Behavior Modification: It Happens (Exercise 11)

If you are in a relationship, rest assured that your behavior will be modified.

It’s gonna happen.

I tell people this at the beginning of my behavior modification classes all the time.

So, if it’s gonna happen, it’s better to understand what it is, at least for yourself. Even better if you can understand how your actions and responses modify behavior in others.

EXAMPLE:

Maybe it’s just me, but have you ever been in a relationship where a very specific topic, when brought up, always creates a shitstorm argument?

And have you ever decided to just avoid that topic?

(On another related note, this is the beginning of a relationship black hole… a good read, if you want to see some of the intense behavior modification that can happen when you’re not paying attention.)

You’re behavior has been modified.

Or this example:

Behavior Modification Happens

Simple, and I think all of us can related to one or the other of those to some degree, possibly both.

So, what to do about it?

The Exercise

This one is very simple.

Pay attention to the things you do in your relationship. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Did you do them before your relationship? If not, your behavior has been modified.
  • If not, did you make those changes on purpose?
  • Are the changes a positive influence on your life and relationship?
  • What responses from your partner encouraged or discouraged those changes?

That’s it. Simply pay attention.

And, if you want to, learn more about how behavior modification works. Start by reading some of what I’ve written so far: Behavior Modification writings

Continue with your own research and observations. Two excellent books ont he topic are:

Don’t Shoot The Dog, Karen Pryor
The Power of Positive Dog Training, Pat Green

Yes, they are for training dogs. yes, I still recommend them.

Knowing how to modify behavior without being able to speak makes actual conversational BeMod SO MUCH EASIER.

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