Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Demand-Withdraw Pattern

Over this last weekend my sister and I watched a whole season of a random tv show we found on the internet. You may be surprised to hear that, as uninteresting as that sounds, we actually had a blast. One of our favorite things to do together is watch things and make fun of them. we often spend the entire time we watch a movie tearing it apart in every area from the cast to the story to the script and then leave the theatre having a serious conversation about how much it impacted us. People who don’t know us well are often confused by this- which we don’t blame them for. But we can’t help mocking things. It’s just a part of how our relationship/family operates. I’m sure I could center an entire communicational study on that dynamic alone- and I suspect I’ll devote an entire blog to it before long- but that isn’t the purpose of this one.

The point is that we were making fun, as usual, of a certain episode about a journalist who was writing a column on an author of multiple “how to pick up women” sorts of books. Needless to say the interviews were already hilarious without our supplementary commentary, but I began to notice as we were jeering at the author’s method of insulting women to make them want you I had heard this principle before. Our text book called it the “demand-withdraw pattern” which we saw demonstrated in “The Tao of Steven.” I found it interesting to look at the differences in these two pop culture applications of it. In the movie we watched in class Steven says to appear disinterested, be excellent in the woman’s presence, and then retreat. This fictional writer demonstrated his technique by telling a girl walking by with a pastry, “You know, that is so awesome that you’re not at all concerned about what that doughnut’s gonna do to your hips,” and then ignoring her until she’d practically thrown herself in his arms. Obviously both of these examples are extremely exaggerated and unrealistic, but I did find it funny that the common element was the “retreat” or “withdraw” which causes greater demand.

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