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Singles Scene News
PO Box 10159
Scottsdale AZ 85271

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(480) 945-6746
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(480) 949-8076
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(480) 945-3766


Who Has the Problem? Or, how to turn a sweet soul into a shrew in just 90 days
By Harlan Jacobsen

How you turn your new wife or lover into a witch in 90 days:
Many people have to get a new wife or lover every 90 days because the old one goes sour on them. They just can't understand it. They must have been nice until you got married or whatever but then they became witchier and witchier until you were right back where you were with the last one. So you decide that the opposite sex is just no good, that sooner or later the real witch in them comes out.

What really happens is that you make a witch out of them by what you are doing and you will do it to the next one too. You blame them, but it is you that has the problem. Women do the same kind of thing to men and get the very behavior they don't want, always blaming their partner.

So let's look at what is happening. You probably remember Pavlov and his dog experiments where he rang the bell every time the dog was fed. The dog became "conditioned" (a learning method) to salivate just by the ringing of a bell. In other words, that action on the dog's part became automatic when he heard the bell. The response you are getting from your new mate or lover is going to become a "conditioned" response also.

What you are doing is behavior modification by rewarding what you do not want. Namely, nagging, whining, complaining and general witchiness. When they are sweet and nice you do not reward them with your undivided attention, touch, compliments and affection. You withhold those things until they have to whine and nag and complain before you give them the reward that they so badly need, be it attention, affection, sharing or whatever. So you are, in effect, rewarding the behavior you don't want and punishing the behavior you do want by withholding "strokes." The result; in 90 days you have changed them completely.

They are no longer the sweet, gently understanding person you once knew. Thanks to you. So if your close relationships are turning sour on you, stop looking for new ones and look at what you are doing to them. Think back and see if you were not responsible for the last one going sour.
The same works with children, particularly for children of divorce. They are often missing the attention that used to be filled by the absent parent. In some of your children, most of the source of attention "strokes" may have come from the missing parent. Children absolutely have to have strokes to survive, so they will do anything to get them. A negative stroke is not as good as a positive stroke, but it is far better than no strokes at all. If you don't make up for the missing parent's positive strokes the child will try weird or undesirable behavior. If they get attention and strokes for that kind of behavior, soon you will have conditioned them to bad behavior because that is what they have to do, they have decided unconsciously, to get the missing strokes. When they are being good and doing nice things, the custodial parent gives them no attention. But when they are bad, the same parent decides to give them a lot of attention. To be sure the child knows he is doing something bad. When they are being good, the parent concludes, they know they are being good, so I don't need to give them attention. The result is a kid who is conditioned to give you the exact behavior for you don't want.

So the next time your partner or your child goes into the kind of behavior you don't want, look and see if you aren't the one that conditioned them to that kind of behavior in the first place.

You will have to recondition them for at least 90 days, using the exact opposite system you have been using. Normally, you will go right back to what you were doing before. When your child makes their bed for the first time, don't punish this desired behavior by criticizing: "That's no good, you have lumps all over here, and you didn't do the ends right either."

Instead of rewarding the behavior you want, you are punishing it. If you want your lover to give you a big hug, and when you finally get a little hug, and you say, "You call that a hug?", you've got it wrong again.

When you get even just a part of the desired behavior, reward it, don't punish it. Next time it may be even better and your reward even more positive. If you want to make corrections in the methods your lover is using, or the way Junior is making his bed, use the Zinger Sandwich: two positive zingers, one correction zinger, and two more positive zingers about what was done right.

By making a conscious effort, you probably won't have too much trouble changing your method to one of positive attention to good behavior, but if you have a negative personality, you are probably going to have a lot of trouble not rewarding bad behavior. People who dwell on the negative are usually not even aware of it, and consider themselves positive instead.

Another way you get undesired results is by changing your partner's self?image. If you keep telling your child that he or she is defective, then that child eventually begins to see himself in that way, and lives down to that self?image. Conversely, when you tell your child he is good and that you are proud of him, then that child will possess a good self?image and try to live up to it.

Similarly, if you bring up your lover's faults over and over again, soon they will have a poor self?image when they are with you, and will never improve toward you. If your lover needs some "correction", remember to use a "Zinger Sandwich", layer any correction between strokes, and you will leave them with a positive feeling about both you and themselves.

This is just one more step we think you need to take in handling your world. You have bean hassling the world to shape up, when it is most likely you that has the problem, and needs to change. When you have changed and can take a sour personality and turn it sweet in 90 days, then you know you've got it together in this regard. You have become a positive personality who rewards positive behavior in others.


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