In this article I will be introducing you to “Pet Cemetery Persuasion” and why it is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to salvage a relationship. Learning the differences between this faulty type of persuasion and the more elegant methods will not only help you get your girl back but ensure that the two of you have a happy and successful future together. Also, towards the end of this article, we will be discussing the twelve biggest breakup mistakes I see guys make time and time again and why it’s so important to avoid these deadly blunders.
During a breakup, it’s very common for guys to use a variety of persuasion techniques to convince their girlfriends to take them back. Unfortunately, most of the techniques that they attempt to use are detrimental to re-establishing a happy relationship. One such technique is referred to as “Pet Cemetary Persuasion.” This is a blanket term for when someone uses guilt, threats or any other persuasion strategy that makes others feel forced into doing something against their will. This usually results in negative consequences for the persuader.
It is easiest to explain Pet Cem by using a conversational example. And although this article is written from a man’s perspective, I feel that it is helpful to examine some of the mistakes that women make in relationships, as well. In the following conversation, Lisa is doing her best to persuade her husband, Joe, to accompany her to the most dreaded of all places: his mother-in-law’s.
Lisa: “Joe, my mother just called and wants to make dinner for us tomorrow. We need to be there by six at the latest so make sure you get home from work on time.”
Joe: “What are you talking about? The guys are coming by for poker tomorrow. You know Friday is poker night.”
Lisa: “Well, my mother wants us there, so you’ll have to cancel your game.”
Joe: “Honey, you can’t tell me the night before that you made other plans for us. I have seven people showing up tomorrow. I can’t just cancel on them last minute. We can go to your mother’s on Saturday.”
Lisa (becoming angry): “We haven’t been to her house since Christmas and all she does is ask about you. I’m sick of making excuses for why we never visit. It’s important to me that we see her and if you love me, it should be important to you, too. Why is it so hard for you to show that you care about me?”
Joe: “I do care about you and it is important to me. But the point is that you’re forcing me to change my plans at the last minute. We can see your mom some other day. It’s no big deal.”
Lisa (about to explode): “Damn it, Joe. It is a big deal but you just can’t get it through your head. Well, maybe this will help. Call your friends right now and tell them that the game is cancelled. And if you don’t finish those calls in the next ten minutes, your poker buddies will never be allowed to set foot in this house ever again. Until you start showing me some respect, I have to treat you like a little boy. Now go pick up the phone.”
Joe (storming off): “Ok, fine.”
Lisa just made some serious persuasion mistakes in the above example. Were you able to pick them out? If you are somewhat unsure about where she went wrong or have ever found yourself in a similar verbal exchange with someone, you need to pay close attention to the rest of this chapter.
BURYING THEM IN THE PET CEMETERY
Pet Cemetery Persuasion falls under the category of what persuasion expert “Doktor Sulo” refers to as “one-shot persuasion.” This term comes from the world of sales and is used to differentiate the selling methods used with a customer whom you will only be dealing with once, and the methods of “long term persuasion,” which are used when it’s best to foster a long-term buyer-seller relationship.
For instance, a used car salesperson will usually pitch his prospects in a different way than would a financial advisor. The car salesperson might use certain techniques to engage his prospect’s emotions, bring them to a fever pitch and take advantage of their current emotional state. He won’t have to worry much about how he’ll be perceived by his customer in the future because he knows they will probably never see each other again. This can increase the temptation to resort to deceitful or unethical sales practices.
The financial planner, however, will be in touch with his clients over a long period of time, so it’s in his best interest to create a long-term positive perception of himself which will help to ensure repeat business. The difference between these two methods is equivalent to chopping a tree down to get at the apples, and using a ladder so you can pick the fruit each season for years to come.
When it comes to romantic relationships, it makes obvious sense to think of your partner as someone with whom you would want to foster long-term rapport. And just like a smart financial planner, you need to keep in mind that all your persuasive efforts should result in a win-win situation for both parties. If not, you will eventually have to deal with some serious buyer’s remorse.
