It's probably important to state that all my ought statements here are internally-directed. I'm writing this mostly for me, and secondarily, so other people know what I'm trying to do so they can help guide me when they can. Be careful when adopting an outlook on life this general – I'd prefer you imagine your own path forward than even attempt to integrate this particular bit of... advice? Is it advice if I'm telling you not to do it, that it's only for me? Regardless, this can be deeply hazardous.

The actual idea: I want to treat people well in proportion to how well they treat me. I judge how I want to be treated, and defer to their metric for how they want to be treated.

If you're like me, it won't be totally obvious why this is hazardous, but it's possible that you're not noticing the hazards because you're not making the same mistakes I am.

I'll leave that warning vague – broad stuff should be taken with the big grain of salt a vague but dire warning implies. But the more general sense, that we not only owe a little bit even to people who hurt us badly (and obviously family is family either way), but also that we cannot be beholden to perhaps toxic people who are wonderful (only) to us, that seems both true and obvious. But the modal response, that we ought to model it something like:

SatisfyTheirPreferences(OurEffort = 0.75 * Their Effort + 1.5 * Amount They Safisfy Our Preferences + What's Needed For Basic Human Decency)

Seems approximately good.

[This is meant to be read as, satify other people's preferences with an amount of effort that increases with the effort they put in and the amount they satisfy your preferences, where if they put in effort and don't satisfy your preferences they're materially worse than effortlessly satisfying your preferences, and strangers get basic human decency but if they're utility monsters they don't, and make sure that people who do right by you generally get super visible returns on that, so that even if they don't notice half of what you do there's a chance for an upward spiral of generosity. There are a couple ideas here, and the notation isn't meant to be consistent or specific, but be a mnemonic for how factors play against each other.]