Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Therapy Thursday: Bribe Yourself

pocket therapist front cover small.jpgI have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. Many of them are published in my book, “The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit.

A so-called parenting expert that I read last week claimed that bribing your kid was an example of irresponsible and inefficient parenting. I suspect that the same man sits in his quiet and tidy little office cranking out advice like that while either his wife or nanny is home changing diapers and doling out time-outs.


Let’s face it. Bribing is one of the most effective tools to get anyone–your kid, your stubborn mother, your golden retriever, or yourself–to do something.
My running coach used this brilliant method to train me to run 18 miles. Before our run, he hid Jolly Ranchers along our route, every two miles. So he’d say to me when I wanted to stop, “In another half-mile, you get a treat! Come on, you can do it!” And like a rat spotting a half-eaten hotdog, I’d run to the candy.

You want to make sure you do something? Bribe yourself along the way: at the one-forth mark, one-half mark, and three-quarters mark.

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pamylla

    Bribing yourself works! I used to bribe myself with a little treat when I was taking college courses…after one chapter I’d get a break and some sort of treat. I’d give myself self-tests and if I got 100% I’d get a bigger treat! Works for me :)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tom

    I dunno. Have yet to come to terms with being at the mercy of synapses. A little bit too Pavlovian for my taste . . . but then again, maybe I’m just in denial 😉


  • Jodi Edwards Wright

    Bribing is for amateurs.
    Motivational incentives, on the other hand, are completely professional and psychologically sound.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Dawn

    For those who don’t like the idea of a “bribe”, a “reward” for positive behavior may work.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment annie

    This is a GREAT idea!…I would do about anything for a Godiva chocolate…I’m buying this book.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Martha

    This is so awesome,I love this idea! I like to treat myself after an accomplishment. Usually others don’t do it for us and it feels great when you do this for yourself. Thank you for posting this!

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