Gentle Persuasion

The Question:

Why does my partner say they will do something, but then keep putting it off or saying they forget it?

 The Answer:

We all tend to do things that:  (1) make us feel good, (2) we are in the habit of doing and (3) we have been convinced we have to do whether we want to or not. If you are asking your partner to do things that are in the #3 category most of the time, you will be having lots of power struggles, which can lead to tension and arguments.  If this is a new type of activity that your partner hasn’t done much before (and no habit has been established) – try to think of ‘what about this task might make them feel good.’   If you can find a link to a pleasurable outcome, the person will be drawn to do it, rather than pushed (which is exhausting over time). 

Positive reinforcement (the reward system) has been found to be the most effective learning process available.  That might mean a treat of some kind if the job is done (if we do the dishes together and get done earlier, we can go to that movie you wanted to see….  or, if I happily support your separate, quiet time several nights a week working on your car, maybe we could spend one full day together over that weekend doing something we both enjoy!) As the connection is made with the requested activity being linked to a pleasurable outcome, the power struggles can go away, and the relationship can be much happier. 

“PAIRS has shown me how to focus on things I chose to ignore. I have grown in more ways than I can count, and will always treasure my time in PAIRS.” – Debbie J., VA

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