Category Archives: Sandbagging

Sandbagging is Not What You Do in Baseball

“Sandbagging” is a term used to describe an awful thing to do to another person, where you collect years of grievances of all sizes and dump them on someone all at once.  There is nothing they can do about all these supposed “slings and arrows” as they are history.  The context is gone, the possible provocation is ignored, and the amalgam of complaints is impossible to dissect and respond to.  Basically, all that is left is for the target of the sandbagging to attack back or divorce themselves from you.

The point is that sandbagging never results in resolution or redress.  It just results in the feeling of being disdained and betrayed.

I believe that people sandbag when 1) they simply want to hurt someone else, 2) want to get superiority over another, and/or 3) desire not to take responsibility for their contribution to the problem.

I recently told one caller that she needed to apologize to her mother-in-law for sandbagging, whether or not any or all of the complaints had some modicum of validity.  The relationship is destroyed with the sandbagging.  There is rarely any coming back from being hit with one.  The hurt, anger, and feeling of betrayal and blunt humiliation cannot possibly result in any understanding or compassion for the complainer.

I asked this caller to apologize for sandbagging, to admit she was simply frustrated over some things and didn’t have the courage to face them together, and, in general, just bombed the heck out of her.  She agreed to do what I suggested, thankfully.

There are no excuses, folks.  Don’t tell yourself you’re justified to sandbag because you’ve been hurt, and never hit back with more than you’ve been hit with.  An “eye for an eye” does not mean eyeballs will be rolling.  It means that you must not punish greater than the insult.  In other words, you can’t extract a “life” for an “eye.”

Communication is everything, as humans are not clairvoyant beings.  You must let somebody know what they said or did that hurt your feelings and what they can do to repair the situation.  It is all too often true that whatever you feel is hurtful is your sensitivity and not necessarily their intent.  You need to be open to hearing that, too.