How Can You Prevent It From Happening to You
If you’ve ever had a negative experience with a roommate, a significant other, or even just a friend or colleague, then you understand the importance of avoiding negative reinforcement. But what exactly is negative reinforcement? It is essentially when something that is not desired gets reinforced by taking away something that the person likes. This can be as simple as taking away dessert if your roommate leaves his dirty dishes in the kitchen too often. However, there are more sinister examples of this type of behavior as well. If you’re looking to avoid some of these situations from happening to you, read on for more information about negative reinforcement and how you can prevent it from happening to you.
What is Negative Reinforcement?
Negative reinforcement is the process of rewarding an individual for their bad behavior or punishing them for their positive behavior to get them to stop their positive behavior. Essentially, you punish the individual for their positive behavior in order to get them to do something else instead.
In many cases, negative reinforcement is done out of anger, frustration, or an attempt at getting the person to stop whatever they are doing that you don’t like. Negative reinforcement is not only extremely damaging to relationships, but it can also be very damaging to the person who is being negatively reinforced. It can lead to extremely low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
How Does Negative Reinforcement Work?
The way that negative reinforcement works is simple: you remove something that the individual likes in order to get them to do something that you want. The important thing to remember about negative reinforcement is that you must actually follow through with whatever you’ve threatened to do in order for it to be effective. If you threaten to break up with your significant other if they don’t get a job that pays more, then you don’t end the relationship, then you are not being negatively reinforced.
Strategies to Avoid Negative Reinforcement
1. The best strategy is to try to avoid being frustrated in the first place. This might sound difficult, but it’s actually much easier than you might think. If you’re living with roommates, for example, you can simply tell them that you prefer to do your dishes as soon as you finish them. If you’re living with a significant other, you can suggest that they take a certain class or get a different job.
2. In order to avoid negatively reinforcing your loved ones, try to focus on their positive behavior rather than the negative. If they’re messy, try putting your dishes away as soon as you finish them. If they’re struggling to find a job, suggest some different career paths that they may want to explore.
Negative reinforcement is likely something that you have experienced in your life, particularly if you’ve ever dated or lived with a messy person. In fact, you may have even negatively reinforced someone else in the past.
This article is written by a therapist from Sensera – a self-help app that provides daily CBT audio sessions and exercises. The app helps people deal with a variety of mental issues (anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship problems). Download Sensera now to become happier!