Don’t take the bait

“Mahesh, don’t take the bait,” said a friend of mine. In the midst of a discussion, there were opinions being hurled referencing me. I was tempted to react and defend. Explanations on why and how in defense was at the tip of my tongue.

That is when I got this golden advice which is now etched in my mind – “Don’t take the bait.” This four-word phrase is constantly in my subconscious. Any time, I get tempted to react, the four letter word appears in front of me.

This gift has spared me of agony, conserved my energy from being depleted and most importantly has allowed me to retain my self-esteem.

At work, at home, in a discussion, in an argument, there are always moments where we are pulled into and a wide net is cast on us.  It could be an accusation hurled at us, a sarcastic comment, or a simple reference. If you take the bait and react, you get entangled, and once you are in the net, the other person has you in the grip and takes the liberty to steer you.

Don’t take the bait. Don’t let anyone become a monkey on your back. Avoid the temptation to get in the last word.

Here are three steps to follow:

Become aware: You can spot a baiter by their tone, sarcasm, or if they are not being straight in their communication with you. They may tempt you with a comment and bait you to react. Watch out, observe. Maintain a steady posture; plain radio silence will neutralize them. They will realize you are not the fish to get into the net.

Get yourself out of the equation: To be baited you have to be in the vicinity. Pick your battles. If it is not worth it then skillfully step aside and remove yourself out of the equation. Move away from a group that thinks negatively. Tactfully choose your response to pointed questions. When you have to react, make a mental note to respond to one or two comments and then say something like “not a topic I’d like to discuss further at this moment, we should pick it up at a different time when both of us have more specifics.”

Adopt a positive and loving attitude: The universe is a projection of your mind said a great Seer. When you adopt a positive and loving attitude, the person in front and around you receives those vibrations. These vibrations percolate into their reaction and tempers the intensity of any negative reaction. Of what use if a negative and hateful attitude. Relationships are not built on hate but love.

Don’t take the bait. 

Do you have any comments or thoughts about this article? Please do share in the comments below.

6 replies on “Don’t take the bait”

L J Haravusays:

Most of us do not consciously differentiate between response and reaction. Your post expresses this very well. On the same subject, I wrote a poem and I offer it to your subscribers.

Response –vs- Reaction

The Mind as given;
Is a receptacle?
For un-manifested tendencies;
Born of distant pasts;
It’s also an instrument;
Along with intellect;
As host to precious choice.

Un-manifested tendencies;
Like hidden serpents;
Unprocessed in the conscious mind;
Often raise their poisonous hoods, and;
To actions-reactions foul;
Causing great harm,
To the Doer and the Done.

Mindfulness of desires;
Desires to thoughts;
Thoughts to action;
And the exercise of right choice;
Alone leads;
To appropriate response;
Of a mature mind.

Mahesh Harvusays:

Thank you and wonderful lines.

I t is true when we do not want to be entangled in a given situation stay out and slowly slip away like a fish. Instead of getting our minds disturbed and leading to negative thoughts.

The lines in the above poem do convey beautiful meanings.

Mahesh Harvusays:

Thank you!


In any situation the reply/reaction will be suggested by the mind with a quick search of the past reaction stored in memory . For example when one hears any sound, it will be classified as music/noise/abuse/argument Etc. in the memory . when one ignores the response suggested by the mind with awareness for some time ,the old stored information pertaining to the reaction fades and gets erased. It is up to us to either recreate a different response or leave it blank . This way negative can be changed to positive mentally . This can be tried just as moving away from an unwanted situation physically i.e moving away from response mindfully. This way one can choose to change how they feel by reacting differently .

Mahesh Harvusays:

Thanks Nagalakshmi. Thoughtful.

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