An Easy Way to End Stressful Relationships

Are you tired of stressful relationships where you feel you are always nagging, threatening, or bribing the other person to do what needs to be done?

Social scientists have determined that people accept inner responsibility for their behavior and actions when they think they have CHOSEN to perform it in the absence of outside pressure, such as a large reward. In other words, while the incentive may get people to perform a certain action, it won’t get them to accept inner responsibility for the act. Consequently, they won’t feel COMMITTED to it.

The same is true of a strong threat; it may motivate immediate compliance, but it is unlikely to produce long-term commitment.

What Stressful Relationships Look Like

You may have seen this play out in your home or workplace. For example, offering your children $5 to clean their room may work today. But what happens next month? Once again their room is a mess, but they have no inner drive to clean it. A few years later, when $5 isn’t enough motivation, then what? How big must the reward go to be sufficient EXTERNAL motivation?

At work, your direct repot may arrive late every day. Only after you threaten to fire them do they arrive on time. But after a few days, the tardiness begins again. How many times do you have to threaten to terminate their employment?

While these are rather simple examples of how stressful relationships play out, they are unfortunately common.

Having to externally motivate someone continually is very tiring and places the responsivity of the action being done on YOU.  A much better approach is to help the person develop INTERNAL motivation.

How do you do that? Frist, don’t bribe or threaten others to do the things you want them to do or believe in. Such pressures may produce temporary compliance with your wishes. However, if you want more than just that, if you want people to continue to perform the desired behavior and/or action when you are not present to apply those outside pressures, then you must somehow arrange for them to accept inner responsibility for the actions they need to take.

Focusing on the three principles of Positivity, Choice, and Reflection (all of which are discussed extensively on this blog) is a simple and easy way to accomplish this and alleviate stressful relationships.

If you’re looking for stress management advice, check out the book Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey. It’s available as a print book and as a Kindle download.