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Psychological shaping and dating?

Anarki
Posts: 5
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9/23/2013 4:36:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Well, this came up when I was telling my friend how to psychologically shape his long-time friend (Friend-zoned so hard) to get her to start seeing him as the ideal boyfriend. All of my other friends told me to shut up because it's wrong to do something like that because it's manipulative, and she deserves to choose the type of guy she wants to date.

The thing is, it actually seemed to be yielding results, she was starting to show signs that she was interested in him after giving him the "I think of you like a brother" speech about 3 dozen times in the past; last week, she just said "I just don't know anymore" which is a huge improvement. This is like, groundbreaking stuff for him and a huge inspiration for me.

Then our friends found out about it by overhearing us talking about it over lunch one day. Half of them... They keep telling us that we shouldn't try to shape anybody since it can have lasting damage. With our method, it really can't. It's just shaping her image of the ideal boyfriend to be *him*. The other half agree with me on my point of view that...

He's a really great guy; they'd be so great for each other in the long run since they've known each other since 8 and are now aged 22-23, and they've never in their entire friendship, fought for more than 30 minutes, and even that's rare. While we may need to shape her image of the ideal boyfriend, she's his image of the ideal girlfriend, so I know he'd treat her very well in the long run...

We're both having second thoughts about it though... Anybody got any suggestions? Opinions? Hell, I'll take an outright insult to break the dilemma. Do the ends justify the means in this case? Are the means really that bad?
rross
Posts: 2,772
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9/23/2013 4:59:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/23/2013 4:36:09 AM, Anarki wrote:
Well, this came up when I was telling my friend how to psychologically shape his long-time friend (Friend-zoned so hard) to get her to start seeing him as the ideal boyfriend. All of my other friends told me to shut up because it's wrong to do something like that because it's manipulative, and she deserves to choose the type of guy she wants to date.

The thing is, it actually seemed to be yielding results, she was starting to show signs that she was interested in him after giving him the "I think of you like a brother" speech about 3 dozen times in the past; last week, she just said "I just don't know anymore" which is a huge improvement. This is like, groundbreaking stuff for him and a huge inspiration for me.

Then our friends found out about it by overhearing us talking about it over lunch one day. Half of them... They keep telling us that we shouldn't try to shape anybody since it can have lasting damage. With our method, it really can't. It's just shaping her image of the ideal boyfriend to be *him*. The other half agree with me on my point of view that...

He's a really great guy; they'd be so great for each other in the long run since they've known each other since 8 and are now aged 22-23, and they've never in their entire friendship, fought for more than 30 minutes, and even that's rare. While we may need to shape her image of the ideal boyfriend, she's his image of the ideal girlfriend, so I know he'd treat her very well in the long run...

We're both having second thoughts about it though... Anybody got any suggestions? Opinions? Hell, I'll take an outright insult to break the dilemma. Do the ends justify the means in this case? Are the means really that bad?

It depends what you mean by "psychologically shape". If you just mean persuade, then there's nothing wrong with it, but if you mean something more sinister, such as interfering with her phone to give her subliminal messages, hypnotizing her etc., then yes it is wrong.
Anarki
Posts: 5
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9/23/2013 5:11:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/23/2013 4:59:31 AM, rross wrote:
At 9/23/2013 4:36:09 AM, Anarki wrote:
Well, this came up when I was telling my friend how to psychologically shape his long-time friend (Friend-zoned so hard) to get her to start seeing him as the ideal boyfriend. All of my other friends told me to shut up because it's wrong to do something like that because it's manipulative, and she deserves to choose the type of guy she wants to date.

The thing is, it actually seemed to be yielding results, she was starting to show signs that she was interested in him after giving him the "I think of you like a brother" speech about 3 dozen times in the past; last week, she just said "I just don't know anymore" which is a huge improvement. This is like, groundbreaking stuff for him and a huge inspiration for me.

Then our friends found out about it by overhearing us talking about it over lunch one day. Half of them... They keep telling us that we shouldn't try to shape anybody since it can have lasting damage. With our method, it really can't. It's just shaping her image of the ideal boyfriend to be *him*. The other half agree with me on my point of view that...

He's a really great guy; they'd be so great for each other in the long run since they've known each other since 8 and are now aged 22-23, and they've never in their entire friendship, fought for more than 30 minutes, and even that's rare. While we may need to shape her image of the ideal boyfriend, she's his image of the ideal girlfriend, so I know he'd treat her very well in the long run...

We're both having second thoughts about it though... Anybody got any suggestions? Opinions? Hell, I'll take an outright insult to break the dilemma. Do the ends justify the means in this case? Are the means really that bad?

