Have you ever found yourself celebrating a victory only to find your boss, coach or spouse telling you that you didn’t score, you missed the mark and “you’re crazy…I never said that!” It can leave you feeling confused, defeated and increases your self-doubt. Here’s the inside scoop: MANIPULATORS MOVE THE GOAL POSTS.
With a straight face or intense/angry approach but always in a very convincing way, they change the rules and rewards, and then blame you for not achieving the goal. In the world of abuse, this is called “gas lighting.” It’s a very common practice by unhealthy people who want to gain power and control over others.
Two Tips for recognizing this unhealthy behavior:
* Take written notes of expectations & rewards and refer back to them.
* Don’t assume you fumbled, are at fault, not smart enough or any other negative self-image. Manipulators will work to keep you in that position so they can have power and control over you. They keep you guessing and always trying to “win” their approval. A game you can never win.
By learning to recognize this behavior you can prevent and stop this no-win situation.
Set clear expectations, write them down (add specific dates and comments), make sure everyone is in agreement and hold people accountable by going back to your notes. Written notes help us clearly see if this is a repeated pattern of behavior.
And…please remember to celebrate the victories! Honor when the established rules are followed and the rewards for the successes are given. It goes a long way to building trust with others and productive outcomes.
ENLIGHTEN. EMPOWER. END.