Survival Tip of the Day

Basic psychology I learned with some rats:  Behavior that is reinforced will increase.

IE: Behavior  +  Reinforcement = More of the Same

IE: 1 + 1 = 2

  • If you allow someone to take advantage of you, to continually violate reasonable boundaries, that behavior will only continue and probably increase.
  • If you enable bad behavior, that behavior will only continue or increase.
  • If you continually rescue someone, that person will continually behave in ways that require you to rescue her (or him).
  • Take a stand. Stick to boundaries.  Refuse to rescue or appease.

2 thoughts on “Survival Tip of the Day

  1. Great advice, Fran. Any advice on how do you create, constructive new patterns in the other person beyond just taking a stand on your own boundaries???

  2. Thanks for writing, Margie. You can’t really change how another person is or acts in the world, you can only change how you react. But it seems to me that setting and sticking to your boundaries and/or refusing to enable bad behavior will, if not decrease the behavior, at least stop putting you in a position of reinforcing or increasing it. If the behavior is really bad, often what happens is that person eventually burns all her/his bridges, as one by one people realize that constantly allowing him or her to violate boundaries isn’t doing him any good, and also just get offended or sick of it. Sometimes people need to hit bottom and realize they’re alone before they’re willing to change. Sometimes people are never willing to change, and thus all their relationships are characterized by drama and cut-offs. In that case, there might be a personality disorder of some type.

    If the situation warrants it, as in the case of a rage-aholic or an alcoholic (or a personality disorder, for that matter), really the only thing you can do is suggest the person get professional help.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s