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Are You Teaching People to Treat You Badly?
Psychology Today ^ | Clifford N. Lazarus

Posted on 09/22/2011 2:02:51 PM PDT by Revolting cat!

Sally's husband was often abusive. One morning, over breakfast, Hank began yelling at her because she was on the phone instead of keeping him company. Later, after Hank went to work, Sally picked up his shirts from the laundry, ran some other errands for him, and decided to cook his favorite dish for dinner. Do you think Sally did the right thing?

Sally, alas, believed that if she could only create an ideal loving home atmosphere, her husband's abusiveness would stop. Unfortunately, she was in fact rewarding her husband's negative behavior. In response to his outbursts, Hank found his chores done for him and he was served his favorite dinner. Why would he change his treatment of his wife when she responds so positively?

The events that follow an action will weaken or strengthen the likelihood it will occur again. In behavioral psychology, this is called the "Law of Effect" and states that behavior varies as a function of its consequences. Hence, if Sally is nice to Hank when he treats her badly, she is teaching him to continue being abusive. By putting up with Hank's abusive behavior, Sally gives him the message that it's okay to treat her that way. If she showed him instead that she was willing to be especially kind and helpful only when he was considerate and loving, a positive pattern would be more likely to develop.

Similarly, Tommy believed that kindness would overcome unkindness. He sent flowers to his wife whenever she flared up at him, hoping this gesture would put her in a good mood. Instead, it only encouraged her to flare up at him even more. If Tommy understood the psychological Law of Effect, he would not repay his wife's unkindness with kindness but with a firm, assertive response that clearly expressed his unhappiness.

Keep in mind:

The meek shall inherit the earth because the aggressive people of the world will trample their face into it!

Despite the Biblical decree, if you always turn the other cheek all you'll end up with is a completely sore face.

To encourage positive and discourage offensive behavior:

• Do not reward behaviors in others that you wish to eliminate.

• Follow actor Alan Alda's advice: "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."

• Learn to speak up assertively.

• Do not reward unkind behavior from others.

• If someone treats you badly, say so - do not smile and pretend it's okay.

Remember: Think well, act well, feel well, be well!


TOPICS: Conspiracy; Health/Medicine; Science; Society
KEYWORDS: evil; good; niceguys; psychology
True that.
1 posted on 09/22/2011 2:02:58 PM PDT by Revolting cat!
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To: Revolting cat!
Nope, people don't treat me badly because they aren't sure that I'm wrapped too tight. ;) And I don't hang around with folks that want to treat me badly. If I wanted that, I could have stayed married to one of the ex's.

/johnny

2 posted on 09/22/2011 2:10:27 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Revolting cat!

Nice guys finish when, I forget?


3 posted on 09/22/2011 2:12:09 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: Revolting cat!
Remember, feel well, act well, be well!

Enhance your calm, John Spartan.

4 posted on 09/22/2011 2:14:51 PM PDT by frithguild (We admitted we were powerless over government - that out lives had become unmanageable)
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To: Revolting cat!

When I received an insulting, untruthful letter from my doctor’s office, I waited a few days until I had cooled down and replied in a firm, but courteous manner. I pointed out the factual mistakes and the fact that their office personnel—professional and clerical—had always treated me with competence and courtesy in the past. To my surprise, I received a very kind and apologetic letter in response.

Sometimes, we just need to say, “You are a better person than your recent action suggests. I don’t deserve the treatment you just meted out to me, and I choose not to accept it.”


5 posted on 09/22/2011 2:16:50 PM PDT by July4 (Remember the price paid for your freedom.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Dude!


6 posted on 09/22/2011 2:17:07 PM PDT by stormhill
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To: Revolting cat!
Despite the Biblical decree, if you always turn the other cheek all you'll end up with is a completely sore face.

Despite the fact there is some truth to this article, the passage referenced is quoted out of context.

7 posted on 09/22/2011 2:18:42 PM PDT by ken in texas (Can't Afford a Tagline... send money.)
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To: Revolting cat!

Not true.

This is modern psycho-babble BS.

It flies in the face of tried and true Christian principals both from the abusers standpoint and that of the victim.


8 posted on 09/22/2011 2:18:55 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS! This means liberals AND libertarians (same thing) NO LIBS!)
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To: frithguild

LOL- he didn’t know how to use the 3 clamshells! phhhtptptt!!!


9 posted on 09/22/2011 2:30:19 PM PDT by Mr. K (Palin/Bachman 2012- unbeatable ticket~!!!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I disagree. The babble is what we hear from Christians, here among other places, about meekness and niceness and all that, while the most arrogant like your current POTUS, for example, rise to power and step over bodies to get there. Been there, done that. The real life examples the author cites, if true, are not what is considered psycho-babble. My opinion.


10 posted on 09/22/2011 2:31:04 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: Revolting cat!

Understood.

I respect the values of the Bible.

You place your trust and confidence in what Alan Alda has to say.

(lmao. Sorry. Had to say it. lol)


11 posted on 09/22/2011 2:40:50 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS! This means liberals AND libertarians (same thing) NO LIBS!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I don’t understand what you’re saying. Are you saying that the woman given as an example in the article should have continued to do lovely things for her husband when he abused her? Do you think that that would make him treat her well? That has not been my observation at all.


