If you are not careful it slaps you upside the head. The negative comment intended to pull your strings. It’s only a problem if it catches you off guard and without thinking you snap. You use sarcasm. Or worse, you laugh because you won’t give him the satisfaction of knowing the string-pulling worked.
when I did corporate training, several years ago, a participant said that a co-worker likes to pull her strings by saying things like, “There are people saying bad things about you but I can’t tell you who said it or what they said.”
I told her to remember this tip: It takes two to play games unless you are playing solitaire. Don’t waste your energy on this kind of negativity. You must realign and reinvent a new response.
We came up with some responses that she could try the next time it happened: “Well, some people are also talking about you…I wonder if it is the same person?”
Another option is, “Well, you should know better than to listen to everything that you hear.”
Yet another response is to not take it too seriously by saying, “You know, her opinion is absolutely none of my business.”
This will throw the other person off guard and stop the game playing.
There are dozens of responses that help you get back your power. You get to be a creator and design the response that best represents the new you.