It depends what you mean by "psychologically shape". If you just mean persuade, then there's nothing wrong with it, but if you mean something more sinister, such as interfering with her phone to give her subliminal messages, hypnotizing her etc., then yes it is wrong.

Well, it's basically rewarding desired behavior. Businessmen use it to shape their employees. The catch is that you need to be in a position of authority for it to take effect; in his case, he's using his long standing friendship with her as leverage. You essentially tell them 'you seem like the kind of guy who'd be good at this kind of job.' That creates the incentive to live up to that expectation. Then when they do make steps toward that expectation, you reward them. They do it with praise and support.

He tells her she deserves a guy that has a trait that he possesses; then he rewards her with straight up affection and an emotional high, or something fun like movies or throwing parties (she loves his parties).

Others say it's manipulative, but everybody does it on a daily basis. If you've ever told someone "you're stronger than this," "you're smarter than this," or anything "you can do this better." You're probably guilty of it too.

If I understand you correctly, you're saying this is alright? How can I explain this to the others though? Any suggestions? If we don't convince them, they might ruin it by telling her.
rross
Posts: 2,772
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9/23/2013 5:19:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/23/2013 5:11:19 AM, Anarki wrote:
At 9/23/2013 4:59:31 AM, rross wrote:
At 9/23/2013 4:36:09 AM, Anarki wrote:
...

We're both having second thoughts about it though... Anybody got any suggestions? Opinions? Hell, I'll take an outright insult to break the dilemma. Do the ends justify the means in this case? Are the means really that bad?

It depends what you mean by "psychologically shape". If you just mean persuade, then there's nothing wrong with it, but if you mean something more sinister, such as interfering with her phone to give her subliminal messages, hypnotizing her etc., then yes it is wrong.

Well, it's basically rewarding desired behavior. Businessmen use it to shape their employees. The catch is that you need to be in a position of authority for it to take effect; in his case, he's using his long standing friendship with her as leverage. You essentially tell them 'you seem like the kind of guy who'd be good at this kind of job.' That creates the incentive to live up to that expectation. Then when they do make steps toward that expectation, you reward them. They do it with praise and support.

He tells her she deserves a guy that has a trait that he possesses; then he rewards her with straight up affection and an emotional high, or something fun like movies or throwing parties (she loves his parties).

Others say it's manipulative, but everybody does it on a daily basis. If you've ever told someone "you're stronger than this," "you're smarter than this," or anything "you can do this better." You're probably guilty of it too.

If I understand you correctly, you're saying this is alright? How can I explain this to the others though? Any suggestions? If we don't convince them, they might ruin it by telling her.

Hmm. There isn't anything wrong with it, I guess. It's definitely in the persuasion category. And all good relationships contain this kind of persuasion. Of course we all try to reward good behavior and it works and it's great.

But then...I don't know. What makes me uneasy is the way there's a group of guys discussing this, but she doesn't know. It doesn't seem respectful, somehow. And he's reporting back with all the things that she presumably said to him in private. You sort of trust your friends not to do stuff like that.

If he's really so great for her, why can't he come out and say he's interested? That would be more honest. She can still take her time coming around to thinking about him in that way.
Anarki
Posts: 5
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9/23/2013 5:30:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/23/2013 5:19:56 AM, rross wrote:
At 9/23/2013 5:11:19 AM, Anarki wrote:
At 9/23/2013 4:59:31 AM, rross wrote:
At 9/23/2013 4:36:09 AM, Anarki wrote:
...

We're both having second thoughts about it though... Anybody got any suggestions? Opinions? Hell, I'll take an outright insult to break the dilemma. Do the ends justify the means in this case? Are the means really that bad?

It depends what you mean by "psychologically shape". If you just mean persuade, then there's nothing wrong with it, but if you mean something more sinister, such as interfering with her phone to give her subliminal messages, hypnotizing her etc., then yes it is wrong.

Well, it's basically rewarding desired behavior. Businessmen use it to shape their employees. The catch is that you need to be in a position of authority for it to take effect; in his case, he's using his long standing friendship with her as leverage. You essentially tell them 'you seem like the kind of guy who'd be good at this kind of job.' That creates the incentive to live up to that expectation. Then when they do make steps toward that expectation, you reward them. They do it with praise and support.

He tells her she deserves a guy that has a trait that he possesses; then he rewards her with straight up affection and an emotional high, or something fun like movies or throwing parties (she loves his parties).

Others say it's manipulative, but everybody does it on a daily basis. If you've ever told someone "you're stronger than this," "you're smarter than this," or anything "you can do this better." You're probably guilty of it too.

