We train humans how to treat us. That, of course, includes women.
Have you even been in a situation where your woman treats you like doo-doo? But you give her whatever she wants anyway? I mean, you want her to be happy after all.
Alas… the behavior just continues. It takes a toll on your pride… and even your manhood, right?
While I was learning pickup, I learned a concept that helped me stomp that out of my life. It’s called “shaping.” Here’s the concept.
If you get bad behavior from a woman, don’t “reward” her by letting that bad behavior continue. Stop it. Otherwise, she’ll think it’s okay to treat you in that second-class way.
The flip-side is true, too. If you get good behavior, however tiny, praise her for it. And I guarantee that behavior will continue.
I think this concept comes from B.F. Skinner’s experiments with both human and animal behavior. To over-simplify Skinner’s findings: when behavior is reinforced with praise, we continue it. When behavior is associated with negative reinforcement, we want to stop it.
But the genius of “shaping” goes even a step further.
Praise positive behavior even BEFORE she’s demonstrated it, and you create something like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You: “I love a woman who doesn’t flake out.”
If she cares about seeing you again, chances are she’ll try not to flake out. Nice, right?
Here’s another example:
You: “I love a woman who works out and takes care of herself. It’s super attractive.”
Again, chances are likely she’ll make an effort to work out, ’cause she knows that’s what you like in your woman.
Then, let’s say she dresses up for a date and she looks fantastic.
You: “You look amazing! I love that dress on you.”
Chances are likely she’ll want to continue looking fantastic.
Now, this doesn’t mean we expect a woman to look like Jenna Jameson at all times. Shaping is about giving her acknowledgment and gratitude OUT LOUD.
And a relationship is a two-way street. If we want our woman to take care of herself we must take care of ourselves for our woman too.
Also, this doesn’t mean we expect a woman to “change” for us rather than for herself. It means both people in a relationship encourage each other to be their “best selves” by noticing (and acknowledging) the best in each other.
Most of us are quick to criticize and look for the negative. That does the opposite of bringing the best out in ourselves. Shaping actively looks for the good in each other, celebrates it, and encourages that good to continue.
But shaping isn’t just about compliments. The “dark” part is also being able to say “no.”
That is, we’ve got to be able to draw boundaries too. That means being firm. This can feel like you’re being an ***hole, but counter-intuitively, it can earn her respect.
So, if you get bad behavior, call her on it RIGHT AWAY. For example:
Her: “Oh, it’s you. What do you want?”
You: “Hm, sounds like you’re in a bad mood… “
If you continue to get that bad behavior, let her know it’s not cool with you. And if it STILL continues, let her go. There’s absolutely NO reason to stick around and take second-class treatment.
First, you’re not there to be her savior. That’s a door she has to walk through herself.
Second, there are other tastier fish in the sea you can have a healthier relationship with.
Another example: Let’s say she acts bratty and pouty. Again, call her on it.
You: “You’re acting like a brat right now.”
Don’t reward bad behavior. Instead, draw boundaries.
Now, here’s an important point to this whole concept. You have to make that reinforcement RIGHT when the behavior occurs.
Delayed punishment won’t allow her to make an association. Stop it when she’s midair in the act. She’ll get the association loud and clear that way.
That’s why I had gotten all that bad behavior. I had let it go on and I didn’t draw boundaries when I saw the second-class behavior the first time.
Let her know what’s acceptable behavior and what’s not through praise and drawing boundaries.
This shapes how well she’ll treat us for a long way into the future.