This is the most controversial post I have ever written in ten years of blogging. I wrote it because I was very angry at a specific incident.
Such is the putative relationship advice of Amy Sutherland, a journalist who spent a year at an animal-trainer school and decided to apply the trainers' techniques to her husband's annoying habits.
According to Sutherland, the key to marital bliss is to ignore negative habits and reward positive ones, the same approach animal trainers use to get killer whales to leap from their tanks and elephants to stand on their heads. So to teach her husband, Scott, to stop storming around the house when he couldn't find his keys, she practiced what trainers call Least Reinforcing Scenario, which means she ignored his outbursts, and didn't offer to help with the search.
To prevent Scott from hovering over her while she tried to cook, she engineered "incompatible behaviors" by setting a bowl of chips and salsa at the other end of the room. Soon she had a key-finding, salsa-eating mate and, she says, a happier marriage. Sutherland first wrote about her experiment in The New Annoying habits essay Times inwhere it became the most e-mailed story of the year.
Sutherland admits that her ideas are not groundbreaking: In the s, B. Skinner used rats and pigeons to develop his theory of "operant behaviors," the idea that behavior is affected by its consequences. That doesn't mean the strategy is not controversial: The idea of women training simple men is a well-worn trope of pop culture.
In the film "If a Man Answers," Sandra Dee's mother hands her a canine-training manual with the advice "If you want a perfect marriage, treat your husband like a dog.
While Sutherland claims that animal-training techniques work on both genders, in another new book, "Seducing the Boys Club," Nina DiSesa advocates a gender-specific approach to changing people's behavior.
DiSesa, who was the first female chairman of the ad agency McCann Erickson, argues that women should use their femininity to manipulate the men they work with and advance their careers.
Instead of criticizing an employee's ad proposal, she flatters him for his "brilliant" idea, then sweetly asks if he had any other inspirations. We know how to handle men, we just don't do it at work.
But Sutherland says it's not a quick fix.
In fact, she was the one who wound up being retrained, as she taught herself not to take her husband's actions personally, and not to react when he did things that annoyed her.
DiSesa also says she retrained herself to stop criticizing and confronting the men she worked with, and instead use "S and M," seduction and manipulation, to get her way.
And, she says, we shouldn't admit to our manipulations. Now they use the word "shamu" as a verb, as in "Did you just shamu me?
But she's skeptical of the idea that the technique will work with real marital problems such as lack of communication or sexual incompatibility: And she's not opposed to therapy, although she says, judging from the enthusiastic response to her essay, "Psychologists might want to consider bringing more animals into the mix.One evening over dinner, I began to joke, as I often had before, about writing an essay called “Men Explain Things to Me.” Every writer has a stable of ideas that never make it to the racetrack, and I’d been trotting this pony out recreationally every once in a while.
Attention, frustrated wives: if you want your husband to start listening to you and stop leaving his socks on the floor, all you need is a little patience and a lot of mackerel. The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Women - Kindle edition by Glynnis MacNicol, Rachel Sklar. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets.
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Why does your coworker constantly clear his throat? What’s behind your best friend’s Facebook oversharing? Science has answers for these annoying habits. things that annoy essaysThere are a lot of things that annoy me.
I'll be at work waiting for a customer to pay and they'll have one hand with a bill and the other hand with change. Since they're too lazy to count the change they give me the bill.
It isn’t as bad as it sounds. From the article: There is a socioeconomic element at play when it comes to exclusion. Those people of color with lower income can feel marginalized by poly community culture’s financial demands, which can include dishing out cash for a fancy play party or a plane ticket to Burning Man. things that annoy essaysThere are a lot of things that annoy me. I'll be at work waiting for a customer to pay and they'll have one hand with a bill and the other hand with change. Since they're too lazy to count the change they give me the bill. When I . One evening over dinner, I began to joke, as I often had before, about writing an essay called “Men Explain Things to Me.” Every writer has a stable of ideas that never make it to the racetrack, and I’d been trotting this pony out recreationally every once in a while.
When I . In , I obtained the first Transpluto ephemeris which was published in Germany by the highly respected astrologer/scientist, Theodor Landscheidt.