Blindsiding Hurts All!

Accountability Kindness Personal leadership


Key Point: There is no reason to intentionally hurt someone because you or someone else feels it’s justified. This principle should apply to your work and life. Watch the embedded video where two high school football players in San Antonio hammer a referee from behind.

Their explanation for their behavior includes: The ref deserved it because he made bad calls, their coach implied the official needed payback for poor officiating, and/or the referee used racial slurs. Even if they’re true, none of these are legitimate reasons to harm anyone, and certainly not from a blind angle. In this case, the surprise hit could have caused serious injury. (This situation is still under investigation by school board and the police).

According to the New York Times, the internal phone directory at Amazon instructs colleagues on how to send secret feedback to one another’s bosses. Employees say it is frequently used to sabotage others. (The tool offers sample texts, including this: “I felt concerned about their inflexibility and they openly complain about minor tasks”). In this example, the hurt is not physical but it’s potentially every bit as damaging as the abuse experienced by the Texas High School football referee.

How many times a day, in some work environment, is some one getting verbally trashed from behind? We all have witnessed the gossip machine work overtime. We see people complain about someone to others without ever having the courage to respectfully face the person and attempt to work out a resolution.

It is easy to blame anyone or anything for our frustrations, fears, disappointments, and losses. Sometimes we feel that blindsiding and hurting someone is acceptable because they “deserved it.” Really? Blame is waste. Blindsided abuse is worse. What do you do to prevent this behavior in any environment?

Character Moves:

  1. People with integrity constructively confront people they have a dispute with. They face the individuals and conversation head on in frank, and even fierce ways. Constructive conflict is not easy, but it can often have a positive outcome. Do this. Become good at having fierce conversations.
  1. Never “hit from behind,” blindside” or “sucker punch.” Physical blindsides, like the behavior of the misguided football players in the video, is obviously very wrong (perhaps criminal). However, verbal blindsiding like gossip is not much better. Don’t do it or stand for it. When your hear people talking about people behind their backs at work, picture that referee’s head getting snapped back after the hit in the video. The feeling is about the same for the recipient. And trust me, the bad taste left in your mouth as a participant will diminish you too. I can only imagine the shameful feeling (assuming they are empathetic beings at all) the two high school football players felt upon watching the video. Sickening, actually.

Straight on in The Triangle,


One Millennial View: The amount of passive aggressive, behind the back “finger pointing” that seems to seep into adulthood should be extremely frowned upon. Do we really not remember how we’re not supposed to “tattle?” Wasn’t that a big part of childhood? I remember it being so. Sometimes life just isn’t that fair, and that’s ok. It’s not an even playing field. Sometimes people around us will squeak by on an easier path, they’ll find a loophole, they’ll get the break we wish we had, or we’ll face rejection we don’t think we deserve. That’s going to happen. And you know what? It should happen. It makes us improve, maneuver, and learn. But if we blame anyone else for our setbacks, we’re focusing our efforts in the wrong direction. If you’re spending any time trying to call out or pin something on another individual, you’re doing it wrong. Redistribute that energy on figuring out a plan for yourself, and you’ll likely tackle the issues you need to – not some poor ref from behind.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis