We have a five year old scottie-basset hound mix dog (Froggie). And recently he’s developed a fear of thunder. He’s always been freaked out by fireworks, but this thunder thing is new. And very annoying. We spent most of Sunday trying to “train” him not to be so scared.
When the storm first starts, this 60-pound mutt tries to climb into my lap. Not pleasant. And then when he gets really freaked out he cowers under my chair or tries to use his paws to dig through my skin! So we’re using positive reinforcement (and lots of treats) to reinforce that storms are a fun thing.
I’ve noticed that in my own life, things I hate to do or are afraid of (getting my critiques from my partners back springs to mind) usually go better if they’re couched in positive terms. I don’t want people to hold back on feedback, but I admit, it’s easier to take if the good stuff is listed as well. Or, if I need to give a presentation, I’m more likely to volunteer for another if it’s a positive experience.
I think in writing there can often be so many negatives – rejections, tough critiques, bad reviews, etc. that people get discouraged or feel like there’s no hope. I think this writing community is so amazing, and we’re so great at supporting each other. But on the flip side, I think a lot of us tend to downplay when we’re feeling scared, down, or upset.
So let’s pass around the treats and give each other some positive reinforcement when things get tough! Anyone with me?