The Games People Play

The Games People Play.jpg

Still remember this song as if only heard yesterday. This is and was one of my all-time favourite songs and for a multitude of reasons that touched my soul then and still do today. Watching my son feeling and stumbling his way into being a teenager brought back a whole host of memories of being a teenager and the games people play.

I could never understand, or get, the rules of the games, this is once I realized that I communicated and thought and acted on a different plane to most of other people my age. I was often left with my mouth open, wondering what the heck just happened and having to explain that what I said is what I actually meant, no hidden subtle meaning, no playing of words and no trying to “play” whatever you’ve interpreted my communication or action as. I still to this day feel as if I’ve missed something somewhere along the way that a lot of people picked up on and I was left out. Thank fully left out. I can’t imagine that I would have been any good at playing these games, either too naïve or too straight forward and a face like an open book. Did make a good poker player though, who knows, maybe I could have played along? LOL!

Communication is such an important part of being human, be that communication on a subconscious or conscious level, using words, facial expressions, body language or language. The playing of these games confuses our basic understanding of communication as more often than not, what we picked up or heard, or interpreted as a message proves to be all wrong as that is not what the communicator intended in the first place. I say yes when I actually mean no, to prove a point. I act and say words that hurt because I think that you’ve hurt me. I confer with my friends on the proper way to act on date 2 and date 3. What can be said or may be said and how I should say it. What happens to the real you and the real interaction in the process? We begin to question our own subconscious reaction to situations because of fear of being left out, seen as too forward, not following the rules (who made these rules) or fear of being seen as different. I was very often told by guys in my younger days that I’m scary because if I like you I will say it, if I don’t I will also say it, all this without going through the appropriate game stages.

The century of faceless communication just mumbles things up even further. We have a whole generation with no exposure to situations where they can experience and learn the subtler communication skills that is innately part of being human. Our facial expressions, tone of voice, body language, reaction to words and smiles. In faceless communication a smiley face is just that, no indication whether the smile reached the eyes of the person smiling or whether it is just a polite smile. This all makes getting pulled into the drama of the games people play so much easier. You get so caught up in your interpretation of what you read (or think you’re reading with all the special characters and abbreviations) that before you realize it, you are reacting and saying things in response to perceived insults, invitations or lies.

I struggled through the game playing lessons with my two daughters, the drama, the tears, the situations they ended up in because of the games other people played. Having to go through this again, and at a time when everything communication related is so much further removed from real communication, I can only shake my head, take a deep breath and hope that the tissues, shoulder and just being there and always being the one not playing games will get my son through these lessons mostly unscratched as well.

I’m hovering between wanting to wrap him up and tucking him away from people and their games and biting down hard and letting him do what he came to do in this life…learn his own lessons.


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