It seems when judging people, all your relationships fall into one of three categories:

  1. You don’t notice their deficiencies – people you’ve just met, a cashier who seems perfectly reasonable and pleasant, a stranger you meet at a party
  2. You do notice but can afford to not care – many co-workers, your parents, or a clearly incompetent worker whom you might encounter
  3. You do notice and their deficiencies are necessarily your problem – bosses, spouses, and children

That third group is the tricky one, a minefield to navigate carefully in partnership with the person on the other end of the relationship and with others who may share this person as a category three relationship.