I can’t take full credit for this concept. I first heard something similar from Jalen Rose, former Michigan Fab 5, NBA player and now commentator. Most of the relationships we encounter in life, personally, romantically and professionally can be summed up as a simple math problem or equation, no pun intended. You see, most people we encounter in our daily lives, add, subtract, divide and multiply, based on the type of relationships we have with them.
First there are those people that add to our lives, the Adders. They can be your children, supportive family members, caring church members, real friends. These individuals give your life meaning and purpose. Adders love you unconditionally, no matter what. They inspire you to strive to work hard and be the best person you can be. They add value to your life. Hold on to these people and cherish them.
Another group of people are those that subtract from your life. They are the moochers, takers and free riders, which we encounter daily and try to avoid like the plague. Subtracters always want something, always. If you do get something from them it is only to get something in return or of greater value. They always want to borrow something, particularly money, or need a ride somewhere. It’s not really the money or ride that bothers you, it’s the time wasted. You could use this time doing things for yourself or others you care about. They don’t like to hear the word “no”. However, through an annoying and relentless guilt trip, they finally get their way. These individuals are Succubus, a mythical alien life-form that sucks the life out of you, keeping you alive long enough, so they can feed on you again. They’re like parasites and you’re their host. I know that sounds weird and extreme, but you get the point. Basically, subtract and delete these people when you see them coming. They will take and take till there is nothing left to take. There is no benefit to having these people in your life.
The next group are those that divide relationships in your life. It’s hard to identify these persons till it’s too late and the damage has already been done. These people divide by spreading gossip and getting between relationships. In fact, Dividers may actually mean well. But, once they are in the business, they stay in the middle of the business. They are like those house guests that were only supposed to stay the weekend, yet weeks and months later are still there. Dividers can be either family or friends, which can make it very difficult to step away from the situation. The best way to handle a Divider is to keep your business to yourself. If you have great communication and a strong relationship, no one can come between you and that person not even a Divider.
The final group we encounter are those that multiply our lives. A Multiplier can be a person that can also add to your life, yet takes it a bit further. An important Multiplier is a supportive spouse, who stands beside you through the ups and downs. He or She makes sacrifices so you and your family can take life exponentially to another level. Other Multipliers in life can also be coaches, ministers, professors, parents or mentors in business. Multipliers always want the best for you. They can inspire, provide guidance, wisdom and knowledge. Multipliers give without expectation of receiving anything in return. They only want you to reach your highest potential and to pass on that inspiration, guidance, wisdom, and knowledge to others.
Just like a mathematical equation, both sides need to be equal or better yet balanced. So, for as many, Subtracters and Dividers that are around you, a person should increase the amount of Adders and Multipliers in their lives. It is not only important to identify these individuals, but identify that we may also be Subtracters and Dividers to others. So, if we too are indeed negative, we may also be attracting more of the same negativity.