Sadly, it seems that people use all sorts of sneaky tactics to get what they want from their partners and then act surprised when they have to deal with the backlash. How do you act when things aren’t going your way? Do you nag, whine, chastise, place blame, withdraw, berate, or belittle? These are all examples of Pet Cemetery Persuasion.
The name for this concept was inspired by a popular Stephen King book entitled, “Pet Cemetery.” And just in case you haven’t read it (or seen the movie) here is the gist of what happens:
A woman has a cat she loves very much. While she is away on vacation the cat is killed. Her husband becomes distressed over the situation and looks for a way to fix the problem before his wife returns.
Somehow, he hears about an old Indian burial ground not too far from where he lives. It is rumored that whatever is buried in this sacred ground comes back to life. Of course, the man is skeptical, but he decides it can’t hurt to give it a shot and see what happens.
Before he can make it to the cemetery, an old Indian approaches the man and warns him about his course of action. The Indian says that while things buried here do come back to life, they will never be the same. But the man fails to heed this advice, and buries the cat regardless. A few days later, the cat returns to the house looking a little dirty, but otherwise in great shape and the man is thrilled. He thinks that the cat is back just as it was before and that his wife will never realize what had happened.
But as the days pass, the cat starts to change. It becomes more rabid and demonic and attacks anyone who comes near it.
When his wife returns, she is happy to see “Fluffy” alive, but her happiness is short lived; her son is struck and killed by a truck a few days later. Her husband refuses to accept the loss of their child and decides to bury their son in the Pet Cemetery, without his wife’s knowledge. But this time, when little Junior comes back to life, he goes on a vicious killing spree which leaves his mother dead and his father barely alive.
While this is a rather macabre example, having a strong visual in mind will make it much easier to understand this next principle: When you try to coerce someone to do something against his will, (while he is completely aware of it), you are metaphorically smacking him over the head with a shovel and burying him in the Pet Cemetery. He may seem fine at first, but you had better sleep with one eye open. He’ll be back shortly to say hello.
Remember the conversation between Joe and Lisa? Let’s take a look at what happens the day after their argument:
On the way home from Lisa’s mother’s house:
Lisa: “It was really nice to see mom again. I think she was happy to see us too. Wasn’t the food fantastic?”
Joe: (grumbling) “Yeah. Wonderful.”
Lisa: “What’s your problem?”
Joe: (furious) “I went to your dinner and you’re still whining? What the hell is the matter with you? All you do is nag and complain!”
Lisa (confused and getting angry herself): “Why are you yelling at me? I thought we had a nice time tonight and now you’re starting in on me for no reason!”
Joe: “No reason? Are you completely out of your mind? Just shut your mouth and let me drive!”
This is an example of what happens when you allow yourself to get caught up in negative emotions and lose sight of the bigger picture. When Joe refused to grant Lisa’s request, she blew her stack and dragged poor Joe, kicking and screaming, to the Pet Cemetery.
Lisa had plenty of other persuasive options available to her, although she might not have been aware of them. However, many people who don’t know how to properly handle their anger and frustration will resort to Pet Cem tactics because they will be oblivious to the end result of these methods while easily satisfied by the immediate gratification of their short-term results. In other words, the quickest and easiest path to getting their way is the one they will choose.
For Lisa, her first attempt at Pet Cem was to use guilt as a weapon. Instead of listening to the valid reason Joe had for not wanting to cancel his game, Lisa accused him of not caring about her. When Joe still refused to budge, she started using threats to get her way. Under this kind of pressure, Joe had no choice but to concede and Lisa got the result she was looking for. Things returned to normal shortly after…
…or did they? What Lisa didn’t notice was the growing resentment that Joe was harboring. It took a full day to brew and then completely exploded in her face when she least expected it. “Hi honey. It’s me, Joe… back from the dead.”
While there are many variations of Pet Cem behaviors such as yelling, threatening, or begging, I feel that the most dangerous is using guilt to get what you want. It’s no secret that most women are attracted to strong men and using guilt as a weapon is the tactic of the weak and needy. But sadly, it also seems that guilt is usually the first method people resort to when they can’t seem to get their way, such as Lisa did in the above example.
