My son and I were off the coast, fishing in some pretty chilly water. We kept pulling up little fish, but nothing that would serve as dinner. While we were bobbing out there, I was wondering what those fish were thinking. They were hanging out, trying to stay warm, when suddenly, there appears a tasty morsel, tempting them to grab a quick bite.
Once they bite, they are hooked! They are now in a fight with that line, and ultimately the person fishing. They may get away, they may get eaten. Either way, the day changed drastically for them.
But fish aren’t the only creatures that “take the bait.” I did it just last night. There was a Facebook post that tweeked me. I knew better. Even while I was commenting. I knew I should just delete my comment, back out of the post, and keep on swimming. But I didn’t. I clicked to post. And. . . I took the bait.
Would my comment change ANYONE’S mind? Nope. Would it help me? Nope. It only raised the volume of an argument.
I took the bait.
And I got hooked.
Which led me to spend some time reflecting on how to better NOT get hooked. Whether it is someone on the internet, a colleague, a friend, a spouse, a parent, or a child, we get bait dangled in front of us every day.
Our choice: will we bite or keep on swimming?
I offer 4 strategies to keep from biting.