How’s it going there? All is as good as it can be here in Nepal—considering that we are still locked down. The lake and mountains are still very beautiful, most folks still have food, and the police seem to be very understanding. But there’s not much happening and so not much to report.
The latest in a long series of delays puts the end of lockdown at June 14. Hopefully that really happens. More live-from-Nepal chapters will appear shortly after. Meanwhile, here is an oldie but goodie from the Fearless Puppy On American Road book. Most folks that have read it tell me it’s funny. If this is your first read, I hope you get a good laugh from it too.
It is offered now with a different intent than in years past. This time it is not only the true story of dealing with a troublesome person at work, but is also posted in the spirit of remembering that individual humans are not the only ones baiting and switching us. Institutions, industries, and systems—whether they are informative, corporate, political, educational, cultural, religious, entertaining, or medical—are just as good or better at it than any singular human.
Thanks very much for reading, and for clicking the backlinks.
Please stay well and happy. Love, Tenzin
***p.s. As always, if you find these weekly bits bothersome, let me know and I’ll stop sending them to you. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—click one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered when you click. Thank you!
Defeating the Bait-and-Switch
We’re having a little trouble at my workplace. There is a mean-spirited person dragging my co-workers down to her level. She’s an expert at the bait-and-switch move. I smile, refuse her bait, and stay undistracted—but several members of our crew have fallen victim.
What is the bait-and-switch move? Several different psychological maneuvers call themselves by that same name. The one I’m specifically referring to is the oldest trick in the book. It is most often done without the perpetrator’s conscious awareness. That’s right! More often than not, the folks who do this aren’t even in touch with themselves enough to realize that they are doing it. (It is occasionally more intentional and malicious.)
Let’s say that you are Party B. Your boss, a co-worker who wants to climb the ladder of success over your dead body, a new customer, an old acquaintance, an ex, or whoever else you want to think of is Party A. (If you are already saying, “Hey I’m the A. Let that other pain-in-the-ass be Party B,” that’s great! Your chances of avoiding the pitfalls of the psychological bait-and-switch move are very good!)
You are a nice, friendly, kind, and cooperative person.
Party A and others like him are nasty, sarcastic, wired-up people who live to annoy and manipulate. They love to pull on your chain and wouldn’t climb off your back if you bought them a diamond-studded rope ladder to do the climbing with. These people may suffer big and truly heart-rending problems in life but behave so badly that they regularly earn more rejection than compassion. Many chronically dissatisfied folks act as if it is their job to insure that everyone else becomes as miserable as they are. Again, this is often not a product of conscious evil intent as much as an unconscious bit of emotional lava spilling out of an abused volcano that has never been hugged enough. But if you’re getting burned to the core by flowing lava, the historical origins of the volcano’s problems cannot be your primary concern.
As usual, you try to be nice to everyone. You speak to Party A as you would to anyone else—intent on a happy and harmonious relationship. But Party A doesn’t know how to handle this. The painful rip in the fabric of this person’s reality tells him or her that it’s a dog-eat-dog, me-or-you, take-advantage-before-being-taken-advantage-of world where an aggressive defense is the highest priority. This attitude often results in behavior that is nastier than a pickled egg fart collection in a tightly sealed chamber.
You step up your efforts to make peace. Day after day you are kind and polite to this person, hoping your good attitude will prove contagious. Mr./Ms. A stays deaf to your most cordial approaches and continues to dump bucket loads of emotional garbage and irritating drama into your life.
It may take a few days, weeks, months, or years but sooner or later it happens. You lose it. After what seems like countless eons of dealing with this situation in a civilized manner, you just can’t take it anymore. You give Party A a rebate on the ration of bullshit that he or she has been shoveling in your direction. After five or ten minutes of yelling and snarling, you stomp away with your blood pressure raised and your day ruined. You are now as stressed, aggravated, soured, angry, and miserable as Party A has always been.
This is you now! The painful attack on your peace of mind is no longer singularly directed from an external, defensible source. It now grows from an internal base that is a lot more dangerous to you. The nastiness of A, formerly a minor influence outside of your psyche, has eaten away slowly but steadily at your patience and compassion. It has succeeded in boring a hole right through your previously harmonious state of mind. The result is a weakened mental structural integrity, now being further eaten away by your psychologically triggered, newly acquired chemical imbalances. Physical problems arise from the chemical problems. Your stomach may hurt, your head may ache, and your happiness is in pain.
As this happens to folks like us, Party A people will likely be laughing their asses off! As the old saying goes, “Misery loves company.” Misery now has the company it loves. As mentioned before, they may have had a conscious plan to do some damage —but it is more likely that they are just blindly lashing out and unaware of the real cause or result of their actions. They are happy anyway!
A subconscious mind can be a dangerous thing. That’s why so many of Earth’s wise folk have spent so much of their time very busily moving their subconscious depths to the conscious surface.
So now, anyone walking into the place where both A and B are present would be fooled. It would appear that Party A was a B, and that Party B was an A—and in fact, until B regains basic composure and simple sanity, that has become the sad truth of the situation. B has now effectively taken over the job that A was doing and is now getting on his or her own nerves! Party A doesn’t even have to be around. B will still have a nervous concern about what A might do or say next. B will now suffer from self-engendered attitude attacks as well as any external attacks that A might still be generating. B may also be burdened with a self-loathing caused by embracing an inferior mindset as well as the embarrassment of losing composure in public.
The bait-and-switch is complete.
But believe it or not, there is an even worse scenario! Some folks are just too kind-hearted or timid to explode upon their aggressor. In most of these cases, a B person completely internalizes the stress of dealing with the A person. The resulting internal malfunctions can range from a nervous condition and assorted mental problems to migraines, stomach ulcers, and in the long run even heart problems or cancer.
I refuse to get involved with any of this.It seems best to stay happy and realize that what I want me to be is more important than what any negative external influence wants me to be.
I don’t rent out space in my head to bullshit.
Disengagement, a simple non-cooperation with the game, seems to work well. I find that chronically toxic human irritants either vanish quickly or start adding some respect to their communication once they realize that you are someone who will not take the bait.
When you run into someone that wants more than it is possible to give; when challenged by an insatiable black hole of negativity that cannot be filled; when you feel the vacuum from that hole starting to suck you into it, perhaps the best way to win the game is to not play.
Many thanks to our wonderful friends at Pema Boutique Hotel for their help and support. ***The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.
***If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story—and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!