Now sometimes these strategies will work. Just remember that whether you beg like a little child to gain her sympathy or threaten to put her X-rated videos on the internet, the end result is that your girl will feel coerced and will start to resent you, which is not something you need in your relationship.
IS ALL PERSUASION MANIPULATIVE?
Many people may not realize that there is a huge difference between persuasion and coercion. Persuasion makes people feel good when they do what you want, whereas coercion is the evil twin of persuasion. It’s the equivalent of getting people to do your bidding at gunpoint. In this case, you use a mental gun like a “guilt gun” or a “blame gun” but it’s still a weapon pointed right at their heads. While they may do what you want, they will not feel good when they do it. It will be like having to change someone’s bed pan; you’ll get it done because you have to, but you’ll be dragging your feet the whole way.
Using this kind of manipulation strategy during a breakup (or before things get too far gone) can keep a relationship going but it completely destroys the spark (the attraction) which is the foundation for everything that you have. The Pet Cemetery is such a great metaphor because at first glance, you think everything’s great because your relationship is alive and well, but upon closer inspection you realize that things have changed drastically and your partner is just a poor replica of who she was before. Your goal after a breakup should be to get the same person back that you used to have, not to turn them into a whole new person who hates your guts.
Think of a time when you felt forced into making a decision that you were reluctant to make. How did you feel about the situation? More importantly, how did you feel about the person who was using a manipulation strategy? Is this the way you want your girl to feel about you?
Here’s a more extreme example that illustrates Pet Cem clearly, albeit rather graphically:
Many years ago, I was watching an episode of the show “America’s Most Wanted.” This particular episode featured a beautiful twenty-five year old blond named Samantha who was dating a twenty-seven year old successful gym owner named Hans. They enjoyed a great relationship which progressed to a discussion about marriage. Hans decides that he wasn’t ready to get married, but still wanted to be with Samantha. Samantha wasn’t having it.
Eventually, she gave him an ultimatum: “If you don’t marry me, I’ll go find someone else who will.”
Hans didn’t balk and continued to put the marriage off. So Samantha, frustrated, ran to Hans’ best friend, Jack, and told him her woes. Jack comforted her by calling Hans an idiot and saying how any man would consider himself lucky to be her husband. The two continued to talk to each other over several weeks and began to form an intimate relationship. Less than a month later, the two (Jack and Samantha) got married.
Hans was completely distraught and in shock over the double betrayal. Not yet content, Samantha went ahead and poured salt in his wounds by expressing her total satisfaction with Jack. This led to several confrontations between the two men and Jack warned Hans to stay away from his wife.
A few weeks went by. Hans finally called Samantha and threatened to kill himself if she didn’t come back to him. Samantha, touched by this confession, expressed her remorse over what had transpired. She realized that she had made a mistake because she had loved Hans all along.
This led to one last confrontation between Jack and Hans. But this time, exchanging words was not enough for Jack, so he took it a step further by hiring a hit man to kill Hans. Jack is now on the run from the law for the murder of his best friend.
In a televised interview, Samantha expressed how she had always wanted to be with Hans. “While Jack was fun to be around,” she said, “I knew it wouldn’t last because my heart belongs to Hans.” Choking back tears, Samantha’s final words were, “And now I have nothing. I hope they catch Jack and prosecute him for what he did.”
Samantha had desired Hans all along. But when things weren’t going her way, she tried to bury her relationship in the Pet Cemetery to get what she wanted. In actuality, her strategy did work to some degree and maybe if Hans wasn’t killed their relationship would have seemed normal again, for a little while at least. But it never would have been the same.
This sort of thing happens all the time, often in a less extreme way but with similar results. Typically, Pet Cem behavior will rear its ugly head after a person has tried numerous ways of getting what they want but to no avail. It’s usually a very effective method, since it attempts to persuade by taking away something that a person holds emotionally dear to them. However, it’s nothing more than a behavioral padlock that restricts a person’s choices to the extreme.
So remember that anytime someone feels coerced against their will, it’s a result of someone using manipulation as opposed to persuasion. And since this can be extremely detrimental to a continued positive relationship, you always need to look upon these inferior methods as the equivalent to selling your soul to get what you want; while it may seem like a victory, the person you manipulate will lose all respect for you, and once that’s gone you’ll have nothing left.
