“Parenting isn’t a task, it’s an experience.” – Rohit Kumar
All of us at one point or another in our lives play psychological games. Whether consciously or unconsciously, whether at home, at work, among strangers, or among friends, we have all engaged in games that are sometimes beneficial and useful, and other times detrimental to our health and the well-being of others.
Psychological games are often rewarding to one party and harmful to the other, creating exhausting and messy dynamics in every kind of relationship. Sometimes we are so deeply ingrained in the cat-and-mouse games that define our relationships that we aren’t even aware of what is happening.
So why do people play games in relationships? And how can you identify whether you are instigating the games, or serving as the prey of them?
Exploring Psychological Theatrics
What do people get out of playing games in relationships? The answer is quite simple:
They get something out of it.
Whether the incentives to play games involve gaining security, gaining control or gaining self-esteem and self-justification, psychological theatrics are always ways of fulfilling an (often) unconscious goal.
It’s also important to note that playing games in relationships involves two people, not just one person “victimizing the other.” As they say: it takes two to tango, and games are the result of enabling behaviors just as much as manipulative behaviors.
So resist the urge to victimize yourself or demonize another.
5 Types of Games Played in Relationships
One of the best ways of establishing a healthy and honest relationship is to be mindful of the games people play in relationships. You and your partner – like everyone else – are not exempt from engaging in these forms of emotional gimmickry.
Below I will explore some of the most common psychological games and their dynamics.
1. Frigid Woman/Man
This game often occurs with a woman (sometimes man) who is pursued by her husband for sex, but is rejected on the grounds that “all men ever want is sex – they’re so selfish and they’re incapable of just loving me for me.”
Eventually as the husband (sometimes wife) is rebuffed in this way more and more, he loses hope and stops making sexual advances. As time progresses and the husband remains quiet, the wife becomes more and more provocative in her behavior. For example, she might walk around in skimpy clothing, bend over in suggestible ways, or even (in extreme cases) flirt with other men.
The husband, seeing his wife’s behavior, continues to resist seeing it as a kind of “trap.” However, when the wife turns up her provocativeness and begins to engage in more physical contact (e.g. kisses), the husband regains a glimmer of hope and launches in with hopes of sexual intimacy. However, the wife immediately rebuffs him with her usual “See! Men are so selfish and obsessed with sex. All I wanted was intimacy!” excuse.
Reason for the behavior: Fear of sex, fear of vulnerability, desire for more sexual intensity.
Hidden incentives for the behavior: Avoidance of sex due to shame and fear, enhanced sexual stimulation and intensity, self-esteem justification of “I’m OK, you’re not OK.”
2. If it Weren’t For You (IWFY)
This game starts with a passive person (male or female) selecting a more dominant partner. Naturally, the domineering partner restricts the activities of the passive partner, and so the passive partner resigns to the role of the victim with the catch-cry of“If it weren’t for you I could do this, I could do that” etc.
Reason for the behavior: Unconsciously the passive partner chooses a controlling partner as a way of avoiding frightening situations that may jeopardize their self-image. It also gives the passive partner the “power card” to play in arguments, and contributes towards their belief that “They’re OK, but others are not OK.”
Hidden incentives for the behavior: Avoidance of fearful situations, safety, self-righteous victimhood, power.
3. See What You Made Me Do (SWYMD)
Within a relationship sometimes it is common for one partner to get extremely absorbed in a project of some kind. Whether this project is a simple household chore, hobby, or work-related task, it tends to absorb the partner’s time, energy and effort constantly.
When the other partner intervenes however, the busy partner might exclaim something along the lines of “See what you made me do!” as a result of accidentally deleting their whole work document, dropping a can of paint, injuring their thumb with a hammer mishap, or any other instance. Of course, it is the partner’s own anger and high-strung state that causes the accident.
The intervening partner soon learns, with enough of these instances, to not interfere or interrupt with their busy partner, leaving them alone, and allowing them to spend more time by themselves than with the rest of the family.
Reason for the behavior: Deep down the busy partner is actually fearful of intimacy and connection, and so avoids these compromising situations by burying him/herself in the solitude of work.
