I have BAITERs. I didn’t know they had a name until Dr. Phil told me. I have known them, loved them, and encouraged them with my actions. I have supported them, ran to them in a moments notice and in retrospect, I may have even been one with my choice of words or in the midst of a storm. I have and have had BAITERs in my life. NOW…what am I supposed to do with this information?
Last night on Oprah’s Lifeclass, Dr. Phil sat down with Lifeclass students to start talking about life and the lessons he lays out in his new book, “Life Code”…In the hour, he opened the conversation to start talking about different toxic people that show up in our lives that may go unnoticed. Giving them the acronym of “BAITER,” Dr. Phil spells it out clearly what these people are set out to do to your life…take it over. A BAITER stands for the following kinds of people that show up in your life – Backstabbers, Abusers, Imposters, Takers, Exploiters, and those who are Reckless with your life and with theirs.
From the live taping of the show on Monday to the network airing on Sunday night, I’ve been walking around with all of this information and with questions – I have had BAITERs in my life. Some are still lingering around. Am I something of a BAITER magnet? And if I am, how do I stop the pull…and an even bigger question, can you love a BAITER without letting them wreak havoc on your life?
Throughout my life, friends, family and even a fiancée have shown up as regular people only to creep over and cross the BAITER line somewhere in the process. And while they may have slipped into destructive behavior, here’s my role in all of this…I didn’t do anything about it…at first. I allowed for people to use me, take advantage of me, and be reckless with my open heart, my generosity and my forgiveness. The man I was going to marry once said to me, “Well, I know I can screw you over and win you back. I’ll just keep trying really hard and sooner or later, I know you’ll take me back.” Today that declaration would receive a raised eyebrow, a sarcastic “Reaaaaallllly?” and then me walking out the door. Done. Back then, when I was amidst my BAITER lessons, I think I laughed it off…but only on the outside. Inside, I raised an eyebrow, thought “Reaaaallllly?” and my heart started walking out the door.
Once I stopped minimizing the actions and I started recognizing and trying to stop letting this behavior creep into my life, the consequence of learning the lessons became the closing off of my heart. Protected…but tucked away in darkness…this is how I handled the BAITERs in my life. That was until recently…when I realized that closing off my heart only takes away the sunlight that it needs in order to grow…and that I am strong enough to see bad behavior, realized I cannot change it, and turn the corner and keep on walking and moving forward in life.
So while Lifeclass and Dr. Phil give me more to think about and more labels to attach to my life experiences, this I know for sure…BAITERs will show up in your life. Everything in life is drawn to the love and light that you put off into the world…just like the plant leans towards the window with a yearning for the sun to grow and be strong. Love and light are natural magnets for everything. But with your love and light, open your eyes and when you see a BAITER show up in your life, raise an eyebrow….and take your light and your life towards a different direction. Really.