My first introduction to comedian Aziz Ansari was through his book Modern Romance. In it he shared how he would go on many first dates but not invest beyond that, convinced that somewhere in the endless sea of options would be someone better. “The goal was seemingly to meet someone who instantly swept us off our feet, but it just didn’t seem to be happening. I felt like I was never meeting people I really, really liked. Was everyone shitty? Or was I shitty? Maybe I was okay, but my dating strategy was shitty? Maybe I was kind of shitty and my dating strategy was kind of shitty too?”
This path to madness did not stop with dating.
Two personality types were described: maximizers (who look for the best) and satisficers (who look for good enough). As an example, when a maximizer looks for a job, “Rather than compare actual jobs, with their various pros and cons, in their minds they wound up selecting the features of each particular job and creating a ‘fantasy job,’ an ideal that neither they nor, probably, anyone else would ever get” (leaving the maximizer less happy than the satisficer).
Aziz could apparently relate. After hours of online research in search of “dope Christmas ornaments, I’m worried there’s a better Christmas ornament out there that I don’t know about yet and am spending my holidays with the Internet instead of my family.”
Thanks for the reality check, Aziz.