Hidden incentives for the behavior: Avoidance of emotional and sexual intimacy, confirmation of the belief that “I’m OK, but others aren’t OK, aren’t reliable, are nuisances” etc.
4. Now I’ve Got You, You Son of a B*tch (NIGYSOB)
In this game, the NIGYSOB player selects a partner who is a classic button-pusher; in other words, a person who knows what negative emotional triggers to set off in others at the right (or wrong) times. Both partners in this game experience hostility towards one another, however the NIGYSOB player externalizes their anger, while the button-pusher internalizes their anger.
The problems usually start when the NIGYSOB partner is in a bad mood about something. The button-pusher partner, known for their ability to provoke “hot buttons,” triggers a tirade of anger in their NIGYSOB partner usually with a poorly timed question or comment.
For example, the NIGYSOB partner might come home after a long day at work in a foul mood. The button-pusher, sensing this, might ask something like, “What have I done wrong now?” which triggers the NIGYSOB partner to launch into a long angry monologue of how the other person is “so self-centered, only cares about themselves, is only really an unthoughtful and egocentric person” etc. In other words, “Now I’ve got you, you son of a b*tch!”
Reason for the behavior: The NIGYSOB partner selects a partner who will allow them to avoid their anger/jealous behavior by providing them with a seemingly legitimate way to vent their rage. They then feel justified for behaving the way they do.
Hidden incentives for the behavior: Avoidance of personal issues such as fury and resentment, self-justification of their inability to control their emotions through the use of an outlet, confirmation of the belief that “I’m OK, but other people aren’t,” avoidance of self-responsibility.
5. I Don’t Need You (IDNY)
The I Don’t Need You game is paradoxical in that it is played inside a relationship, but with the rules of the dating sphere. Usually only played by one “femme fatale” or “player” figure within the relationship, this game involves an underlying tug-of-war game. On one side, the femme fatale or player tugs for power, and on the other side the partner tugs for attention and recognition.
A common example of the IDNY game within relationships is when one partner behaves in ways that suggest “they don’t truly need the other person.” This could manifest itself in individualistic behavior like going to a festival or event alone (or with a group of friends), or openly “wanton” behavior such as flirting with other men and women, advertising their “other” admirers, and so forth.
In response to the IDNY partner’s games, the other partner reacts by trying harder and harder to gain the attention and “win” the affection of their seemingly disinterested partner. When the IDNY partner is not satisfied with their partner’s efforts, they might exclaim, for instance, “I could have gone to that screening rather than sit here with you!” or even something as extreme as “I should have never decided to marry you!”
Reason for the behavior: Underneath the IDNY partner’s game is a deep fear of commitment, intimacy, and especially vulnerability. They might fear their own defectiveness, ugliness and impotence, and therefore compensate this fear with the pursuit of being “desirable” and “sought after” even within relationships. On the other hand, the IDNY partner might genuinely be a narcissistic person with the desire to wrap others around his/her fingers.
Hidden incentives for the behavior: Power, control, avoidance of vulnerability, establishment of false self-image, sexual stimulation.
Why do people play games in relationships? There are many reasons as we have seen above. The truth is that relationships aren’t always entered solely to give and receive love. Often there are many other underlying goals and pursuits in play that are a result of unconscious fears and desires.
The good news is that once you become aware of the patterns that constitute these games you will be able to heal, transform and also create relationships that are healthy, stable and fulfilling.
Have you experienced any of these relationships? Do you have any of your own to add? Please share!
Source: Loner Wolf
It’s okay if you don’t like some people. It’s your right. But, don’t disturb them. It’s their rights.
Image Creator: Thousand Thoughts
There’s a certain type of love we all crave and chase. We want it to be all-consuming. We want to think about our partners all day and night. We want to be love sick to the point of nausea. We’ve seen that type of love on television, and we’ve been moved by songs written about it.
Once we experience love our desire for it only increases. We remember the euphoria of being intimately tied to another human being, and we want to recapture that feeling. It’s difficult to articulate what, exactly, that feels like.
