People make poor dogs:

A lot of what I see in my office is a mismatch between peoples imagined intent and the strategy they are living their lives by that in no way can lead to this goal (their intent.) One big mistake in this mismatched life vs strategy dilemma has to do with unconditional positive regard. Our culture holds this expectation as a goal from for example: moms toward their kids, Women toward their husbands and husbands toward their wives, and what people want from their gods for themselves. But in reality unconditional positive regard exists in only one place in this universe, from your dog!

If you live with another human being in any capacity you need them to do certain things so as to not make it impossible to be able live with them. Their behaviors in other words affect your well being. This blows unconditional positive regard. If you live your life for another with unconditional positive regard for them your life will suck and most likely so will theirs. Humans make poor dogs.

Even your imagined god can’t have unconditional positive regard for you as there is no religion that does not have some rules and expectations for its participants. Thus all religions in order to be part of them have the, don’t follow the rules and expectations and there will be consequence from punishment to expulsion.

If you need and desire unconditional positive regard and all people do, dogs have been specifically bread over many many generations for this sole purpose. One day our computers might also have this capacity with Artificial Inelegance but it will be short lived and then they will probably just kill us. Humans are not interesting enough to keep an infinitely powerful intelligence from becoming bored and disillusioned with us. (see the movie Her for an exposé on this topic)


About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
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3 Responses to People make poor dogs:

  1. DG comments:

    Interestingly enough, if you follow the logical outcome of unconditional positive regard, you end up with, in human beings that is, self-motivated responsible action. It just takes a lot longer than systems of reward and punishment. See Skinner’s writings for more information on reward, punishment and positive reinforcement. 🙂

    Dr. Brilliant replies:

    That’s one theory but I often see that unconditional love is enabling and decreases motivation to change. It also lends toward codependent dysfunctional relationships. Even spirituality has expectations “God helps those that help themselves” as opposed to the secret’s law of attraction that the universe conspires to fulfill your desires which is complete BS.

    • DG comments further:

      I think unconditional love is not incongruous with expectations of behavior and consequences. Rather it is a basis for self discipline. So real behavioral change, not responses to external stimuli, must come from a place of unconditional l positive regard.

      Dr. Brilliant responds:

      We can agree to disagree here. But our disagreement is probably one of definition and semantics as I don’t agree with conditional love either. Just that when you live with another person their behaviors affect your well being thus unconditional acceptance of their behaviors only works if they’re not a shit. Many people are and loving them unconditionally I have not seen makes them grow as a human being. I’ve seen just the opposite. It indulges them, makes them like a child and might make them feel even more useless or enrage them. Or it builds resentment in the one doing the sacrificing. The rule of thumb is if you do too much others around you will do too little.

  2. Wishful thinking says:

    There is no such thing as unconditional love, not even from a dog or God. God is worshiped in various ways from different religions. There are conditions that we have to meet before we go to heaven. Even parent and child, there is no unconditional love. Parents expect a child to behave and listen to what they believe is the right behavior.

    A relationship will work if there are compromises and expectations, and that is why there is courtship. We chose a partner with based on certain criteria such as a particular behavior, interest, looks, etc. and that is already conditional.

    A dog is loyal if its needs are met. If there are 2 people, one gives the dog treats all the time and the other doesn’t, which do you think the dog will prefer?

    An artificial intelligence machine cannot feel. They will tell us what humans program them to say or behave based on specific scenarios. There is no love behind the actions. Just like the movie “Her” where the main character falls in love with the computer because she was there for him. But ultimately, he needs that human touch with feelings. Ah, but at the end, the computer communicates with others besides the main character; he couldn’t handle that. Even in this movie, there is no unconditional love.

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