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Positive Discipline and Negative Discipline
Old 07-23-2011, 03:21 PM   #1
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Positive Discipline and Negative Discipline

I find these two things necessary, but really different in how easy or difficult they are to do.

In my life right now, I have a strict low carb regime going on, and also a demanding workout schedule.

The diet requires what I think of as negative discipline, the ability to say no to things that I have decided are not good. In the arena of food anyway, this is so easy for me as to be almost a non-issue. Likely this would not be true, except that the low carb diet choices are satisfying and keep me reasonably full anyway. I have to remind myself to eat so that I don't feel kind of sick or weak if I go too long.

Positive discipline is being sure I do things that I think are in my interests, or are the way I should behave, but are not easy to do. Like get myself to workouts regardless of weather of or of how I feel. It was easy years ago when I had people to play games with, and workout companions. But now, I have to make myself do it alone, and it is not easy. It is almost always great once I am launched on the activity, but hard to get there and get going.

Same with flossing 2x/day. Big deal, right? Maybe takes all of 5 minutes. But I can find excuses to skip it, and it is essentially a small daily struggle. There are other things, like staying on top of keeping my very small apartment neat and clean. Hard hard hard!

Another perhaps even more important thing is staying aware of my woman friend's needs which may be different from mine. Overall, I give myself an A+ when what she wants dovetails with what I want. I can really get behind this with enthusiam. But if I need to please her in some way that is not rewarding to me, or even worse is kind of boring to me, it would help if I had someone walking along behind me with a small whip keeping me focused.

One day I as walking down 1st Avenue and some young guy was calling to an obviously pissed woman who was walking away from him, "Hey, I know I'm an A-hole, but no worse than other guys!"

I kind of inwardly winced, because though I have never said this out loud, I have thought it.


I know this is somewhat to the side of our usual money discussions, but I hope some of you will have things to say about this area.

Ha
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:58 PM   #2
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Interesting thoughts, Ha, but then again, I enjoy reading all your musings of the day! I'm mostly motivated by negative reinforcement, I guess it's in relation to avoid getting punished growing up whether it be at home or from the coach running me for not going 100%. As for as exercising goes, I do not enjoy it at all, but feel great after completing it. I make myself walk to my fitness place, so I can't change my mind, by hoping back in the car. I've exercised most of my life, so that is second nature to me to stay with it.
Food on the other hand is a different matter. I used to eat before entertainment, now food has become my entertainment. I don't cook or enjoy it, but I enjoy eating, so to minimize the grazing opportunities, I try to keep all junk food out as I will devour whatever I buy in one day, whether it be bags of chips or bags of candy. No self discipline at all. My weight is no problem, I'm just trying to be health conscious as I get older. I could not attempt low carb, as it would be a dismal failure.
Like you, I have a lady friend instead of a wife. That in and of itself I believe keeps me on my toes, as the routine of marriage would probably not shed me in as good of light as I would take the relationship more for granted I'm sure. Fortunately we share many interests, and I always ask her what she wants to do, and things go fine. The other parts aren't as easy. She loves to talk about her work, and daily goings. I've learned this is important to her so I have learned to act interested, even though I'm not. And since it would hurt her feelings to tell her I don't want to hear it, I have learned to act interested. One of my friends has put his wife on a one story a day about work diet, so he doesn't have to hear endless ramblings. I couldn't do that. I've also learned I need to go by and visit more often, which I do for her. 3 days a week is fine for me, but she prefers more so I do as I am the one who has the extra time. On days we don't see each other, I must deal with the 30 minute phone conversations. I've learned that if I keep volume off tv and computer, I can do other things to survive. A strategically timed un huh, yes, or laugh is all she needs! I always remind myself that I have a good one, and the effort is worth it. Plus using negative reinforcement I know at my age finding another one is too much work, and would probably be a hell of a lot worse mentally to converse with and physically to look at!
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:17 PM   #3
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This is an interesting thread . I find exercise boring so I have to discipline myself to do it and the only way I can do that is by attending classes . They are an hour of a decent work out and you can't leave early without feeling uneasy so I talk myself through it . My SO & I went for a ride today which means he gets in his tour guide mode which drives me bonkers but he really enjoys it so I discipline myself to just nod occasionally . I am sure there are things that I do that drive him bonkers so I guess we are even. I am pretty disciplined with food since I don't enjoy desserts or most snack foods . The only thing that tests my discipline is potato chips and they usually win. Luckily they are rarely in our house .
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:40 PM   #4
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Yes, interesting thread. I am about the same on exercise and flossing but I am also bad on food. I recently quit chocolate because my addiction was getting out of hand and dropped about 7 pounds with no other changes. But I find it hard to keep up. I like chocolate cookies with coffee for breakfast. At Costco yesterday I picked up a giant box of Oreos but then forced myself to put it back on the shelf. That was hard. I'm not sure I want to face whether I am sufficiently solicitous of DW's needs.
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:07 PM   #5
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This is an interesting thread . I find exercise boring so .........
Funny mention.

