Matching Opposites

Photo of brightly colored adult and child bowling shoes copyright Jamie Wilson from iStockPhoto #000000817792
copyright Jamie Wilson, iStockPhoto #000000817792

I know a beautiful woman, one of the last victims of polio, who ended up with one foot two sizes smaller than the other. So whenever she buys shoes, she needs a pair for each foot. Her leftover shoes don’t go to waste; she mails them to her “solemate,” a woman who needs the same sizes, only on opposite feet.

Considering how particular most women are about their shoe choices, I was impressed that my friend was not only grateful for shoes that fit, she even enjoyed the adventure of receiving shoes another had chosen.

This inspires me to wonder how many collaborators complement each other so perfectly. Usually you have overlapping talents and interests with someone you choose to work with, but on school or work teams, it isn’t uncommon to end up with an opposite. If you can focus on what you have in common—as though you are seeking the categories where you have similar taste in shoes—it’s easier to end up with a great match.


Text © Gwyn Nichols 2010

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