Asymmetry means lack of symmetry. Asymmetry is interesting because it can lead to tremendous benefits but also to disastrous downfalls. It all depends on where you or something else falls on the asymmetry.
A quick example is say that I know a year in advance that the weather is going to be great during the upcoming year and as a result people are going to make a lot of wine. Knowing this I go out and buy options on all the winepresses and make the contracts so that I pay a small amount say $50 per winepress while the owner of the winepresses reserves for me the right for one year to use/buy them.
When the good weather comes to pass and everyone is looking for winepresses so they can make wine, I can sell them the option to buy them at a big profit. The risk is little and limited ($50 per option) while the potential upside benefits is tremendous ($$$$ from selling options due to high winepress demand).
However, the winepress example is an uncommon one but serves to show how asymmetry works. Asymmetry also works in relationships.
In relationships it can be seen in the form of your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband telling you not to do something when they themselves are doing the exact thing they are telling you not to do. In other words, that person is using asymmetry to get a benefit with no downside (you not doing what they tell you not to do, and them reserving the right (secretly) to do that very thing).
Asymmetry is also seen in our very nature as humans. We are all defective not one of us is 100% perfect. As a result of the Fall and Falling from God’s grace, we tend to give off a make believe impression of how we want others to see us as while at the same time wanting other’s to show us their true selves. Is that fair? Of course not. Is it true? Of course.
So for me, I’d like other’s to see me as a badass businessman/entrepreneur while at the same time expecting everyone else that I come into contact to show me their “true” self. And that other person will be putting off the image of what they would like me to see them as while expecting me to show them my “true” self. Essentially, we are just lying to each other because the truth is unpleasant.
Asymmetry is present everywhere we look. Let’s look at Piers Morgan newscaster and Celebrity Apprentice Judge. Piers was a huge outspoken advocate of banning guns in America while at the same time he had armed guards and an armory of guns inside his mansion. I’m serious, this asymmetric bullshit where one side wins without any downside is all around us. So the next time that someone is trying to get you to do/think/etc a certain thing remember to check for whether an asymmetry is presented. Chances are you’ll find one.