"The Biggest Loser" reality series often shows trainers yelling at contestants, telling them they're not working hard enough, etc. But where weight loss and workouts are concerned, do people respond better with positive encouragement or negative put-downs? I've not been in a reality series (and probably will never be). But I do know that when I'm in an exercise class and the teacher gives me a positive shout-out, I will work that much harder. I appreciate it when the instructor offers constructive criticism, such as helping me adjust a yoga pose or making sure I'm doing something correctly. Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but I don't respond well to put-downs. It's hard to know when someone is really giving it their all. A 20-something may see a 50-year-old trudging through a workout and not realize that it's the best that person can do.
In tonight's episode. 63-year-old contestant Bonnie made it very plain to trainer Anna Kournikova that she felt she deserves more praise for her efforts. Yet, Anna's response was to turn it around as Bonnie's need to "express her emotions" due to tragic circumstances in her past. That harks back to the methods of former trainer Jillian Michaels, who would yell, scream and put down contestants to the point that they would start sobbing. Then Jillian would turn soft and play pseudo psychologist and "diagnose" their "issues." When in reality, their biggest issue was dealing with Jillian's rants.
Anna doesn't really rant; in fact she is the most soft-spoken of this season's three trainers. From what the cameras are showing us, it seems that Bonnie tends to feel sorry for herself and wants to be coddled a little. Perhaps Anna doesn't offer more praise because she doesn't think Bonnie is putting out the effort. If so, she needs to tell Bonnie straight out. But trying to gloss over their difficult relationship over as some deep-seated issue from Bonnie's past doesn't help either of them.
And yeah, maybe a pat on the back wouldn't hurt now and then!
I'm interested in knowing what other viewers are thinking on the Bonnie-Anna relationship.