Distraction tactics are a form of stall tactics.
Stalling is a Machiavellian activity — meaning it carries a level of duplicitous cunning in its exercise. But it’s not necessarily anti-social.
For example, your wife might stall you while you are out running errands for her by asking you to make that one or two extra stops on your way home from work so that she can make sure Uncle John is able to get to the Barnes and Noble to pick up that “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader” he buys all his friends and family every year for their traditional birthday gift.
If Uncle John is running late but wants to be there to surprise you, Wife may call you and apologize and ask you to please pick up something from that store just 20 minutes or so out of your way more before you come home.
Her intention and motivation is Pragmatic and Utilitarian — as she is thinking about your happiness, Uncle John’s, and ultimately her own… but in a pro-social way that is loving and collaborative.
Remember: if we were all Noble Savages living in the woods, some level of proficiency at deception is actually a necessary survival skill to develop. How else can you have fish on Friday unless you procure, bait, set, and hook your dinner?
Very few actual fish jump into the pan.
That does not mean conflating the sinister act of distraction to harm or to cause someone else to miss a deadline on a time schedule or for a social engagement is in any way right.
Remember the Cinderella story?
Every time Cinderella wanted to do something for herself and ostensibly for the higher and greater good of the community, her Cluster B step-mother kept assigning her more and more tasks.
If she completed them unexpectedly, more tasks were assigned. More hurdles to jump through.
More moving the goalposts in such a way the sinister woman’s target is never allowed to keep their focus on whatever they are supposed to be doing for their own highest and greatest good or for others who rely on their social support and companionship.
To deny a fish lawful rights as a sentient creature until it can ride a bicycle is a socially prudent move for who?
Only for the fisherman hoping to keep the pond stocked or their own barrels of fish chock full.
The fish in the barrel never jump out when and if they are led to believe if they do they will end up on land with no oxygen to process.
Whether they are on land or bobbing in the ocean at sea where the “One Fish, Two Fish” — and even all the cute little red and blue fishies — could make a leap of faith and escape makes no difference to the person telling them if they jump their will either knock themselves out of the race of life or that they will feel pain, shame, humiliation, and fail.
The distraction tactic is getting the fish to focus on what is that green algae on the bottom of the inside of their Stockholm Syndrome created mental and metaphoric jail.
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