Have you ever been fishing? I’m not a fan myself but I’m sure that you understand the basic principle. You attach a piece of bait to a hook and dangle in the water. What then happens is that some unsuspecting fish comes along, bites the bait, ends up on the hook, and you reel it in.
Let’s just go back a few steps. As the fish is swimming around, it is totally in control of its own destiny. It can swim anywhere it likes and it can eat anything it fancies.
When it’s confronted with the fishermen’s bait, it has the choice whether to bite it or not. If it decides not to take the bait, it can swim on its merry way and live its life to the full. ‘But it’s a fish,’ you say, ‘and it’ll probably take the bait.’
When it does, that’s the fish in trouble. Instead of being in charge of its own destiny, the fisherman is now in charge. The fish will get stressed and will probably lose its life.
Of course, you’re not a fish, but other people, difficult people, will try to get you on the line – they will try to hook you.
This is not something they do consciously; however, by what they say, what they do and how they look – they are dangling bait in front of you.
If you choose to take that bait, then the other person is in charge of your behaviour.
Have you heard people say things such as?
- ‘She makes me really mad!’ (Hooked)
- ‘His behaviour really annoys me’ (Hooked)
- ‘How dare she speak to me like that!’ (Hooked)
- ‘If he thinks I’m just going to do what he wants!’ (Hooked)
- ‘How could she come in here dressed like that! (Hooked)
The behaviour of these people potentially “hooks” you into behaving in a less than positive way.
Just like that fish, you are liable to lose control of your behaviour and even get stressed.
Remember – you choose your behaviour; don’t let other people do it for you.
Don’t get hooked!