You are here

Territorial Feelings - at home and on here!

Stick's picture

It is so bizarre. For those that don't know my story, SD over here has been living with her dad and I for the past 2 years - and consistently with almost no visits to her mom for the past year.

Recently, SD has begun relations with her mom again. SD is surprising me. She had such bitterness toward her mom that has now been replaced by almost a complete 180 degree turnaround. Before, her mom couldn't do anything right. Now, her mom gets a pass when she does the same behavior that pissed SD off so much before. It's very curious to me.

Anyway, I've been feeling very territorial about SD because I doubt BM's intentions. I'm also feeling very territorial about my husband from SD - where he's been traveling so much for work, I don't want to share him. I WILL of course, but I DON'T WANT to!! ha!

On to the point of the blog... I looked up territorial feelings because I am feeling very much "mine mine" with both SD and Dh (yes, even though I know SD isn't 'mine' - believe me I know!). And came across this web page.

Reading it made me think of some things here as well.

For anyone interested .... take a look and see where and if it applies to anything in your lives. I thought it was interesting...

Territorial Games
Self Awareness Survey

Adapted from:
Territorial Games: Understanding and Ending Turf Wars at Work (AMACOM 1998)
by Annette Simmons
Please feel free to copy and redistribute without alteration

Every group in every organization will, at one time or another find that territorial games have de-railed some of their best efforts. Someone feels slighted, resources seemed unfairly allocated, or there is "evidence of favoritism." No one will ever know who started it…the best you can do is stop these games before they do even more damage.


Get the topic on the table, expose any hidden sabotage, and help people take responsibility for their actions. Most game players are either unaware that they are perceived as game players or in denial about the impact of their actions. This survey allows you to let the group self-examine at the same time they give feedback to others. Exposing these hidden dynamics allows the unaware game players to change their behavior, and the unrepentant to see that this behavior may not be getting them what they think they want.

Introduce the ten territorial games to the group. You can download a PowerPoint presentation from Ensure that the games are presented in a way that makes it "okay" to admit these feelings/behaviors.
Photocopy the survey so you have enough for all team members.
Pass out the survey and ask team members to check the three territorial games (three in each of the three columns) that they feel are
Played on them by co-workers
Played on them by their boss
Played by them to protect their interests
When the surveys are complete ask someone to tabulate the frequency of the check marks.
Report the results to the group. Ask the group to discuss the following issues:
What creates territorial feelings?
How often do we feel like we need to protect our own interests at work?
How would this organization run if we trusted each other to protect our interests?
What are some realistic agreements that might increase trust?
6. Bring in people from other parts of the organization to continue the dialogue.

Territorial Games

Used by your Peers

Used by your Boss

Used by You

1. Occupation
Marking territory; maintaining an imposing physical presence; acting as the gatekeeper for vital information; monopolizing relationships, resources, or information

2. Information Manipulation
Withholding information, putting a "spin" on information, covering up, or giving false information

3. Intimidation
"Growling", yelling, staring someone down, scaring off, or making threats (veiled or overt)

4. Powerful Alliances

Using relationships with powerful people to intimidate, impress, or threaten others; using name dropping; making strategic displays of influence over important decision makers

5. Invisible Wall
Actively instigating circumstances or creating counterproductive perceptions so that an agreed-upon concept is, if not impossible to implement, very, very difficult to implement

6. Strategic Noncompliance
Agreeing up front to take action and having no intention of taking that action, or agreeing just to buy time to find a way to avoid taking that action

7. Discredit

Using personal attacks or unrelated criticisms as a way of creating doubt about another person’s competence or credibility

8. Shunning
Subtly (or not so subtly) excluding an individual in a way that punishes him; orchestrating a group’s behavior so that another is treated like an outsider

9. Camouflage

Creating a distraction, emphasizing the inconsequential, or deliberately triggering someone’s anxiety buttons just to distract him or her

10. Filibuster

Using excessive verbiage to prevent action, outtalking any objectors at a meeting, talking until time for discussion is exhausted, or simply wearing others down by outtalking them


anabihibik's picture

Stick, I love this blog. You are such a smart lady. And, I find it very appropriate. I wonder if this might be kept someplace on here as an easy access for future reference.

Stick's picture

Thank you so much Ana - for getting through it!! I know it was long, and I appreciate you taking the time, and that you see the relevance!

Stick's picture

Oh no!!! I'm sorry - it's just when you wrote "for real" - about being territorial having people in your house.. I thought you were serious, but kind of laughing. Smile

Stick's picture

VEGAS BABY!!! Oh I'm soo jealous!! You will have to come back and give us all the gory DIRTY details. Because what happens in Vegas... stays in Vegas .... and on Steptalk where all names will be changed to protect the not-so-innocent.