I’ve enjoyed watching my Facebook feed gratitude posts as we prepare for Thanksgiving, a day dedicated to gratitude. They have the things we appreciate outside ourselves and our focus on all of the positive people, circumstances and things that we have in our lives covered. Adding to the list, we can be grateful for consciousness, intuition, and empathy. And, without inviting more, I have been reluctantly practicing being grateful for the unpleasant circumstances life sometimes brings and what we learn from them-once the lessons are learned, we free ourselves to emerge into a more expansive level of gratitude, consciousness and creativity. A deeper trust in one’s intuition is inevitable-no price can be put on this.

This post is dedicated to helping those who have at least one turkey grabbing too much of their attention on a personal or professional level. Turkeys and turkey-like behavior may be why you dread the holidays or have faced a struggle. It’s a common problem.

First, you have to know a turkey when you see a turkey. Sometimes non-turkeys exhibit turkey-like behavior, so it can be confusing if you aren’t consciously paying attention. The difference is that the latter has a consciousness and the former does not. Since most turkeys can pretend to have consciousness, spotting them can be tricky.

In addition to lacking consciousness, turkeys lack confidence so much that they don’t believe they can provide value to others and the world-and they don’t want to do so; they don’t trust they can make a living on their own merits; they don’t believe that they or anyone can really be loved; they lack empathy, but they are really good at pretending to be empathetic and will prey on your empathy to get what they want. They play like they are good when they must-they are really good at this part. If you aren’t paying attention to how you feel when you are with them, they will deceive you with their words and orchestrated evidence that they are not turkeys. If you are someone who strongly wants to believe the best in people, you’ll see past the signs.

In business, they will wow you to your face and pretend to support you and be on your team. Then, they stab you when you turn around, especially if you are in a position they desire or have the capacity to move into their position. These are the ones who will throw you under the bus and undermine your plans so they look good and can get ahead.

In life, they will suck your energy and time convincing you they need you or that you need them. They will switch back and forth between being what you admire in a person and being an energy-vampire, trying to make you feel bad for their unhappiness. This way your mind can question if they are having a normal insecure human moment that deserves forgiveness or if they are really that insecure, unconfident, manipulative, and lacking in empathy and consciousness. Your mind may win over your wise heart if you aren’t careful. To those who are familiar with this term, I’m referring to sociopathic behavior, which you may liken to a criminal and shun the idea that you know any (if you aren’t familiar with the prototype). Not so, these turkeys aren’t usually criminals and rather unsuspecting. Subtle is their game. And, there’s 1 in 25 on average, so there are many of them.

Second, how can you tell for sure? You have to pay attention to how you feel. It all comes down to trusting yourself. You will never be betrayed by a turkey if you trust yourself. On the flip side, betraying your own intuition will always attract others who betray you. If you feel a little red flag or some anxiety, don’t question it. In my last blog post, I talked about how constantly curiously asking “Why?” or looking for evidence that your “wise self” is correct will derail you and leave you vulnerable. You will get caught in analyzing all the “good” and “bad” evidence, subjecting yourself to more than what you can see with your own eyes. By the time you have enough “bad” evidence of who they are, damage is done. Don’t wait for evidence. Trust yourself.

Third, why do people attract turkeys and how do you stop the attraction and mitigate the influence they have on your business or your life, in circumstances where you must deal with them?

I’ve found in my clients and myself, the higher level of perception and empathy you naturally have for others, the more attractive you are for these turkeys. No, I’m not going to suggest you become less perceptive or empathetic-don’t put up a guard or close your heart. Don’t change who you are. To the contrary, turn it up a notch and redirect it to yourself. Be more of who you are. Be more empathetic to yourself, especially your wise self. And, use your gift. Not everyone can detect a turkey as fast as you. This is good information to have personally and professionally.

When it’s natural for you to feel other people’s emotions and perspectives, it can be confusing to know the difference between what is yours versus theirs. Because you genuinely care about others, you may allow their projected persona to dominate.

You may have developed a subconscious program of automatically putting others first. Be conscious of this and set an intention to put your intuition first. Your intuition knows the proper balance between doing for others and for yourself. They are not mutually exclusive. A turkey will not be able to prey upon you when you consciously trust what your intuition says over what they say.

You may subconsciously believe that others’ happiness is dependent upon you. A turkey will prey on this illusion and guilt you into betraying yourself. Consciously and subconsciously, know and believe that happiness can only ever come from within. Following your intuition will not intrude on someone else’s happiness, even when it means saying no.

As a business leader or in your personal life, you may fear losing them because you don’t have someone to replace them. Turkeys will try to make themselves out to be irreplaceable or put you in a position where you are depending upon them. Don’t feed this subconscious illusion or you will be vulnerable to accepting manipulative and destructive behavior. Turkeys will intentionally push your boundaries, especially if they know you are fearful.

Be conscious of whether fear is driving you to accept behavior you normally wouldn’t. Then, stop doing it. If you are a business leader, failing to stop will infect your entire organization. If I can’t convince you to put yourself first, put the rest of your organization first-have empathy for them.

Furthermore, in business, when forced to work with a turkey, keep conversations focused on the business and big picture objectives. Question how their ideas, behavior, work fit into this picture when your red-flags signal you.

You may have a subconscious program of pleasing others when negative emotion is projected at you. Be conscious of this, then STOP it. A turkey will exploit this and project enormous amounts of negative emotion at you. Your intuition will tell you when to honor someone’s request or wishes. Trust it. If guilt or fear of disappointing others is driving you to do something-don’t do that thing.

Allowing these limiting subconscious programs to rise up to your conscious awareness and choosing to follow your intuition instead of running on auto-pilot will deter turkey and turkey-like behavior. Even those who innocently engage in turkey behavior will be encouraged to stop it when you choose to trust yourself. Indeed, for those who have a consciousness, it will encourage them to do the same. This is the part you can use over the holidays with family! Sometimes turkey-like behavior dominates families during this time. Don’t be a turkey. Eat one instead (unless you’re vegetarian, of course.) 🙂

And, remember true turkeys don’t have a consciousness, so the additional step you must take to guard against continuous turkey behavior is to refrain from trusting them. No second chances or forgiveness. They will fake remorse, when necessary, but they don’t actually feel remorse. It may be hard to digest the notion that there are turkeys who aren’t full blown criminals that lack consciousness because yours is so strong. Subconsciously, you may believe others are like you. Your intuition knows the difference-let it take control.

I realize it’s a bit ironic that the problem with these turkeys–that they lack consciousness-is similar to the problem turkey prey face. The angle is a bit different, though— turkey prey only lack consciousness around their own feelings and intuition—they put everyone else’s first. So, the consciousness is too external. When we automatically and unconsciously put others first all of the time, we attract those who will put themselves first. When we put ourselves first, we attract those who will do the same. And, I don’t mean selfishly. I mean, put your intuition, your authentic-self first.

Sometimes these subconscious programs are stubborn. Being aware of them and consciously choosing the positive opposite is not always enough. Sometimes we have to specifically communicate with the subconscious to get it on board, too. Bridgenosis can help with this. If you’re ready to shift your mindset, call us: 202-709-6013. Happy Thanksgiving!