If I understand you correctly, you're saying this is alright? How can I explain this to the others though? Any suggestions? If we don't convince them, they might ruin it by telling her.

Hmm. There isn't anything wrong with it, I guess. It's definitely in the persuasion category. And all good relationships contain this kind of persuasion. Of course we all try to reward good behavior and it works and it's great.

But then...I don't know. What makes me uneasy is the way there's a group of guys discussing this, but she doesn't know. It doesn't seem respectful, somehow. And he's reporting back with all the things that she presumably said to him in private. You sort of trust your friends not to do stuff like that.

If he's really so great for her, why can't he come out and say he's interested? That would be more honest. She can still take her time coming around to thinking about him in that way.

Actually, she came to me and told me. We're good friends, me and her. She's my cousin, after all.

He had tried to tell her in the past... She only ever thought of him as 'like a brother' though, but that started changing.

I mean, many people go to their friends with dating issues. I remember hearing my sister chattering away with her friends about how to get a guy she was interested in to ask her out. Her friends eventually conspired to work together to get them together. I see no difference between that situation and this one. Only this one was only supposed to be the two of us. When he came to me, I simply told him that I was going through a chapter in psych class about something that might help with this. We worked out a system.
rross
Posts: 2,772
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9/23/2013 6:07:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/23/2013 5:30:15 AM, Anarki wrote:

I think it's wrong. There's a difference between setting people up and manipulating their thinking.

I used to have a friend who "managed" men in the same way. She was brilliant at getting men to do what she wanted. I was really impressed and tried it on my (then) boyfriend. It worked beautifully. Because he trusted me. It's really easy to manipulate people who trust your honesty. And i felt really really bad and never did it again.

Your cousin trusts you. Why not just give her your opinion without all this gameplaying?
Anarki
Posts: 5
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9/23/2013 6:36:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At least two of her exes have records of assault against women, and she knew that before she started dating them. Her judgment on the matter seems rather flawed. When I offer my opinion, she says I don't know what I'm talking about, and she can 'fix' them. It all seems like a rather dangerous game to play here, one way or another. It may be true that I'm using her trust in me to manipulate her, but it's as a concerned relative, first. I don't know if what I'm doing is right or wrong though. My instinct says it's right. My mind keeps telling me I should find some other way to approach the situation.
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
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9/23/2013 7:10:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/23/2013 5:19:56 AM, rross wrote:

If he's really so great for her, why can't he come out and say he's interested? That would be more honest. She can still take her time coming around to thinking about him in that way.

Because that just does not work for getting out of the friend zone.
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Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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9/23/2013 10:07:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
You're over thinking it. I mean, the very fact you are asking a bunch of strangers about it points at the fact that you think its wrong somehow. Objectively, the method isn't wrong. It's ol' persuasion, as rross said. Its the way you are going about it that's wrong. Don't discuss, don't plan her move, and don't make a play of it. Even if she agrees now, IF she came to know of it in the future, she'd feel insulted. There's a guinea pig-esque thing going on here.

Also, I love how you're all 'hurr durr her taste in men is awful, lemme set her up with someone decent'. You don't go behind her back and override such a 'problem'. That choice is because of some intrinsic features in her personality, you've got to go to the base of the problem- or it does haunt every relationship.
Anarki
Posts: 5
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9/23/2013 2:07:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
You make a valid point. Perhaps you're correct... I came here mostly for an objective tiebreaker. Even in my own mind, I can't decide whether it's right or wrong. And it seems to be causing problems in our social circle as well.
Jack212
Posts: 572
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9/24/2013 12:13:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
In my experience, anybody who claims to have somebody else's best interests at heart really only cares about themselves.

Look, we've all been in the friend zone at some point. There's nothing dishonorable about trying to get out of it, and there's also nothing dishonorable about helping your friend win somebody's affections, but it's incredibly dishonorable to manipulate the way another person thinks. Eventually she's going to realize that you're a manipulative piece of shiit, and she'll dump the both of you.

If you've been friendzoned by somebody, it's not because they can't see how awesome you are. It's because they desire some quality in a mate that you lack. Look at her past relationships, what traits do all of her partners have in common? You said they were a$$holes who hit women, maybe she likes a bit of danger and excitement? Tell your friend to pick a fight with somebody twice his size while she's watching. It's best if he wins, but he can still sell an a$$-kicking if he takes it like a man. Also, he should ride a big, manly motorcycle and park it on the sidewalk like an inconsiderate diickhead. But he has to genuinely change, he'll lose more points by being a poser.