At one point or another, we’ve all wondered, “Why is it that the people I’m interested in are not interested in me? And the people I ignore keep contacting me?” It would be statistically improbable, if not impossible, that every time you liked someone they didn’t feel the same and vice versa.

So what’s really going on here? Is this some sick joke from the Universe?

I would like to introduce you to your new best friend when it comes to solving this dilemma, and that is: Positive Partial Reinforcement (PPR). This is a psychological term where the reward is not granted every time the desired action is taken.

The effectiveness of PPR is the cornerstone of Vegas. People stay at the slots or tables because they are only rewarded at random intervals. If they were never rewarded, they would soon give up. If they were always rewarded, they would eventually get bored and move on.

In one experiment, a pigeon given a random reward for pecking a button over a one-minute interval continued pecking for over three hours without reward.

You naturally do this with the person you’re not interested in – you see them or talk to them when it’s convenient for you. You throw them a bone once in a while, but you don’t go out of your way for them.

These are the people who end up being crazy about you. You are witnessing the effects of PPR.

However, the person you are interested in, you make yourself available for, talk to them for hours on the phone, return their texts immediately, etc. These are the people you always seem to have to work so hard to get!

It’s the things you’re doing, your behavior, which determines the other person’s interest level. So how can you apply PPR to the person you’re crazy about? Follow these simple rules:

AVAILABILITY – You can’t always be available. By always being available, you diminish your value. It’s human nature to not appreciate something that’s always there. When you like someone, you of course want to see them as much as possible, so you make yourself available – that’s the kiss of death! Do the opposite. This keeps him from being satiated and keeps him wanting – and that’s where you want them.

BEHAVIOR – Think of how you behave when you’re not really into someone and behave that way with the person you are into. When you don’t care, you take your time returning calls, texts and e-mails. Sometimes you even ignore the texts and e-mails and don’t respond. You may even get upset with them if they text too much!

ATTITUDE – When you like someone, your attitude is: I have to have this person. When you’re not that interested, you naturally hang back and have a wait and see attitude. You think: We’ll see what happens; maybe they’ll grow on me. It’s this attitude and the above behavior that makes you most attractive.

One thing people mess up is that they think they have to mistreat the other person. No!!

While you want to practice limiting your availability, having a wait and see attitude and throwing doubt into the mix, you must treat the person well.

People like you because of how they feel when they are with you. So compliment, appreciate and praise – just don’t seem too eager to see them.

People find this hard to do – they think the other will be mad if they turn them down or if they end the date early, whereas with the person they’re not interested in, they couldn’t care less if they get mad.  

PPR is not an easy thing to do because you naturally want to see/talk to the one you like – it feels unnatural to avoid them, not see them, not talk to them every time they want to see you or talk to you.

One way to make it easier on yourself is to see other people. Don’t tell me you can’t! If you want to improve your chances with the one you really want, then you absolutely have to do this.

You can stop using PPR once the one you want has declared their love for you. However, you can always bring it back, if you sense they are starting to take you for granted!

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