I’ve always been fascinated by the phrase, “You train people how to treat you.” While I understand it’s base concept (people will do to you what you allow), I’ve always wished for someone to delve deeper into this topic and to really hash out the details of it with me.
Today, that’s what I’m going to do for you, after having an epiphany about the subject last night while playing with my dog. (Dogs are great examples of the base line of emotions and thought processes from which we operate, by the way… 🙂
For such complicated subject matter, it’s really quite simple.
Reward behavior that you like and don’t reward behavior that you don’t like it.
Got it? Good.
Just kidding… I told you I would dive deeper…
- Reward behavior that you like. Reward it with what I call “The Three A’s”: attention, affection, and appreciation.
- Behavior that you don’t like, don’t reward. I.e. Don’t pay any particular attention to it. This goes for negative or positive attention. The key here is no attention at all. Just let it lie and see how the other person responds. Perhaps, they’ll bring it up on their own volition.
- If the behavior which you don’t like continues despite your lack of reward, then distance yourself. Remember, you’re not trying to prove to this person that you’re lovable. You already know this to be true and so do they, as they’ve clearly chosen to spend their time with you. Instead, your main goal early on is to determine whether or not this person is worthy of your heart. I can assure you, you won’t be able to change them.
The reason this is key early on, is because everyone puts their best foot forward in the beginning. And if behavior that you don’t like is happening in the beginning, it’s likely to continue later on as things progress. And don’t fool yourself, honey, you can’t change people.
So to break it down…
Observe the other person’s behavior, provide feedback (i.e. reward vs no reward), and then make your choice from a rational place (before said place becomes too muddled by emotions).
That’s it! Wham!
Keep these things in mind and surely you’ll be on your way to making wiser relationship choices in no time!