I read an article/interview in the Globe today called Treat each other like animals (here’s a link to a similar article in the New York Times if you don’t get that paper). This is an interesting and refreshingly simple approach that has a lot of merit. This isn’t old style animal training with a whip and chair nor is it a rolled up newspaper. Basically you reward preferred behaviour and ignore the bad. This is assuming, of course, that the bad isn’t so terrible that it is violent: that would probably require more complicated therapy to deal with.
This is aimed more at the common spousal argument. I like this a lot. It’s just the way I’d want to be treated if I’m being a jerk. After all, anger is hot and fleeting and things get said that I’d prefer not to recall. It’s much better left ignored than heightened through (even a justified) reaction. Things have a way, as we’re all told, of working out. And they do if given time.
If wishes were horses
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