Was musing about that yesterday. DW's not so little sisters are visiting. None have ever exercised besides bending arms to put food in mouth.

I'm lucky, I thought and said in the course of the evening's discussion.

I do not exercise at all. In fact I hate exercise just for the purpose of exercising.

What I do is kayak for hours on end. Work through Ju-jutsu routines at least twice a week, if no sparring partner around, takes about 1.5 hrs for warmup, formal pattersns, and then 38 sometimes 45 katas done both left and right handed.

Or go figure skating usually 1.5 to 2 hrs non stop. Much to the amazement of the rink owner who is long ago Olympic Bronze medalist, and is now fairly overweight, but still a skillful skater.Once or twice a week.
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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If I had to travel to my pharmacy to take blood pressure medicine, I'm sure I'd seldom do take it. Similarly exercise. If I had to journey to the nearest gym to do exercises, I'm sure I'd seldom if ever do exercise. Luckily, my blood pressure medication comes every 2 months or so in the mail, and taking my daily dose is a matter of seconds. Luckily, I can do physical exercises in my home, with no traveling to a gym, no taking directions from an instructor (which I am not good at), no traveling back home, no fees.

I have just not managed to understand the attraction of going to a gym to exercise.
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:55 PM   #7
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One of my friends has put his wife on a one story a day about work diet, so he doesn't have to hear endless ramblings. I couldn't do that.
You'll have to update us occasionally as to how that's working out for him. You're probably already checking up on him every 24 hours just to make sure he's still alive, right?

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Yes, interesting thread. I am about the same on exercise and flossing but I am also bad on food. I recently quit chocolate because my addiction was getting out of hand and dropped about 7 pounds with no other changes. But I find it hard to keep up. I like chocolate cookies with coffee for breakfast. At Costco yesterday I picked up a giant box of Oreos but then forced myself to put it back on the shelf. That was hard. I'm not sure I want to face whether I am sufficiently solicitous of DW's needs.
I've tried to cut back to once per day on chocolate, but I also want to maintain the will to live. So now I work out more...

As for spouse's complaints ramblings important tactical updates: I occasionally have to pull my head out of whatever deathless prose I'm currently working on (whether mine or someone else's) to force myself to pay attention. By now I'm domesticated enough that I can tell whether her discussion is just non-combat venting or actual problem solving, and I can respond appropriately.

Most importantly, I've learned that if I'm going to fake my interest then I'd better put some focus into it and get it right the first time: eye contact, head nods, attentive-listening posture, the works. Otherwise the updates will become more frequent until some product of "reporting time x attention level" has been reached. I don't want to get into how I learned that, but clearly from a guy perspective it's worth getting your head in the game and giving it your full effort.

We've agreed, however, that after 7 PM we will not discuss fascinating investing topics like asset allocation or tomorrow's options trades. In return, we also don't have any conversations involving tape measures or décor selections. Luckily by that time of the evening we've found plenty of other common ground to share.
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:53 PM   #8
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Sounds like many of you have the same type of GF/BF issue that I do. She has a pretty hard job with many annoying people to deal with, so I don't blame her for her feelings, but so far at least I have not been too great as an ear. Funny, because in ordinary social life I am more a listerner than a talker. But then, there is at least a chance that I will near something I haven't heard before.

@Greg Lee. This is partly the introvert issue that is dear to many members here, but not me. Even the very casual contacts I make there are fun for me.

The other aspect is that the gym is extremely well equiped with all kinds of strength training devices and lots of weights, which I could not duplicate even if I wanted to.

Ha
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:44 PM   #9
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This is an interesting read. I do a much better job of watching what I eat (most of the time), but I do a poor job of exercising. When the weather is not extreme cold or heat, we do walk a couple of miles a few times a week, but we do have a treadmill that I seldom use. I keep telling myself that I am going to start using hand weights, but hardly ever use them. I do floss every night. I did not know you were supposed to floss twice a day.

I have decided to not talk about work to my DH, based on the above comments. I hate to think that I have been boring him all this time.
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:03 AM   #10
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One of my friends has put his wife on a one story a day about work diet, so he doesn't have to hear endless ramblings.
Wow. Is he still alive?

This book Amazon.com: you just don't understand by deborah tannen: Books was a real eye-opener for me. Women do that because they're... well women. It's hardwired into them and resistance is futile.

After reading the book I realized that what she's really trying to do is stay emotionally connected but I still have to bite my tongue to avoid asking "Does this story have a point or ending?"

