I Messed Up!

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Another frustration I’ve experienced is effectively defending the methods I’ve now chosen to stick with. This post is going to show one of my flaws in the hopes that it will help others learn along with me. People I come across today do not know my story, my struggles, my history, or my character. Some people are out there to poke and prod for fun, but then there are those who are there to truly learn new material. It’s very difficult to distinguish between the two and I messed up in one of my discussions a while back. Fortunately, our paths crossed once again and I got some wonderful, feedback about my approach to the discussion. Check out this feedback I got from an online conversation:

“I remember our conversation. I actually never forgot it because you were the first one to discuss R+ training with me. To be honest I didn’t like how you approached it. I remember you stating I place fear and pain to my dog and how I need to improve my relationship with my dog then you showed me a before and after picture of prong with R+ training on your dog. You got frustrated that I wouldn’t change and left.”

WOW! Good thing I can keep an open mind and accept criticism. I really messed up! I lost my temper and clearly did not achieve what I meant to achieve in this conversation. That’s why I wanted to share this conversation with you – so that we can all learn from it and prevent it in the future. As positive reinforcement trainers, we need to work on improving our interactions with the curious creatures called humans. We need to be really conscious on how we come across to those who have not crossed over to avoid alienating them.

It’s hard when there are so many people out there who are not there to learn, but would rather waste your time arguing moot points. As someone who cares deeply about the subject, it is hard not to get riled up in discussions defending positive reinforcement.

It takes a certain skill and steadiness to not lose your temper while trying to educate people who use other methods. Some questions don’t make sense. Some questions are just outrageous. It’s a talent that few people have, but I think we all have something to learn from those who have a way with words. It is a good idea to start with a compliment or connection to the person you are trying to influence and then lead by example.

So I challenge you to watch your words and “join the movement” along with me… Make a commitment to speak politely and in a non-judgemental way to others. Read more about the Talk To Me Project and join our Facebook group to learn more about how you can approach people who have different views.