Updated: Aug 1, 2022
How often do we mirror someone else's bad behavior or worse?
I want to point out a trap that is easy to fall into. It’s the trap of mirroring unliked behavior. A couple of weeks ago at my daughter’s volleyball game I overheard a woman behind me tell the person next to her that it’s “so rude” to talk while someone is serving. This person was also criticizing the coach and vocally upset with some of the girls’ performance.
Yesterday my daughter had another volleyball game and what happened was interesting and not uncommon. When a member of our team would throw the ball up to serve, a girl on the other team would yell “ball up” right before she hit the ball. There was a little bit of chatter in the stands on our side because several other parents also believed that you should be quiet when someone is serving. Over and over the same thing would happen. A yell “ball up” during each serve. Then a man in the stands got up and went behind the referee to call his attention to the action. The referee ignored him. Probably because there is no rule about being quiet while serving. Well, the man didn’t stop when he didn’t get a response from the referee. He began to yell back at this middle school girl the words “ball down, ball down” and said some other things that I can’t remember. The point is that he strongly disliked the action of the girl on the other team and decided to do something completely out of character in efforts to change her behavior.