Are People in Your Life Keeping Track—or Keeping Score?

This past week I was speaking with a client whose team was completing a large project.

Things were going OK but, she said, but there was one team member whose contributions felt….off.

When I asked how this showed up, she hesitated,

“It’s weird,” she said, “She’s always doing extra organizing and putting in additional time but it seems like it’s because she wants to look good, not because she wants us all to look good.”

“Ah,” I said, “She’s not keeping track, she’s keeping score.”

Now I’m sure some of you who find that statement odd, or foolish. After all, if someone is willing to do extra work, who cares why they’re doing it?

Fair enough. 

But for those of you with whom it resonated—and who may be wondering if you’ve got a scorekeeper in your life, here’s an easy way to check:

During discussions of how responsibilities get divvied up, does this person say,

“It’s not fair,”


“I want to be sure it’s fair.” 

A scorekeeper says the first; someone keeping track says the second.

And if you’ve been wondering why some people’s contributions to your life leave you feeling consistently….icky…keep track of which they say.


For more tools for dealing with people who are….Let’s say less than up front? take a look at, “You Say Late, I Say Never….Or Do I?”