Men are really not complicated creatures. They are pretty easy to figure out.
So why is then that so many women don’t get them?
I always like to observe a couple when they fight. Specifically I am watching how the female does it.
In 9 out of 10 arguments and in a very short time, something that can be called normal complaining gets coupled with a hefty dose of blaming and criticism.
It doesn’t take long before I start hearing this combination of words:
You + “always”, “nothing”, “everything”, “never”….
What really happened?
The other party (the target of such criticism) has just got the message “Everything about you is wrong and nothing will work.”
If that sounds even remotely like something you frequently do to your partner when you want something from them, think for a moment.
What do you think the other person is going to do after you do that?
Well, they’re going to get angry. They are also not going to like you very much. Or, they might walk away—which is what I would advise them to do.
So don’t use those words, unless you want to have a fight.
How to Make Your Man Do What You Want
Another type of mistake many women make is they don’t say a word (at least not out loud). Instead, they keep telling themselves:
I say: “Good luck with that!”
Because no, they don’t have a clue. Why?
Because men are stupid.
So what should you do?
A Canadian clinical psychologist, Jordan Peterson, formulated this in a very simple way for women to communicate these desires. He explained it during his speech to his students at the University of Toronto.
- Deliver the least amount of information you possibly can.
- Decide on the minimal necessary change that will satisfy you.
- Deliver the request.
See, you’ve got to specify what you want with great accuracy. In order to do that, you need to figure out the minimal necessary change that will satisfy you in advance, and then tell it to them. Please re-read the word “minimal.”
Let’s say you come home and your hubby is watching TV.
You were kind of hoping they would greet you at the door, maybe even give you a kiss and a hug.
You shouldn’t break down into tears and (effectively) say…
“You’re a stupid person, you’ve always been a stupid person, and you’re going to remain being stupid person as far as I can see in the future”.
You should say something along the lines of,
“I have this unusual characteristic that is when I come home I don’t have enough confidence to just be happy. I would like you to come and just shut the TV off for two minutes, come to the front door, say hello, give me a hug and then you can go back and watch your TV. Would it be OK if you did that?”
In their mind they’ll probably think “well, you’re going to pay for it…”
Which, for now, is fine.
But they’ll probably do it.
But that’s not all. The real thing starts now.
Even spouses who are already following the advice above, frequently make another crucial mistake.
It Rats Can Do It…
If you ever had to prepare for an exam at school you know that. It’s hard to learn new things. Learning sucks a lot of brain power and energy. Our brains don’t want that and so they resist learning to preserve energy.
At the same time, we’re very responsive to a reward.
B.F. Skinner, an American psychologist and behaviorist, figured that out in his experiment with rats. He wanted to see if he could get the rats to climb ladders and climb across little monkey bars and then spin around three times, whack a ball and then eat something. That’s an incredibly complex behaviour, even for humans.
He succeeded and the way he did that was through patience.
He put the ladder in the cage and the rat would just run around doing rat things. Then the rat would put its hand on the first rung and Skinner would give it a pellet. And so the rat would like to stand in the immediate vicinity of the ladder and then hit the ladder as fast as it could, again and again to get more food (reward).
Then, you’d stop giving them food when they hit the first rung. The rat is going to try hitting the first rung for some time, and then get bored again. When they randomly hit the next rung you’d give a rat a pellet again.
The rat makes a connection. Soon the rat learns to hit the second and the third and the fourth rung, climbing and doing all sorts of things B.F. Skinner wanted them to do.
This is unbelievably useful information, not just in your intimate relationship with your spouse but also with kids, and generally with other people.
Because men are simple creatures. I told you that right at the beginning of this post.
Notice the Good
They say if you really want to punish someone, don’t punish them when they do something wrong. They expected that. They might even be relieved by it.
So, if you really want to punish someone, punish them when they do something right. The best way to do that is to focus on the things they did wrong (and be blind to the things they did right). That’s when you hurt them.
Do that consistently for some time, and you’re finished. You’re not going to get them do whatever you wanted them to do anytime soon. You might succeed with kids, using force and aggression. But not for long.
Therefore, watch for what your man is doing!
Let Them Fail
As you can imagine, Skinner had to wait until the rat did what he wanted it to do and keep rewarding it as they went.
Then, maybe three months later they’ll do it properly.
If you think they should do it faster, think about this.
It’s really hard to change your own behavior! On New Year’s Eve, everybody says “I’m going to exercise three times a week.” Then you actually go to the gym a few times, and then you stop (and feel guilty about it). That’s a perfect example of how difficult it is to transform your own behavior.
So be gentle with your man, especially if they are already trying. They ARE trying!
Is This Manipulation?
As you noticed by now, I’m basically teaching you how to train your spouse. More so, it sounds awfully similar to training a dog.
Rightly so, because it is like training a dog. Now, you may find this manipulative and selfish.
My response is: “No, it’s not manipulative!”
So, How Will You Spend the Next 12,000 Days?
When you got married you were both clueless. And you’ve probably got at least thirty years ahead of you together.
So it’s tremendously helpful if you can let each other know what would make you happy.
No, life is much too short for that.
As a matter of fact, you should be both teaching and training each other to do nice little things for each other all the time!
For your convenience, here’s the summary of the whole concept explained again.
- Decide what you want and be specific (you want your hubby to greet you at the door when you come home).
- Think of the minimum necessary change that will satisfy you (Come to the door, hug me, give me a kiss. Then you can go back to watching TV.).
- Notice when your hubby does what you want. Notice even when they try!
- Reward them every time. Most of the time your positive attention will be more than enough. A smile, a hug, a loving look, a little praise.
- Let them fail. Let your partner do the things you want them to do really badly. But reward them for trying nevertheless.
- Be patient. All human beings need some time to develop a new habit. Your hubby is no different.
- Repeat the same process for something else.
Now, imagine you do this over a few years. That’s how you fix a whole lot of things that would otherwise eventually start to bite you in the butt and become big problems.
So, what are you waiting for?
Tell your husband what will make you happy in a way that he can understand! Report the results here!
Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.