Moving the goalposts is a Narcissistic Abuse tactic used to keep People Pleasers jumping through hoops for no other reason than to amuse Sadistic Voyeurs.
You know who the people are who do it, too — sooner rather than later figuring out who and what they are (if you are lucky) before they steal enough of your time by abusing your hospitality.
The scenario is this:
A victim is sized up and targeted for potential use, mockery, or abuse.
The predator tells the victim to perform a task that requires extreme effort on the part of the target and makes no common sense. They inform the victim if the standard is not met that the person marked for social abuse is either of poor moral character, they will be treated like a leper or exiled from social support from that person until the task is accomplished, and or that they will be hallmarked as some kind of liar, false prophet, truth bender, or civic failure.
The target becomes a victim when they take up the challenge of doing or “producing on command” whatever the hospitality abuser told they that not only are they required to jump through flaming hoops while others taunt and tell them that they can’t, but if they succeed that there is no guarantee that the man or woman behind the curtain will accept the broom handle.
You know who they are, these jokers pretending they are the Great and All-Powerful Oz.
They are the people who live off the efforts of others, plain and simple.
They are the people with no creative ideas of their own. The kind forced by their own impulsive, gluttonous, and socially selfish nature to commit intellectual property theft, brand sabotage of rivals, and to take credit away from other people to heap on themselves when no credit is due.
They do things like demand their victims “prove” every word that they say about perfectly normal and likely patently obvious to prove stuff.
Like knowing that a divorce document is signed by both parties and a judge compelling them to act a certain way or to perform as agreed. Yet, when expected to perform the Abuser says, “What divorce? We’re not divorced. You cannot prove I signed anything! And even if you can prove that I signed it, you have to prove the judge signed it. And if it was signed, the words in the document like SHALL don’t mean what they do in literally every other divorce contract in the land. No — when a judged signs an order that commands a party to perform saying the party SHALL… well right there, that sounds like an OPTION to me. So I say shall means I can if I feel like it but to make me you are really going to have to pursue me indefinitely in court… over civil litigation… that is completely pointless… just to prove that the person court ordered to honor civil agreement is above the law, owes no obligation to follow normal laws of the land, and that their word under oath is (according to them) a non-binding contract for them but a binding contract made by literally everyone else who is court ordered to perform or who, in good faith and under oath, willingly signed an agreement to socially perform honorably.
You want me to leave you alone? Divorce me! — she says.
You want me to stop telling everyone you are a liar and a whore — when I know full well you are telling the truth and are no such thing of the sort? Here is my list of EXTORTION DEMANDS. — he says.
If you get your room clean today and the garage and mow the lawn and deep clean the kitchen and do the grocery shopping for me and trim the trees and help me move furniture, we can go shopping to buy you new shoes on Sunday… tasking the child or the housemate with finishing 40 hours of manual labor in 20 with the clear expectation the tasks will never get done.
That is the trick — big tasks or little tasks, the person challenging you to complete the tasks either knows full well you will either never be able to accomplish the task assigned before whatever arbitrary time deadline they set or that you will succeed in doing it to literally no ones benefit.
If you accomplish the task, they already plan to pick your work apart, to tell you it’s NOT WHAT THEY WANTED, and to demand you re-do the task to a different set of specs the social predator deliberately withheld or made up on the spot while critiquing your work.
If it’s work they can take credit for — stealing your time, manual labor, and intellectual property — like claiming a child they never raised a day in its youth is a wonderful young man or young lady because of their input. They like that “I said it’s my property” thing applied to tiny humans. And to humans of all ages they recruit to stock their Narcissistic Harem.
They are the boss at work who demands you work unpaid overtime and give up that honeymoon or anniversary trip you have scheduled… so they can play golf and steal your big presentation — presenting it to the higher-ups on time on Monday morning pretending it was them who came up with the idea, fleshed out the concepts, devised a plan, and made the project presentation “magically” happen.
They are the toxic parent who credits themselves only for any goodness in grandchildren.
But the way people get away with moving goalposts time after time is so incredibly dumb. They take social advantage of kind people by pretending that when they enter the social compact telling the targeted social con mark that if they do XYZ by ABC time and date at such and such a place in just the way that they said that they will agree to do DEF… if they are pleased.
If you enter into a jump through hoops contest of wills to prove your abilities or that you are sharing data with them that’s accurate understand this…
- The person tasking you with impossible tasks before they agree to perform is setting you up for failure.
- The person deriding you and telling you that you cannot do something has no intent whatsoever to acknowledge your work or to appreciate your efforts whether you succeed in the challenge assigned to complete or not.
- The person preying on other human beings hospitality and goodwill commits fraud when they assign the challenge; they break contract law when the workhorse party succeeds in performing but the person who assigned them the work does things like pretending the work was not up to their personal level of demand for quality… or worse they pretend they never assigned the task to begin with that caused their targeted Pinata to do all the work.
In social contracts, both parties have an obligation to perform. If a person agrees to do something with and for any form of payment or social payoff or “perk” from the other, both parties are expected to perform honorably.
Honorably. As in planning to keep to the terms of the binding agreement, to strive to perform to the best of your ability, and to act in good faith at all time with regard to self-performance standards as well as to honest intent to honor the social commitment.
The key word being honorably — something anyone moving a goal post and making a victim jump through hoops in good faith… expecting performance from the Goalpost Shifter when we or they succeed that is deliberately withheld every time WE SUCCEED.
The person who moves the goalposts abuses the faith, goodwill, and trust of all others. The time their target wastes performing in good faith is time in that person’s life the predator willfully steals like a commodity from not only the mark but from their loved ones and family members.
What could a person jumping through hoops to appease the irrational and intent-to-commit-fraud demands of the predator do with all the time they spent wasting being conned socially into performing tasks for other people that are not appreciated or seen as necessary except to do in order to inflate someone’s already grandiose and likely profoundly morally insane ego? Let’s see…
The person conned out of the time and manual labor could be doing literally anything for themselves or for their own friends, family, co-workers, loved ones, society in general… you name it. Anything would be greater!
By tasking the People Pleasers among us to do Herculean tasks that a person either cannot do themselves or that they throw out as a distraction to keep a targeted mark essentially being treated like a dog ordered to endlessly chase its proverbial tail, the social predator camps in like a leech — siphoning energy out of their targeted marks. Meanwhile, they, while acting like nothing but Sadistic Voyeurs.
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