Sunday, December 31, 2006

Help Them Convince Themselves That They Love You

Let Your Quarry Do Favors for You Loving someone, and being loved by this person, is a convoluted pattern of reward and punishment. We are happy when the person we love gives us gifts or does favors for us, and we receive equally as much joy doing the same for our beloved. But, according to the equity principle of love, somewhere buried in our subconscious is the scorecard. Who is doing more for whom, and does it all balance out? It doesn't have to be tit for tat in equal actions. The tit can be the joy we receive for doing tat. For example, Huntresses, if you love a man, you actually enjoy driving him to work when his car breaks down. His appreciation is your reward. Hunters, you enjoy giving her flowers. Her smile is your reward. Are we forced to drive him to work or to give her flowers? No. We do it because we want to. Why do we want to? The answer is obvious. We do it because we love him, because we love her. Or so we tell ourselves. This leads us into an intriguing aspect of the love game. You can use it to make people convince themselves that they are in love with you. Researchers call it the cognitive-consistency
theory. Cognitive consistency says that individuals strive to keep their cognitions psychologically consistent and that, when inconsistencies arise, they strive to restore consistency. In other words, people strive to keep their actions in tune with their convictions. Whenever they do something, they want to feel they are doing it for a good reason, because they want to do it. Often individuals who volunteer for a worthy cause value the task more if they are not offered money. Studies have shown that the harder a person works for a volunteer group, the more he or she values the organization's efforts. If offered financial compensation, most people would see the task more as a job they had to do. People watch their own actions and then instinctively adjust their philosophy and feelings to match. They say to themselves, "Golly, I'm working so hard for this group. I must really believe in their goals." That way they achieve cognitive consistency. If they continued working hard and didn't believe in the goals, they would have to admit to themselves that they are stupid or screwed up, and nobody wants to do that. It's the same in love. If you find yourself doing for someone things that, in themselves, are not rewarding, you are likely to come to the conclusion that you must like that person, because you could not be doing the things for their own sake . . . thus you achieve cognitive consistency. 45 People don't only observe other people. They observe themselves. A great part of our self-perception and what we believe we feel comes from watching our own actions. 46 Thus, if we do something for another person that is in itself unrewarding, our self-talk tells us it means we really love them. If you get up early to drive your Quarry around or find yourself giving her gifts, you must be doing it because you are in love. Why else would you put yourself out or spend your hard-earned money? This translates into the following tech-nique to boost your Quarry's perception that he or she is in love with you. TECHNIQUE #56: LET HIM OR HER DO FAVORS FOR YOU Let your Quarry do little favors for you and give you gifts. Thank him or her, but don't appear too grateful. Act as though it is perfectly logical for your Quarry to be putting himself or herself out for you. To restore cognitive consistency, your Quarry will be convinced that he or she must really love you. A word of warning: Don't go overboard with this one. If you do, it could tip the delicate balance. If your Quarry feels he or she is doing too much, the relationship could capsize and sink. Hey! What About "O Lyric Love, Half Angel and Half Bird"? "Where," you might well ask, "does the purity, the beauty, and the selfless kind of love come in? What about couples who pledge eternal love, till death do us part—and mean it?" We can, of course, achieve that beautiful love—in time. Actually, the lyric love Robert Burns wrote about and the fundamentally practical, egocentric discoveries scientists have made about love are not totally incompatible. Many couples stay together, stayhappy, and stay in love for a lifetime, but if you look above their heads, you'll see the great scorecard in the sky. There is probably a balance in what each partner brings to the relationship. Often there are subjective values that outsiders can't see. At any isolated point in time, the relationship can appear inequitable to strangers. When partners commit to a lifetime relationship, it's no longer tit for tat on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. The scorecard can become unequal for a while. For instance, a wife may support her husband while he goes through medical school. She's in the superior position for a few years, and he's getting the better deal. Then, when he has his degree, he is expected to either finance her education or support the family in style to even the score. What about relationships that seem very one-sided for a long time, such as a loving husband or wife who selflessly cares for an ailing partner in their later years? Well, years spent together actually become one of the assets brought to the relationship. You might not think of it in those terms, but the care-giving partner is paying back the beloved spouse for the years of happiness received in the relationship. Once two people who love each other have made a commitment, the boat can stay afloat even if it tilts in one direction. But it must rock back the other way before they reach the ultimate balance and can hope for a smooth journey. A person can accept favors for a while from a partner, but the truly wise ones pay back to keep the balance of assets in the relationship on a par. Why have I placed such emphasis on exploring this philosophy? Upon this rock-solid foundation, equity, we build many of the techniques to make someone fall in love with you. In fact, all of the techniques in this book are designed to boost your value in love relationships to make your Potential Love Partner fall harder, faster.

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