Greenwing macaw enjoying the company of a human by sitting on his arm happily.

Leave the Expectations Out of Your Communications

Leave the Expectations Out of Your Communications

There is no time wasted in offering new things, foods, or activities to your bird. Parrots are always aware, always watching. Parrots offer each other items in the wild, they understand the principle and its meaning. A parrot saying no, or turning their back, or lunging at an item is as positive as a parrot accepting the new thing. Because the value sits in the moment of communication itself. You accepting a no is as powerful as your parrot saying, yes. They are equal partners in the growth and trust building of the relationship. Don't see a rejected moment as a negative. It's you and your companion having a conversation. We don't get offended when our friends decline a drink when visiting, right?

This also applies to new people. You can't "get" a parrot to like people. The people that are interested in forming a friendship will need to find a way to communicate with that parrot. It's no different than a dinner party full of people. Think of it as people who come from two different countries and speak entirely different languages. There they are, seated at a dinner party; they have good feelings about each other but have to find a way to express that positive interest. We are right back to creating a conversation with no expectations. Parrots don't hate or dislike certain people. Parrots just haven't found a comfortable way to communicate with certain people. It really does boil down to that. I feel bad for both parrot and people when someone tells me "My parrot hates me." Or sometimes they'll lament, "He hates everybody but my brother!" That is unreasonable human expectation laid on a parrot's normal behavior amongst other parrots. It's not fair to the bird, and it removes the responsibility of the relationship from the human. It's always 100% our responsibility. Always.

Unreasonable expectations remove the important part of companion parrot relationships, investment of positive time. Parrots don't wear watches. But they remember every minute of positive interaction and calm communication and friendly integration attempts. Every single one. And they will remember the times you forced, coerced, or walked away in anger or frustration. Those times are always a result of unreasonable expectations.  

So, leave the expectations behind. And build a huge memory bank in your parrot's mind filled with positive moments. It's a good investment.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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