Can Positive Motivation Improve A Relationship

Portrait of happy business people sitting together at a meeting

Dr. Purushothaman
December 14, 2013

When you are in a relationship, whether you are dating or married, keeping a happy and caring atmosphere over a long period of time can be extremely difficult. Anyone who has been married for more than a year or two can certainly tell you that! We all tend to irritate each other and start doing things that really drive each other crazy. The problem is that most of us just use negative motivation as a way to solve the problem, rather than positive motivation which generally works a lot better.

For instance, if you are not getting enough affection from your partner, you could complain to them that you are feeling abandoned. You could start to be nasty to them and refrain from whatever it is that they want. These are both examples of negative motivation that will not get you any better treatment than what you are already getting. But by using positive motivation and rewarding them for when they do treat you well, you will get better results.

If this sounds like training a puppy, then you are on the right track. You can train a puppy by beating them every time they piddle on the carpet, or you can reward them when they don’t. The dog you reward will love you forever, the other one won’t change his or her habits.

Of course, there is a huge difference between being manipulative and using positive motivation in a loving way. There is certainly nothing wrong with rewarding your partner with praise when they empty dishwasher or take out the garbage. It works a lot better than yelling at them when they don’t! You will also find that, in the long run, they see you in a more positive and caring manner and maybe they will stop doing all of those things that have always drove you crazy.

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