This is even more dangerous when it happens with a girlfriend or ex. I truly believe that women need to feel a deep sense of respect towards their partners to be fully satisfied in a relationship and any harbored resentment will eventually eat away at that respect until it is completely consumed. So beware of turning your girl into an evil “Fluffy” who will be secretly waiting for the right time to claw your eyes out.
THE TWELVE BREAKUP MISTAKES YOU MUST AVOID AT ALL COSTS
If you are currently experiencing a recent breakup, the first thing you must do is look over the following list of major mistakes and notice if you’ve been using any of them unknowingly, along with making any Pet Cemetery mistakes as well. Of course, the next thing to do is to stop these behaviors immediately. These mistakes are brutal relationship killers and need to be avoided like the plague. Here are the top twelve:
1. Refusing to “Shut Down the Town” from the very beginning of the breakup
While it may at first seem counter-intuitive, it’s the most important part of this strategy and acts as a foundation upon which everything else is built. The best course of action right now is to stop taking her calls, stop talking to her friends, and avoid seeing her in person.
2. Being too nice and understanding. Telling her things like “I will wait for you,” kissing her ass, etc.
If you have ever studied the science of Behaviorism, you will realize that the best way to train an animal to behave correctly is by rewarding the behaviors you want more of and ignoring the behaviors you would like extinguished. Obviously, the very act of breaking up with you is faulty conduct and by being kind, understanding and “giving her time,” you are rewarding her behavior and tossing the bad dog a biscuit.
3. Loving 100% to get your lover back
This strategy, which one relationship expert advocates, is in the same vein as mistake number two. This person recommends, in a nutshell, being as sweet as pie to your girl no matter how badly she treats you while also letting her know that you’ll wait as long as it takes.
While this strategy may work once in a while, you are completely emasculating yourself in the process. Even if your girl decides to eventually take you back, she will have lost a tremendous amount of respect for you which will prevent the relationship from lasting. Remember that how she takes you back is more important than when she takes you back.
4. Displaying neediness
The first three mistakes all fall under the umbrella of neediness. This is when your true feelings for your girl, as well as your respect for yourself, become completely overshadowed by desperation and misery. A lot of people actually misconstrue the feelings that their neediness creates for actual love. I will do my best to explain this in depth later on, but for now please realize that there is a huge difference between the two. Showing neediness is one of the biggest killers of attraction and must be avoided at all costs.
5. Losing your temper
Not being in control of your emotions, including your anger, is another major mistake. When someone knows exactly how to push your buttons to elicit an emotional reaction out of you, they are holding a remote control for your brain which not only makes you lose a tremendous amount of power but allows you to be easily manipulated.
Remember that there is a time and place to blow up and let yourself yell and scream. But you must decide when that time is and not just haphazardly respond to situations without conscious choice. In other words, you must be in control of your emotional state and be the one who chooses which emotions you display and at which times.
6. Refusing to date other women
Never underestimate the power of the jealousy card. A woman will feel much differently about a man who is in the field scouting for new women than she will about a man who sits home with his buddies each night and drinks his life away. There should be no excuse that keeps you from constantly prospecting, and by disregarding this important step you are artificially inflating your girl’s market price.
I need to make a very important distinction between doing this the right way and using it as a Pet Cem maneuver. You do not want to use other women as weapons, period. If you throw it in your girl’s face that you are dating (or sleeping with) other women (either during the breakup or after the two of you are back together), it becomes a cheap Pet Cemetery tactic that can easily backfire. However, if you keep it a secret and she finds out through other sources, it will usually have a strong effect. The act of you not flaunting it makes it that much more powerful.
The only time you should bring up your exploits in conversation is if she asks you directly. Then, you can tell her honestly that you’ve been seeing someone. Any faltering here looks like you are hiding something. As long as you say it matter-of-factly and are not seeking a reaction from her, this can easily make her very jealous.
