A common precursor to inappropriate behaviour is having demands placed upon you. We all know this to be true because we all experience it from both angles on a regular basis. Here are my examples from yesterday:
- I am telling my friend a story and she repeatedly interjects with questions (demands) so I cut the story short and look out of a window disinterestedly (inappropriate behaviour) when she starts to talk about something else.
- Doing computer work alongside my brother I repeatedly ask him, “Are you revising... what math are you doing... are you on facebook again?” (demands) until he gives up and leaves without completing his work (undesirable behaviour).
I challenge you to think back over the past few days and not find an occasion when your placing demands on someone led to them change their behaviour, usually to avoid your demands.
If you are involved with someone who exhibits undesirable behaviour, particularly when you ask them to do something then chances are you are placing too many demands. Often it is not intentional but the result of our language patterns. When talking to children or trying to take an interest in someone we tend to ask them questions, thinking it is a good way to be actively engaged, but what we forget is that every question requires an answer. So when you are next playing or chatting make a conscious effort to ask less questions. You can be an active listener just by nodding and offering supportive comments or praise and you should find that people start to change their behaviour so as to seek you out for interactions.