Do you work, live, or interact with someone who seems determined to engage you in some kind of conflict? Do you find yourself getting hooked into their drama and before you know it you are in a no-win situation? How does this happen and why?

The reasons are many but they usually have to do with someone wanting you to fight with them. You swear that you will never let yourself get drawn into such behaviour again but before you know it, it’s happened.

How should you respond to the hostile baiting that some people engage in? First be aware that on some level there is a pay-off for their behaviour and secondly remember you choose your responses. Consider the following suggestions:


  1. Recognise when you are being baited;
  2. Listen carefully to the words being used to draw you into a fight;
  3. Don’t give the person the pay-off they seek – don’t fight;
  4. You can’t get drawn into a fight if you don’t participate;
  5. Remember that if you get drawn into the person’s need for a fight you are making a conscious choice to fight;
  6. Bait is bait is bait, no matter how tiny or innocent it may seem;
  7. You may not even know that you are being drawn into a fight;
  8. People who actively seek conflict are often encouraged when there are others present to witness their performance;
  9. If you don’t participate in the conflict the pay-off is removed and the conflict seeker will stop baiting you for a fight;
  10. If it looks like bait and smells like bait, it must be bait. Don’t take the bait!

If you find yourself getting hooked, forgive yourself and the person who was fishing for the fight. If you find yourself baiting others you need to STOP your behaviour. Acknowledge what the pay-off for your behaviour is so that you can change it.  You cannot change what you don’t acknowledge!


Are you a member of a dysfunctional team or a team who just doesn’t seem to work well together? I facilitate Team RE-Building workshops very successfully. Contact me for assistance in this regards. Let’s get your team working!