By Bunmi Sofola
It is a fact that the average man has irritating habits that put your back up and make you feel like climbing the wall in frustration. Habits like leaving the toilet seat up with his wee all over it, hanging out with his mates most of his spare time or snoring. The good news is that he is just as vulnerable as that dog of yours.
Remember how long it took you to train the dog to eat off your palm? Well, you can do the same thing with your bloke!
According to writer, Amy Sutherland, “Men have a lot in common with wild animals such as dolphins, hyenas and baboons. You can, therefore, domesticate your other half by using the same methods deployed to train these animals to perform tricks.” She said she made her discovery while researching a book about a school for animal trainers. She spent a number of months at Moorpark College in California watching students learn how to train baboons to skateboard, elephants to paint and dolphins to flip. She had found herself constantly moaning at her husband for throwing dirty clothes on the floor, leaving used tissues around and always being late.
According to her, “It hit me that these techniques might work on that stubborn but lovable husband of mine.
“The main lesson I learnt is that I should reward behaviour that I like and ignore behaviour I don’t. Seeing my husband as a dolphin in need of training, I thanked him whenever he threw even one shirt into the linen basket instead of pestering him about his clothes lying around. The more I praised him, the tidier he became. And, when he misbehaved, I simply withdrew my attention. “
But could it work on your partner too? UK dog trainer, Anni Clayton believes it can. She says: “Humans and animals learn in the same way. When I’m training a dog and he does something right, I make a clicking sound.
He learns it’s always the same sound and it means a reward is coming. With my husband, I don’t have to use a sound. I indicate a dirt sock, he moves it and I reward him with a big smile.
“When an animal is good you usually reward them with food. If your husband clears the table after dinner, your good humour is his reward.
Another technique I learnt from the animal trainers is known as “teaching an incompatible behaviour.” This means teaching your man to do something else in place of whatever it is he usually does that bothers you. I came up with things for my husband to do that stopped him getting in my way when I cooked. To lure him away from the stove, I piled up cheese for him to grate at the other end of the kitchen or any other simple chores.
“I began to analyse him as if I was an exotic animal trainer. Trainers learn all they can about species, from anatomy to social structure. They try to understand how it thinks. Does it like to be part of a herd or is it a loner?
“I decided that my husband was both a loner and an alpha male. So, hierarchy mattered, but being in a group wasn’t so important. Skiing came naturally to him but being on time didn’t. After two years of animal training, my marriage has fewer ups and downs and my husband is more loveable. Thinking of him as an exotic animal makes it easier to accept his faults. So, a pile of dirty clothes on the bedroom floor is just a pile of dirty clothes – not a sign that he doesn’t care enough about me …“
But, she warns, there is some behaviour that you can’t train out of your husband. “You can’t stop a badger from digging and you can’t stop my husband from losing his wallet and keys.”
15 Sur-fire ways to make yourself unhappy – so why keep doing them?
a. Always look on the dark side of life. See the glass as half empty rather than full, regard changing circumstances as disasters rather than opportunities, always expect things to go wrong, and your negativity will remain intact.
b. Repress your anger. Become accustomed to feeling as if you’re about to explode with rage, get used to a racing heart and a throbbing head, ignore the increased risk of heart disease, depression and – as people start to avoid you – unstable relationships.
c. Be unreliable. Ensure that people never expects anything of you by forgetting birthdays, turning up late and never completing tasks.
d. Catch the news again and again. Maintain high levels of misery and “what’s the world coming to?” syndrome by becoming a news addict, reading the papers first thing and topping up with bulletins throughout the day.
e. Become a couch potato. Reject the overwhelming evidence that regular exercise is good for your body and emotional well- being, use the car, avoid the gym and slouch on the sofa instead. Add a few high- fat snacks while relaxing and you’ll soon feel too tired and heavy even to think about a healthier routine.
f. Stay home alone. Give up your social life and you’ll never have to meet those annoyingly happy types who remind you that you’re missing out.
g. Neglect your appearance. Keep your low self- esteem intact by not bothering to wash, apply make-up, or do your hair.
h. Hit the bottle. Drink too much alcohol, refusing to accept that it’s disrupting your sleep patterns, affecting your work performance, depriving you of nutrients, reducing your bank balance and causing arguments with loved ones.
i. Play the victim. Convince yourself that your problems are caused by other people, and that you have no hope of changing your life.
j. Be a stick-in-the-mud. Remain safe and unchallenged by adhering to the same routine and carefully avoiding anything new and different.
k. Ignore aches and pains, soldier on regardless of an aching back or stomach pains in the hope that they’ll go away, ignoring the fact that you may be making any problem worse by not seeing a doctor.
l. Shop till you drop. Spending more than you earn keeps your credit – card company and your bank manager happy. While guaranteeing those familiar monthly headaches as you attempt to juggle finances.
m. See people as potential enemies. Be suspicious of everyone, sticking to your belief that people are always out to get you. This way, you don’t have to worry about making any new friends, dating or finding a new job.
n. Reveal nothing. Assure high levels of feeling put upon and misunderstood, by not saying what you really mean or feel – also a great way to drive people away and ensure your continued isolation.
o. Focus on what you don’t have. Convince yourself that everyone else has more by focusing on their wonderful house, job, partner or children. This way you’ll never have to experience that sense of inner contentment, which comes from appreciating that you have a lot to be thankful for, and your life is actually pretty good after all.
What a first timer! (Humour)
A woman goes to her doctor and says: “I am getting married soon. My fiance thinks I’m a virgin but I’m not. Is there anything you can do?” “Medically, no”, the doctor says. “But here’s something you can try. On your wedding night, take an elastic band and slide it onto your upper thigh. When your husband starts making love to you, ping the elastic band and tell him it’s your virginity snapping.”
The woman thinks this is a fantastic idea and is sure her new hubby will fall for it. They have a beautiful wedding and retire to the honeymoon suite. She gets ready for bed in the bathroom, slips the elastic band up her leg, finishes making herself gorgeous and climbs into bed with her man. Things began to progress and at just the right moment, she snaps the elastic band. “What the heck was that?”, the husband asks. “Oh, nothing honey, the wife soothes, “That was just my virginity snapping.” Well, snap it again – quick”, the husband cries, “lt’s got my balls!”