7. Not having a detailed plan
Going into a breakup without a clear-cut plan is like parachuting into the jungle, in the midst of a war, without a map or compass. Things can get ugly out there and the last thing you want to worry about is having to find your way out of the bush once your emotions start clouding your judgment; one wrong move can lead you into enemy territory where you’ll be left emotionally captured, locked up and tortured for years to come.
Also, a plan helps you stay consistent with your original intent and this consistency is very powerful. A lot of guys will attempt to stick with one approach, but then do the complete opposite when it fails. For example, they may start off by begging their girls to reconsider, and when that doesn’t work, they may resort to threats and other malicious behavior. Unfortunately, most girls can see right through this sort of manipulation strategy and will immediately distance themselves from the manipulator.
8. Not having a strategy to deal with the emotional pain
Let’s face it. A breakup can be one of the most difficult and painful experiences in your life, and sometimes the pain just gets to be too much. At this point, many guys look for any way out, even if it means giving up their pride, self-respect, manhood, etc. Our girls fell in love with us in the first place because of these traits, and laying them down in the line of fire while waving a white flag is not going to have your sweetie come running to clean off your wounds. Why would she? You’re no longer the man she used to love.
To prevent all this from happening, you must have the proper tools on hand to deal with the mental pain that may come up. Thankfully, I have compiled the most advanced forms of mental medicine known to man and will be teaching them to you step by step. These will make the difference between forcing yourself to follow the “Get Your Girl Back System” and effortlessly doing what you need to do.
9. Allowing yourself to stay “stuck”
Letting the breakup completely stagnate your desire to move forward in life is one of the worst things you can allow. Once your ambition falls to the wayside, it is only a matter of time before severe depression sets in.
One of the most important things in life is having a strong sense of purpose. A breakup can easily allow you to forget what you are here to do, especially when living without your girl can make life seem totally meaningless. This is a huge trap which has crushed many men financially, emotionally and spiritually. Luckily, you will have all the tools you’ll need to push forward despite any feelings of hopelessness and futility.
10. Failure to maintain a social network.
You must allow yourself to see your friends and maintain your sociability during a breakup. Otherwise, you will end up like that guy from the movie “Swingers” who sat in his house for weeks waiting for his girl to call. And remember, when you are out with your buddies you are not allowed to talk about your girl! The whole point of going out with friends is to get your mind off the situation and to learn to have fun without a girlfriend in your life. Also, if you constantly drone on and on about the breakup, your friends will eventually tire of it and stop inviting you out.
11. Mistaking the reasons your girl gives you for the breakup as the real reasons and acting upon those instead
A woman will very rarely be completely honest with you during a breakup. Sometimes she will try and explain herself by saying things like, “I just need some time alone,” and “My life is so complicated right now,” while at other times she may be keeping you in the dark completely. I have found that the reasons why a girl leaves her man are almost always the same universally, no matter what she may tell you. And of course, she has very good reasons for not being completely up front with you, which will be covered shortly.
12. Giving her ultimatums
Be careful of ultimatums! It can, however, be a smart move to set up ultimatums in a relationship early on, such as, “I don’t tolerate dishonesty or cheating, and if that ever occurs between us, I’m out the door in a heartbeat.” By establishing boundaries and refusing to allow your principles to be compromised, you will be setting a good tone for your relationship. The problems start when you begin to use ultimatums to manipulate unwanted behavior.
For example, when you say to your girl, “If you don’t stop hanging out with Monica, we’re through,” or “If I ever see you flirting with that guy, you’ll never see me again,” you’re making a serious error. The problem with these kinds of ultimatums (in addition to being Pet Cem tactics) is that they trap you. Most of the time they won’t have any effect on your girl’s behavior (many women will test you to find out if you’re for real) and they will leave you stuck having to dish out the consequences you previously threatened.
At this point, if you fail to deliver on your threat your girl will realize that your words carry no weight and will start to lose respect for you. And God forbid she realizes that she can do whatever she wants with no repercussions. You’ll be in for a world of hurt, my friend.
Being careful enough to avoid the mistakes we have just covered will make the road to getting your girl back that much smoother. I wish you the best of luck.