When Does Giving Them a Hard Time Pay Off?

One of the fundamental principles of modifying behaviour you don’t want is that you reward the behaviours you most want to encourage.

Yet many partners of workaholics work against this principle.

Picture this;-

A wife or husband wants to spend more quality time with their partner. They are tired of feeling left out and on their own. They are feeling frustrated, lonely and fed up. Underneath, the emotions are bubbling away until the spouse arrives home.

All the negative emotions are like the lava bubbling away beneath the surface of the volcano which will come rushing to the surface and explode.

The workaholic is greeted by lots of complaints about how they never come home early enough, are inconsiderate, thoughtless etc etc etc. Or when they meet an atmosphere cold enough to freeze water and responses are monosyllabic and restricted to polite pleasantness.

Whilst I do understand how partners feel and they feel they need to offload, it is a flawed approach.

Know, you know that if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got.

Your approach so far has not worked. Your partner is still a workaholic.

Why not try a completely different approach, not just one but consistently over time.

Reward your partner for coming home.
Welcome them with open arms.
Make them feel special.
Make their coming home and giving you time and attention one which is so good they will want to repeat it.
Remember that they are likely to feel stressed and tired so give them time to unwind.
Welcome them home unconditionally. Let them know how pleased you are to see them.
Positive praise and encouragement is the order of the day but it must come from the heart and not seem patronising and mechanistic.
Give them space to wind down and let them know that what you are doing.
‘Bought you a cup of tea – have some time to yourself and then lets ………’

You could argue that you have needs to and why should you put theirs first. It all depends what you really want. If it is for your partner to leave the job for the day to come home there must be a positive pay off.

Remember all this happens at a sub conscious level. Work is providing them with, at least 3, if not more, of their basic needs. Certainty, uncertainty, variety, significance, love and connection, growth and contribution at a higher level. Finding those needs at home positively gives you the very best chance to break the cycle.

If they feel that home life gives them certainty you can meet one need. Certainty that they are loved and that they have a place.
Creating variety in their life – is important – recreating that time when you were first together, rather than uncertainty around the mood they will find you in.
Making them feel significant for the right reasons rather than because they have let you down and are made to feel a failure.
Showing them unconditional love where you give without expecting any return for your love. There is no room for horse trading.
Working together on growing your relationship, learning together, doing different things.
Help them to see what a positive contribution to your relationship, the family and you.

Is is not a magic cure, but then you reinforce positive behaviours, and there will be a pay off. Focusing on watching for when they do something right, rather than when they do something to upset you, also changes your mind set. Look for small wins to begin with and don’t expect a miracle overnight.

This process works really well with children and work colleagues too!


Author's Bio: 

Gina Gardiner is one of the UK's leading Leadership Coaches.
Gina supports people at individual or organizational level to develop confidence, leadership and people skills. Gina is the author of two books “Kick Start Your Career” and “How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively and is also a Neuro Linguistic Master Practitioner and a qualified coach.
To download her free management ecourse...http://graduatesolutions.co.uk