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New research findings now appearing online in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology began with a professor's desire to understand why her husband often seemed to ignore her requests for help around the house.
"My husband, while very charming in many ways, has an annoying tendency of doing exactly the opposite of what I would like him to do in many situations," said Tanya L. Chartrand, an associate professor of marketing and psychology at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.
When Chartrand envisioned a formal academic study of people's resistance to the wishes of their partners,par ents or bosses, her husband, Gavan Fitzsimons, became not only her inspiration, but also her collaborator. Fitzsimons is a professor of marketing and psychology at Duke who, like Chartrand, is an expert in the field of consumer psychology.
Working with Duke Ph.D. student Amy Dalton, Chartrand and Fitzsimons have demonstrated that some people will act in ways that are not to their own benefit simply because they wish to avoid doing what other people want them to. Psychologists call this reactance: a person's tendency to resist social influences that they perceive as threats to their autonomy.
The team found that people do not necessarily oppose others' wishes intentionally. Instead, even the slightest nonconscious exposure to the name of a significant person in their life is enough to bring about reactance and cause them to rebel against that person's wishes.
"Psychologists have known for some time that reactance can cause a person to work in opposition to another person's desires," Chartrand said. "We wanted to know whether reactance could occur even when exposure to a significant other, and their associated wishes for us, takes place at a nonconscious level." The researchers undertook a set of experiments to determine whether reactance might occur unintentionally, completely outside of the reactant individual's conscious awareness.
In the first experiment, participants were asked to name a significant person in their lives whom they perceived to be controlling and who wanted them to work hard, and another significant and controlling person who wanted them to have fun. Participants then performed a computer-based activity during which the name of one or the other of these people was repeatedly, but subliminally, flashed on the screen. The name appeared too quickly for the participants to consciously realize they had seen it, but just long enough for the significant other to be activated in their nonconscious minds. The participants were then given a series of anagrams to solve, creating words from jumbled letters.
People who were exposed to the name of a person who wanted them to work hard performed significantly worse on the anagram task than did participants who were exposed to the name of a person who wanted them to have fun.
"Our participants were not even aware that they had been exposed to someone else's name, yet that nonconscious exposure was enough to cause them to act in defiance of what their significant other would want them to do," Fitzsimons said.
A second experiment used a similar approach and added an assessment of each participant's level of reactance. People who were more reactant responded more strongly to the subliminal cues and showed greater variation in their performance than people who were less reactant. "The main finding of this research is that people with a tendency toward reactance may nonconsciously and quite unintentionally act in a counterproductive manner simply because they are trying to resist someone else's encroachment on their freedom," Chartrand said.
The researchers suggest that people who tend to experience reactance when their freedoms are threatened should try to be aware of situations and people who draw out their reactant tendencies. That way, they can be more mindful of their behaviors and avoid situations where they might adopt detrimental behaviors out of a sense of rebellion.
Not surprisingly perhaps, Chartrand and Fitzsimons, as wife and husband, also take home some slightly differing messages from their experiments.
Chartrand believes her husband "should now be better equipped to suppress his reactant tendencies." Fitzsimons, however, believes the results "suggest that reactance to significant others is so automatic that
I can't possibly be expected to control it if I don't even know it's happening."
The Best Ways To Deal With These Nag Nag Nag Wife Creatures
As married life goes it naturally has it's ups and downs and it's when the downs seem to make life really depressed is when this sort of behaviour needs to be addressed.
A nagging wife is someone who has gotten quite comfortable at dishing out the orders, you know the type, the ones who leave the list of jobs that need doing as soon as on the fridge in the form of a post it.
These horrible wife creatures must be stopped and I believe I've come up with 9 top ways to deal with a nagging wife, so take notes, you never know when you'll need to refer back to these 9 tips for effective wife management.
- Always create a space for yourself, a shed, a room. Somewhere to retreat from the nagging when it erupts. Your best hobby is done in this safe haven from the nightmare naggers.
Every bloke should have a hobby to counteract the nagging of a wife.
When you feel the nag is about to happen, just go out to the pub, or go for a walk, the key here is to be consistent so that every time a nag is about to occur you just get out of the way.
This makes sense, because it saves wasted energy all around and if you are out of the way, then you will not hear it!
Ignore the nagging, when she says stuff that needs to change or the things that need doing it's time to either act like you're deaf or just plain ignore her and all she stands for when it comes to the nagging, she'll either get bored because there is no reaction and the nagging ends or she may get pissed off.
So in the event she might get a little angry that you don't listen, then obtain a hearing aid and hatch a small plan to fake a hearing problem, this is a good tactic I recommend you do to combat this terrible affliction, she'll more than likely not bother and just hand you a list of jobs and for that my friends a white walking stick and mr magoo style glasses come in very handy!!
When us men are about to be nagged to death we sort of sense it like a sixth sense, so in the event of such an outcome, you could compliment your wife and this cleverly distracts her and she'll just forget for the time being about the prospect of nagging you.
These little compliments can be staggered throughout the week and can be part of an overall plan of gift showering and that sort of thing, although don't overdo it as this could cause more stress later on down the line with such things as they might wonder why you are giving them all of this attention and you are playing the game away from home.
So just be careful with this one, you don't want to be playing into their hands too much!
Keep them busy, always try and keep the nagging at bay by taking them out for dinner or just doing something together, with a bit of luck this will also stop them from nagging you because this might be something they nagged you about, so try and second guess them and nip it in the bud before the nag rot sets in.
Counteract the nagging by nagging back, this could be called an arguement in some parts of the world, but it really isn't, as you are only giving her a taste of her own poisonous medicine.
Nag back at her about the fact of her nagging you, you never know this may stop her from nagging again, or it could be grounds for a future divorce, either way you'll feel better for it.
Laugh at her nagging face!
This is one of my favourites as it unsettles them into just shutting the hell up,they get frustrated about the fact that you laughed at them. When they try to nag again immediately after you laughed ....just laugh louder this time!
Slap them in the face with a piece of candy floss, don't worry it won't hurt, this just adds to the drama of being nagged, with a bit of luck a piece of candy floss will get stuck on their lips and you could simply lick it off.
Get rid of the nagging with a bit of candy floss kinkyness!!
When they are about to nag...say hey look at that dress and your hair...I love it! you really are the best wife in the world and quite sexy too why don't we just hop into a sack and do our very own special dance whilst laying down!
I may revise this list in time as I may come up with some better tips to replace the current ones. But at present these are the best for the current times of nagging wifey misses!!
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