts with less stress and risk.

You might want to clarify *why* you don't currently include your additional partners directly in negotiations about your network of relationships. What are you trying to preserve, protect, or avoid? There may be other (and fairer, and less risk-prone) options to achieve those goals.

Also, from the perspective of an additional partner, this direct approach to negotiations is more fair and respectful. Many poly people prize fairness as a value, and this is a key way to walk that talk.

Whenever someone is deprived of a direct voice in matters that affect them directly, that set up an unbalanced power dynamic that puts the voiceless at a significant disadvantage. The effect, too often, is that their needs (as well as whatever ideas or resources they have to offer) are more likely to get less consideration, and they may be treated more disposably.

Just something to consider.

- Aggie
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