top of page


Updated: Apr 25, 2023

The Word is GOTCHA

Definition: Merriam-Webster Dictionary: an unexpected usually disconcerting challenge, revelation, or catch. Also; an attempt to embarrass, expose, or disgrace someone (such as a politician) with a gotcha.

Posted 4/24/23

I have been contemplating writing about this word for a few weeks now. Mindful of its content, my goal is to deliver a message that embraces the importance of truth and respect. I hope I have succeeded.

My Story on GOTCHA

When I hear the word “GOTCHA" I pick up on a distinct inflection in the person's voice. I also take note of their proud as a peacock (full feathered) stance. Both grossly accentuate the negative message inflicted by one human being on another. It is a painful image of arrogance and disrespect.

I envision “Gotcha” moments as a dance designed to exploit, with fact or fiction (it doesn’t seem to matter which), a specific agenda. Respect, common decency, and honesty are replaced with words meant to embarrass, malign, or take a person down a notch or two. Sometimes the intent is far worse.

The proud as a peacock "gotcha" movement is harmful to individuals, communities, and nations. And when words with cruel intentions go viral, they can breed retaliation. In cases like that, we can all agree that everyone loses.

When I ask myself what kind of person enjoys making others feel this way, unfortunately, the answer I keep coming up with is too many. Bullies on the playground, disrupters on social media platforms, politicians, co-workers, spouses, friends, family, and foes contribute to the "gotcha" movement.

Imagine for a moment if all this negative energy turned positive. What if the “gotcha" movement reversed course to establish a talk and listen to each other approach setting boundaries against mean-speak or “gotcha” moments?

I suggest, in the name of positive change, we take a step back and ask ourselves a few questions:

  1. When did lying or cruelty to our fellow man become accepted or normalized?

  2. How can we make truth, respect, acceptance, and caring the norm again (or for the first time if it never really was for some)?

Until we have those answers, maybe we start a movement of our own. We can call it the “Kindness" movement. Instead of catching people off guard and hurting them, we advocate for understanding and listening to each other with empathy and curiosity. Maybe then we'll realize we have more in common than we thought and will stop hurting each other.

“Gotcha’s” happens in the home, in the workplace, among friends, and in the political and economic arena. I think it's safe to say they affect all of us at one time or another.

If you’ve been on the giving or receiving end of the “gotcha” dance and want to make a change, I'd like to help. As your coach, we'll uncover the strength within you to motivate your own kindness movement and see how you can help make it grow.

I offer a free one-hour consultation to get things started. To schedule an appointment email me at or visit my website at

53 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page