12 posted on 09/22/2011 2:48:38 PM PDT by ottbmare (off-the-track Thoroughbred mare)
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To: Revolting cat!

Sally needs to ring a bell every time Hank is mean to her.....and then hit him with a frying pan. That’s called THE LAW OF THE FRYING PAN.


13 posted on 09/22/2011 2:52:24 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: blueunicorn6

Or feed him dog food for dinner.


14 posted on 09/22/2011 2:56:23 PM PDT by montyspython (This thread needs more cowbell)
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To: ottbmare
No, no. I'm not focusing on the example of the wife and husband, but on....

Keep in mind:

The meek shall inherit the earth because the aggressive people of the world will trample their face into it!

Despite the Biblical decree, if you always turn the other cheek all you'll end up with is a completely sore face.

To encourage positive and discourage offensive behavior:

• Do not reward behaviors in others that you wish to eliminate.

• Follow actor Alan Alda's advice: "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."

• Learn to speak up assertively.

• Do not reward unkind behavior from others.

• If someone treats you badly, say so - do not smile and pretend it's okay.

Remember: Think well, act well, feel well, be well!
 
 
I see a few snide remarks at Biblical truths. And therefore I'm immediately suspicious of the author. Especially his quoting the liberal Alan Alda.


15 posted on 09/22/2011 2:57:41 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS! This means liberals AND libertarians (same thing) NO LIBS!)
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To: Revolting cat!
Sally's husband was often abusive. One morning, over breakfast, Hank began yelling at her because she was on the phone instead of keeping him company. Later, after Hank went to work, Sally picked up his shirts from the laundry, ran some other errands for him, and decided to cook his favorite dish for dinner. Do you think Sally did the right thing?

Only if she drove over his shirts 10 times and put arsenic in his favorite dish.

16 posted on 09/22/2011 2:58:57 PM PDT by FrdmLvr (culture, language, borders)
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To: ottbmare

It hasn’t been mine either.


17 posted on 09/22/2011 3:07:40 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: ottbmare
It always was, eye for an eye, and then this Jesus came along saying "bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you" It's a bitter pill.

Although long before Jesus, Socrates figured that sacrifice was only meaningful if there was a final reckoning.

--->listen

I walked in her room
and saw her there
She knelt so quietly
I knew she was in prayer
There was a presence in the room
I'd felt before, but I was frightened
So I turned and closed her door

Love was calling out my name
Love was calling out my name

Looking back on that day,
It's plain to me
My momma's heart
was crying out for my release
It took years for me to be
finally free
Her prayers were answered,
though she never lived to see

Love was calling out my name
Love was calling out my name

Love has the power
to make the weakest man tower
to make the strongest man cower
God has no end to His power
Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com
Love is a fire
whose flames reach higher and higher
Love burns with endless desire
to see us whole

I understand my mother's heart for me
Wanting Jesus to make all that I could be
Now the situation's changed, I'm on my knees
Praying for my baby's eyes to some day see that

Love is calling out her name
Love is calling out her name

Love has the power
to make the weakest man tower
to make the strongest man cower
God has no end to His power
Love is a fire
whose flames reach higher and higher
Love burns with endless desire
to see us whole

18 posted on 09/22/2011 3:08:27 PM PDT by cornelis
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To: Revolting cat!

“If Tommy understood the psychological Law of Effect, he would not repay his wife’s unkindness with kindness but with a firm, assertive response that clearly expressed his unhappiness.”

Which resulted in his wife calling the cops, getting his sorry ass thrown out of the house and served with a restraining order.


19 posted on 09/22/2011 3:38:33 PM PDT by Stormdog (A rifle transforms one from subject to Citizen)
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To: Revolting cat!

Revolting!


20 posted on 09/22/2011 3:57:11 PM PDT by If You Want It Fixed - Fix It
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To: Revolting cat!

Revolting!


21 posted on 09/22/2011 3:57:19 PM PDT by If You Want It Fixed - Fix It
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To: Responsibility2nd

I’m a Christian too, but I must ask what you find wrong in the advice “do not reward unkind behavior in others” and “If someone treats you badly, say so - do not smile and pretend it’s okay.” The author may be an idiot for respecting Alan Alda, but Alda is right that we should quietly require that others treat us well.


22 posted on 09/22/2011 4:05:13 PM PDT by ottbmare (off-the-track Thoroughbred mare)
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To: If You Want It Fixed - Fix It

You can say that again!


23 posted on 09/22/2011 4:48:36 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: Revolting cat!

“Sally’s husband was often abusive. One morning, over breakfast”

Sally gave her husband a lesson in breakfast ebonics. She pulled out her trusty .45 ACP put it to hubby’s temple and said “I outta put a cap in yo azz but today “omalette” it slide.”


24 posted on 09/22/2011 9:58:24 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Georgia Girl 2

You owe me a keyboard. Priceless.


25 posted on 09/23/2011 12:11:24 AM PDT by pops88 (Geek chick over 40)
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