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Don’t Take the Bait. 3 Steps to Help you Manage Anxiety Caused by Others.

Change your thoughts and you change your world - Norman Vincent Peale

Some people seem to enjoy winding us up and somehow know just know how to push our buttons with the sarcastic comment which can cause serious stress particularly in a sensitive person, one who doesn’t like confrontation or is just laid back. ‘Frenemies’ can ruin the greatest party or gathering at a stroke.

In this context, “Taking the bait’ means to allow someone to wind you up so much that you behave in a way that is beneath you. The person who is baiting is communicating with you… but they’re not saying what they actually mean. For example, instead of telling you straight up that they’re mad at you for some reason, the baiter may criticise or mock you.

What it comes down to is simple: You can’t control how other people act, but you can manage your anxiety and reaction. by taking a few simple steps.

Practice Positive Thinking

You can usually spot the baiter coming from a mile away. Be ready for them. Make a conscious decision that, no matter what they say, you will not be provoked or offended. Not Research repeatedly reaffirms the idea that people who think positively reap emotional and health benefits for the long-term. Make a serious attempt to dispel your negative thinking.

Take Yourself Out Of the Equation

There are a couple of ways to remove yourself from the situation. There are things you can do that are logistical. Move on to some other topic of conversation and try not to let those buttons be pushed, or make an excuse to talk with someone else.

Stop Playing the Game

Sadly, when someone is really trying to wind you up, the last thing you want is to let it go. No matter how much you want to have the last word, there are sensible reasons to avoid the temptation. It encourages the confrontational behaviour. They’re playing this game and it continues the game, rather than ending it.  It can also have lasting negative effects on you, causing you embarrassment, frustration or just making you feel bad. So try taking the high moral road and see where it leads you.

At the end of the day, few people are able to conjure up the perfect cutting comeback and end up fleeing the room. Don’t give people like this the pleasure and satisfaction of seeing you upset. Manage your anxiety, smile and let the comments roll off your back. After all, happiness is the best revenge


Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.