And by putting her "on a one-story-a-day diet" what she's hearing is "I don't care about you." Hazardous territory, indeed.
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:16 AM   #11
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Not sure your distinction works for me. No problem doing workouts( will do 28 this month) weight control more difficult. This time of year I have a real weakness for beer. Currently about 6 lbs(under 3%) over ideal. Need to address this before we head off on our next trip in a month.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:00 AM   #12
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I've become disciplined on the exercise front as I religiously go to the gym 3x/week every week (except for maybe a purposeful week off every 4-6 months). After I got into exercise, I set up a home gym for convenience, but find that I am so conditioned to going to my local gym that I rarely use the home equipment. On the eating side, having been a life time carb lover, it has been much more difficult for me to achieve that same level of discipline to reduce carbs than I have for exercising. Why should one be so much harder than the other? I guess when it comes to being a creature of habit, some habits are harder to break than others, especially when ones metabolism is involved.

That said, Ha, you are one of the most introspective philosophical posters on here and I really enjoy and learn from your perspectives.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:47 AM   #13
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Perhaps habit is your friend here. It helps if you exercise on a very regular schedule, and have the attitude that if you miss one of your regularly scheduled times it will be the "beginning of the end.". YNY suggests that you treat exercise like your job -- you don't decide whether to go to work, you just do it.

I've solved the flossing problem for me. I just have the floss next to me, and floss when watching TV. Only once per day, though.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:51 AM   #14
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Sounds like many of you have the same type of GF/BF issue that I do. She has a pretty hard job with many annoying people to deal with, so I don't blame her for her feelings, but so far at least I have not been too great as an ear.

Ha
Just listen and occasionally nod and make sympathetic noises . Do not try to solve her problems . She will be crazy about you for being so understanding and we all know where your patience will be rewarded.
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:34 AM   #15
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Just listen and occasionally nod and make sympathetic noises . Do not try to solve her problems . She will be crazy about you for being so understanding and we all know where your patience will be rewarded.
My late husband would get very irritated with me when I brought certain things up, just to talk about... I finally figured out why when he said, "well what do you want ME to do about it". I didn't want him to do anything about it...I just wanted to talk about it and be heard. Why or why did God create these differences in men and women.
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:45 AM   #16
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...why did God create these differences in men and women.
If we we were all the same, it would become quite boring, IMHO...

Besides, DW/me are a "puzzle", one in which the "pieces" fit perfectly, and form a beautiful picture ...
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:45 AM   #17
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The wife and I happily figured out the fact that she could present me problems that I didn't need to solve or really pay much attention to, other than to nod my head and say "uh-huh" every now and again. Chicks just need to do that, and every now and then I would just need to clarify if this was a real problem she wanted help with, or a venting moment.

After watching a Chris Rock routine on communicating with your woman a few years ago I occasionally modify my "uh-huhs" to something more along the lines of this:

(Not Safe for Work)



Nothing like tossing in a "I told you that b**ch crazy!" to get the DW giggling - or pissed at me depending on the mood and my ability to read it.

It's hard on me, and recently harder still for her. Her bestest girlfriend moved and that means there is a deficit in her word output each day. I've become the target, and it's difficult. There is now the concept of "just give me the guy version please" which means a few dozen words as opposed to a ten minute dissertation on what she intends to buy on her trip to the mall (and why she needs to buy X instead of Y, and an explanation of ten things wrong with the stores today, and blah blah blah). Sometimes it's just not my talking time - a concept we're working to better understand.

When I was w*rking we did have the rule that Leonidas gets a few minutes in his chair without any communication other than a hug and a welcome home. That may be a guy thing, but it definitely was a cop thing. A class I attended at Quantico was taught by a police captain/psychologist/author who said "every cop has his big chair that he sits in when he gets home." It was a sanctuary of sorts where you can finish decompressing from dealing with stressful life & death problems all day and replace your cop personae with your hubbie/daddy personae
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:47 AM   #18
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My husband gets annoyed with me when I want to "be heard" about unsolvable personal issues, and I get annoyed with him when he wants to speak loudly, vehemently, uninterruptedly, and at length about unsolvable governmental or world issues. He's fabulous to talk to when there's something that can be solved, though. So I keep him.

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My late husband would get very irritated with me when I brought certain things up, just to talk about... I finally figured out why when he said, "well what do you want ME to do about it". I didn't want him to do anything about it...I just wanted to talk about it and be heard. Why or why did God create these differences in men and women.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:09 PM   #19
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t's hard on me, and recently harder still for her. Her bestest girlfriend moved and that means there is a deficit in her word output each day. I've become the target, and it's difficult. There is now the concept of "just give me the guy version please" which means a few dozen words as opposed to a ten minute dissertation on what she intends to buy on.....

Leonidas-- Absolutely hilarious! I love the "I've become the target" line.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:12 PM   #20
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Just listen and occasionally nod and make sympathetic noises . Do not try to solve her problems . She will be crazy about you for being so understanding and we all know where your patience will be rewarded.
Sheesh, Now I find out. To think DW is not interested in solving the problems she is describing.
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