As a follow-up to this post...
One of the reasons I don't seem to deal well with people in real life is because, oddly enough, I'm more suited to be around dogs. I understand, on an almost instinctual level, how to deal with them.
Most of the time it's just a simple stimulus-reponse sort of thing. If they do something bad, you let them know that this is inappropriate by, basically, having a fit: you yell and stomp around and roll them onto their backs and generally let them think that you're going to kill them if they do it again.
Then, after a bit, the best thing to do is just forget that it ever happened, and treat them normally. And if they behave, you lavish them with attention and praise and treats and petting and baby-talk.
Spoil them when they're good; scare the shit out of them when they're bad. That's the basic pack dynamic. Some behaviorists may take issue with it, but that's how wolves have done it for years -- except that wolves actually injure and kill each other in dominance disputes, and there are no pettings and treats involved for obeying the Alpha. So all in all, I'm a pretty benevolent God-Dictator, but that IS how I'm seen: I control the food, therefore I am God. The moment dogs think they can force you to give them food, they will, and then everything goes to hell.
The irony of all this is that while this behavior works marvelously for dogs, in humans this is known as "domestic abuse," or sometimes even "assault and battery." It's just not socially acceptable to deal with a handsy date by knocking him to the ground, kneeling on his chest, and snarling "If you do that again I'll cut off your balls and feed them to you."
Which is a pity, really, because for once we'd have real communication going on between the sexes.
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