I hate ultimatums. This is how I feel: You know what to do, so just do it.
Even with my kids. I don't want to say, "Tidy your room or else (insert horrible punishment).
I want to say, "You need to tidy your room." The 'so-that-finding-your-shirt-is-not-such-a-bother' part doesn't occur to me to add. Naive perhaps, I am to think that they would just know that for themselves.
In the workplace, I feel the same. I spend a lot of time wondering why the heck people don't just do what they are employed to do?! Really! I don't want to say, "If you don't do this, I am going to tattle tale to the big boss about you and you're going to get your butt kicked out of here." I hate that - hanging threats over people's heads. It's demeaning and insulting, I think.
But, what do you do, when the person you share your home with, your children with, (we're not counting furniture or transport - no point) your life with, doesn't seem to understand the importance of amending and altering certain behaviour?
I am trying to be fair. I'm not even sure that I am being fair, but I am trying to give him, me, our kids - this family - the best chance possible and because I know him like I do, the unfortunate (or perhaps fortunate) thing is, it has taken an ultimatum (with many conditions) to get him to pay attention.
The thing is with ultimatums - and writing now, I realise what it is that I truly hate about them - is that you have to carry through. I think - and this is my own opinion - I have absolutely no professional background or training on this, so you can't quote this as gospel - that giving someone an ultimatum is what we do when we are afraid of doing what we have to do. Can that be it, I wonder? Sort of - if I give you an ultimatum, you will do what you should be doing anyway and then I won't need to take responsibility for what I need to be doing. Hmmm.... that thought just came to me, by the way. But then again, perhaps an ultimatum is also a way of saying 'we have spoken about this so may times, but you have not taken me seriously and I am serious and this seems to be the only way to make you understand'.
Well, whatever ultimatums are or aren't, this is what it is for now. We'll see what happens.