You flick on the television and are instantly immersed in an episode of Greys Anatomy. Bag of chips opened , you take a bite while Meredith and Derick fight over her impulsiveness and his lack of understanding. Suddenly, just when Meredith and Derick are about to make up with a quick shack in a hospital bunk, your significant other swipes the remote and changes the channel to ESPN.
E. S. P. N!!!
You want to beat him over the head with the remote, but, instead, decide to try tactics like coercion, manipulation, bartering, and persuasion. One of these tactics will ultimately bring your TV back to McDreamy and McSteamy, but how does it affect your relationship in the long run?
A study shows that using coercion, manipulation, bartering, and persuasion can lead to relationship disaster. And here’s why:
- Coercion: When trying to coerce, we usually criticize or make demands as we express one message: if I don’t get what I want, you will suffer. These behaviors can lead to intimidation and devaluing your partner. That’s because when using coercion we want the other person to submit. This automatically stirs a negative response, which can lead to power struggles and resentment. That poor remote control will be fed up with it all!
- Manipulation: If you manipulate, then you’re a little bit of a sneak! And no one likes a sneak. Manipulation reveals a deceiving trait and underhandedness. This is extremely unhealthy since relationships should consist of truth, openness, and trust.
- Bartering: There is a lyric in a song that goes, “If you kiss me then I’ll kiss you back,” and that is the perfect description of bartering. To a certain extent, this can be a fun way to communicate, especially in the bedroom, but it can also lead to keeping score. A tit for tat, per say. The love of your significant other can also be used to manipulate when bartering. But what if he doesn’t change the channel when you say, “If you love me, you’ll put Greys Anatomy back on!” Well, that’s just asking for trouble.
- Persuasion: Persuasion is a lot like coercion, only it has a bit more of a seductive element. It usually succeeds, especially if you throw on some lingerie or promise a birthday surprise when it’s not their birthday. However, persuading too often can lead to your significant other feeling he is never right and can never satisfy your needs.
So, what can you do to get the back control of the remote control? Compromise. That’s right. I said compromise. You can flick back and forth during commercials. Discuss investing in a DVR. Or watch the episode on line. If he records ESPN or vice versa, you can even agree to snuggle with him and watch the shows together. It’s either that or spend Thursday nights fighting over the remote control, where, eventually, one of you will get whacked.