what is the pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule?
In this article I will explain the 80/20 principle and how you can use it to change your relationship for the better.
There is no such a thing as a perfect match, or a perfect relationship. None of us are 100% compatible with our partners all of the time. It might seem perfect in the beginning when you are still getting to know each other. Then slowly over time small differences start to appear; these small differences seem to grow until eventually you realize that you are completely different people with different likes, needs and wants. You might even start to wonder if you are at all suited for each other. Some of these issues can make you and your relationship really miserable.
The good news is that there is a way to change your relationship for the better.
The Pareto principle is an economic principle named after an Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, who noted that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. Similarly he noted that only 20% of the peapods in his garden, “the vital few” produced 80% of the peas. The rule is also referred to as the “law of the vital few”.
The world works on a set of global principles; what works in one area, can also work in another. Nowadays business executives use this 80/20 rule to maximize business efficiency. Let’s talk about how you can use this principle as a solution to problems in your relationship.
The easiest way to apply the 80/20 rule to your relationship is by realizing that 80% of your frustrations are caused by only 20% of the problems. There are often a few reasons, the vital few, that cause most of the frustrations and annoyances.
Let’s consider an example:
You are annoyed and frustrated because your partner:
- Does not understand your values. (I will have a dedicated article about this amazing topic)
- Comes home late from the office, or
- Doesn’t like going out after getting home,
- Your partner is not cooking your favorite dinner
- Isn’t romantic anymore,
- Prefers watching TV or
- Falls asleep as soon as they get to bed
You feeling that your relationship is actually falling apart.
Let’s think about it differently. Instead of feeling irritated 80% of the time, stop focusing on the 80%. Stop worrying about the small things that seem like a big deal. Rather find the “vital 20%”. Ask yourself: Why is our relationship changing? Why am I frustrated?
The answer might be that you are feeling neglected. And that is the vital issue, the real reason for your frustrations. Once you have identified the vital issue, you are on your way to maximizing your relationship.
Focus on the 20%.
All relationships go through rough patches, but there is always a root cause for the problem. Find that vital issue and address the 20% that is causing 80% of the frustrations. In a good relationship, lovers try and get to the bottom of their problems. Always find the root cause, the vital issue, first.
This doesn’t mean that you can ignore the 80%. Focusing on the 20% will address the real issue, but you still need to look into the 80% of little frustrations. You and your partner need to weed them out. . Often, if your partner understands why you are feeling frustrated, it will change their behavior in any case.
So, by following an economic principle in your relationship, you might experience a better relationship and maximize your happiness. Look at the 80%, but focus on the 20%!
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.