My 5:1 ratio

Mortgage and Lending with Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI NMLS #138061 MMCD #1141

I'm a snarky son of a....wonderful woman, my mother is a Saint.   But I can be snarky, difficult, stubborn, and sometimes mean (when I'm mean, it almost always comes from a place of humor that misses the mark).  But, when I go down that path, I try to consider what I'm adding to the world.

To that end, I've created a 5:1 ratio for myself.  1 use of snark, cynicism, or sarcasm needs to be followed with 5 acts of constructive critique, good will, and friendly contribution.  Sometimes, the opportunity is too good to not reply with snark, but if I avoid it, it also puts me on a path to positivity, and I've found this keeps me from going too negative, too often.

Sometimes, too, I find my ratio keeps me from saying something, rethinking sending an email, or refraining from commenting at all on a blog, Q&A post, or social media platform (where despite trillions of pieces of content existing, not a single mind having ever been changed!), simply because I don't have the time or headspace to do 5 positive acts to follow.  In these instances, no snark for me today!

It's a fine line.  I enjoy sarcastic humor, and others enjoy my sarcastic humor - I wouldn't want to deprive them.  But I know if I go to the well too often, the well doesn't go dry, it turns into an ugly, bitter place, reflecting an ugly, bitter heart.

The qualities I love most in other people are kindness, optimism, confidence, and I'd like to better reflect those qualities in myself, so the 5:1 ratio helps me with that.

Will I still crack a joke or make a critique?  I sure will.  But will I try to more often come from a place of assistance, contribution, constructive critique, and friendship?  I think I can do that, too.

Posted by

John Meussner
NMLS ID #138061

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Comments (16)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello John - cue the theme from "Jaws" for an upcoming snark attack.  After all, the temps are gettin' hotter and the water's fine. . .   🦈🦈🦈

Aug 02, 2023 03:26 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

John I would love to see the spreadsheet or chart that you keep track of your 5:1 ratio.  Ooops was that snarky???  😋😜🤪

Aug 02, 2023 03:39 PM
John Meussner

5 good deeds are now needed from you, good sir!  Ha

Aug 03, 2023 09:04 AM
Kathy Streib

George Souto looks like he got you with that one! LOL

Aug 03, 2023 06:14 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening John,

You have put a lot of thought in your 5:1 ratio! More than most people would ever take the time to do! Good for you....I for one think your proportion is a good one: 1 use of snark, cynicism, or sarcasm needs to be followed with 5 acts of constructive critique, good will, and friendly contribution. I think its a winning combination! 

Aug 02, 2023 05:40 PM
John Meussner

Thanks Dorie : ) At the end of the day, I'm adding more good than not if I can keep to it!

Aug 03, 2023 09:04 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, John. Your title certainly made stop and check in. I relate to you in that I also like sarcastic humor. Being snarky is not something I've suffered from. And I love your formula for making up for a snarky comment.

Aug 03, 2023 04:44 AM
John Meussner

Sarcasm can be a second language : )

Aug 03, 2023 09:03 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

That is certainly a good goal! And you are so right about social media - as far as I know, no one's mind has changed because of things they read, or comments they receive, on SM.

Aug 03, 2023 05:18 AM
John Meussner

Thanks Kat!

Aug 03, 2023 09:03 AM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Excellent post.Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day and a blessed week

Aug 03, 2023 05:57 AM
John Meussner

Thank you!

Aug 03, 2023 09:03 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi John- I try hard to be kind and help others and keep a positive attitude. It's more of a defensive mechanism on my part because I know what would happen if I unleashed my tongue.  Snarky doesn't even begin to describe it.   

I love your 5:1 ratio idea!!!!

Aug 03, 2023 06:21 PM
John Meussner

Thanks Kathy - - sometimes we need to say the things that may be tough to say (sarcasm helps vs pure vitriol!) - but I find it helpful to intentionally seek out opportunity for positivity to keep me in light spirits.

Aug 04, 2023 09:14 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I know some snarky, bitter people who could follow your advice. The ugliness I see on Facebook comes to mind. The world could stand to see more kindness and positivity. Maybe we could start a movement. :)

Aug 05, 2023 12:45 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Aug 05, 2023 06:15 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Year ago I learned as a professional facilitator to share one negative or not so positive comment must be followed by 3 positive comments. This helped participants to change their thought process and focus first on the positive then on the negative. Congrats on the feature and good morning.

Aug 06, 2023 09:01 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

I can relate. The snarky side of me likes to rear up every now and then.

Aug 06, 2023 12:08 PM
Ed (Edward) Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

The snarkiness is something to avoid as it will not be received well, even when the intent is humor. That is something I learned a long time ago. Do the 5 acts of kindness and when you reach 5, start again.

Aug 06, 2023 12:32 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

I must be lucky, I have never known you are snarky, far from it.

Aug 07, 2023 01:16 PM
John Meussner

Thanks Nick!  I often find that we attract the same energy we put out, which makes sense, because I don't believe you've ever warranted any snark! : )

Aug 07, 2023 02:02 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I like your 5-1 ratio, makes total sense!  I did not know you are snarky!  You've always come off as helpful, communicative and good at what you do!  But then again, I'm in Arizona!-

Aug 08, 2023 06:51 PM
John Meussner

Sometimes - I save it for the ones who deserve it most ; )

Aug 09, 2023 06:56 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

John - you are a good person - and now I know why - that 5 to 1 ratio - I still appreciate your support of my daughter's walking in California - it turned out to be much more challenging than she expected but she did it - and now she is getting married in November to a wonderful young man. 

Aug 10, 2023 08:26 PM
John Meussner

Lise Howe I was very happy to help and yep, when I saw what she was doing I recognized it would be tough, but looked like such a great experience for her.  Very happy to hear there's a wedding coming up, congrats to her and you for the growing family : ) 

Aug 11, 2023 10:03 AM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

I have a lot to learn before I can even come close to 5:1. My snarky comments are meant for humor, not disrespect.  I still need to make a more conscious effort to make sure my positive comments increase to reward good behavior in others.

Aug 14, 2023 12:56 PM
John Meussner

That's it!  Keep the snark coming, but use the snark as an opportunity to add to the positivity : )

Aug 15, 2023 09:56 AM