Wife Swap, More Diplomacy is Needed At Times
Wife Swap Is A Modern Day Cultural Phenomenon
Wife Swap, one of the most popular reality shows of our time is also the battlefield for some of the participants on the show. I’m not sure if the producers of the show want the participants to be ruthless in their comments or if many of the participants on the show could do with a little sensitivity training. Let put is this way, a lot of conflicts on Wife Swap would be avoided and tensions lessened if the participants on the show would practice more diplomacy. It would help is everyone tried to understand the needs of the opposite sex in terms of communication.
The women who participate in this show would benefit greatly if they understood a more sensitive approach to giving criticism. It’s not that I do not appreciate what these women are going through; after all, it’s not easy leaving their loved ones behind for the purpose of sharing their family’s ideals. These are the values these women hold dear; this is the glue that holds their families together. It’s not easy entering the home of another family which has very little in common with their own; this must be like an intense culture shock for most of these women. Let us not forget, that the new family that they are living with is going through some adjustments as well. It is important to know how to give criticism in a non offensive manner.
I truly recommend the sandwich approach. What that means is that you must take into account that the gentleman, who is the head of the household, you are now part of, despite being from another walk of life, takes a great deal of pride in his home, wife, children and what they have accomplished as a family. He feels he is reflected in how his home is perceived. So when trying to give him some constructive criticism it would be wise to begin with a complement. Try to tell him what you find to be positive about the way his household is managed. By doing this he is much more likely to listen to you. He may already be on the defense; therefore, you need to let him know you come with the best of intensions. To just blurt out criticism no matter how well intentioned could communicate to him that you are some sort of judge, and that you think your ways are superior. You may want to state that you come from another walk of life, and that your purpose of being there is for his family to be enriched by what you have to bring to the table. So, when you state your remarks be careful with your wording, and do so in an attitude of caring not judging. I would also recommend that you end your dialog with another compliment. You want to leave that man with a good feeling, not a she’s so bossy feeling. He’s more likely to comply if you say it with finesse.
Gentlemen, it takes two to make an argument. You must remember that even though, you miss your wife badly, and you are trying to adjust to life without her, even if it’s only for two weeks, you might want to go easy on this new gal. Remember, on week two she will be the one making the rules. If you treat her kindly, and listen to her when she makes a suggestion on week one, she will be much more likely to make concessions when the rule changing ceremony comes about. If not for yourself, do it for the children.
Women do respond to kindness in a big way. So if lets say, your family is very fitness oriented and she’s kind of a couch potato, don’t make her run ten miles the first day. When the rule change ceremony is taking place be cooperative. Remember, it really shows what a fine man you are when you can end the show as friends.
When both couples meet and disclose what they think of each other,s home management styles, they need to use some tact. What one family may consider foolishness may be considered sacred to that other family. I remember when I saw the interchange between Bambi Pitts and Caprice Policchio. I was appalled by the way Bambi told Caprice that she hated her, because she had temporarily removed most of her twenty-five pets from the house. I understand that to Bambi, these pets were like family members. However, I don’t feel that it justifies Bambi telling Caprice that she hated her. After all, Caprice did it with her best intentions. She even gave Bambi’s home a much needed make over. Most home cleaning specialist would have had to remove the animals from the premises in order to make the place more sanitary. I really think that Caprice deserved an apology from Bambi.
This whole dialog between these two families could have been settled in a more amicable way if only Bambi had put things more in perspective. Even if she was emotionally attached to her pets, she should have been more sensitive to Caprice’s feelings. Her judgment of Caprice should have been based more on her motives rather that just her actions. Caprice, on the other hand, handled things very well by not adding any more friction by staying silent when being chided by Bambi. I wish the interchange between both couple would have ended in friendship. Although, if I were Caprice, I would have asked Mr. Pitts how the family would feel about having their pets temporarily removed before proceeding to do so. After all, Each woman made a valuable contribution to the life of the family she stayed with, it's a pity it didn't end amicably.
I like Wife Swap Very much and I think it is a wonderful show. It shows the different management styles of families across the country. I admire most of the participants for their contributions on this unique reality show. The beauty of diversity truly shines through on Wife Swap.