Well, it’s almost as if love is a drug, and you want another hit. That sounds crazy but, believe it or not, there’s science to back it up.
Falling in love stimulates the same part of the brain as an actual drug.
In the moments immediately following the use of an illicit drug like cocaine, the brain’s levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine skyrocket, causing feelings of euphoria. The ‘high’ of the high. Yet it seems that the initial stages of love offer a similar (albeit legal) kind of high.
Helen Fisher, an anthropologist whose work focuses on relationships, hasstudied this phenomenon. Her research has found that, when you fall in love, serotonin lifts your confidence levels, norepinephrine boosts your energy and dopamine enhances feelings of pleasure.
In simpler terms: You feel like you’re on top of the world when you’re falling in love.
In addition to stimulating these brain chemicals, new love also plays tricks on the amygdala, which acts like the brain’s fear center. Think about how stressful those beginning stages of a relationship are — they tap into your deepest insecurities because you can’t really tell if your partner is on the same page.
These stresses stimulate the amygdala, which then signals your adrenal glands to produce adrenaline, making your heart flutter. Noradrenaline makes you sweat. Cortisol sends a wave of excess energy to your muscles. Sounds like the physical reaction to a drug, right?
Some scientists think that love used to be one of the only highs people experienced in ancient times. Only in the modern age have we felt the need for anything else.
Can love actually help manage pain?
Now that we’ve established that love alters the brain like a drug, there’s another question to consider: Does that mean its effects can actually help when you’re in pain?
The hypothesis was there for researchers Arthur Aron, PhD, and Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, of SUNY Stonybrook. They hypothesized that since the brain’s reward system is critical in pain management, and love targets that reward system, it must have an overall impact.
They tested this hypothesis by having volunteers undergo MRI scans while they were experiencing pain. When patients were holding pictures of their loved ones dopamine spiked in their brains. The reward center took over and reduced their pain, the brain scans suggested.
But if love can help manage pain, does that mean it can also cause pain?
Recovering after a breakup is like detoxing after drug use.
We’ve all been through a terribly painful breakup. Can’t breathe, can’t sleep, can’t eat — it’s one of the worst kinds of pain. You start jonesing for your ex the same way you jones for coffee at 3pm.
That’s because you haven’t just broken up with someone; you are literally detoxing from the feeling of being in love.
Fisher has also studied the effects breakups have on the brain through experiments in which she recruited college-aged men and women who were reeling from the recent end to their relationships. When the participants looked at photos of their exes, the parts of their brains that lit up in scans were associated with physical pain, distress and attachment. Those are the same areas of the brain that are stimulated by drug dependency.
And, just like someone suffering from drug addiction, people who are suffering through a breakup are prone to obsessions and reality distortions.
This revelation seems to prove that going “cold turkey” to quit your ex is the best strategy. That means no emails, texts or phone calls.
Love may be intoxicating at first, but when it turns sour, it can get just as dangerous and insidious as cocaine. Think about that the next time you flirt with the person next to you at the bar and you feel yourself falling.
Author: Blair Thill
Source: Elite Daily
I have to say, Generation-Y has a sh*tty way of dating. People have become accustomed to being in constant communication with their significant others, and that has made some of us a tad bit obsessive.
It’s okay to be obsessed with your significant other, but it’s not okay to be a clinger. Being a clinger is a bad position to be in because it can cause major problems for your love life.
Being a clinger is becoming a social norm in today’s society because of the ease at which technology has allowed us to constantly know what someone is doing, reading, eating, listening to, etc. Here are three ways to know if you’re the clinger in your relationship:
1. Your Phone
Relationships are taking a toll on us when it comes to our beloved cell phones. Your phone has literally everything you need, but with that comes the start of the addiction to your SO.
If you catch yourself doing things like this, you’re a clinger:
1. You Have His Or Her Photo As Your Background.
This could be cute if you’re in a long-distance relationship, but if it’s a picture solely of your SO, whom you see every other day, you have reached clinger status.
2. You’re Constantly Checking Your Phone To See If Your SO Has Read Or Responded To Your Text.
I’m guilty when it comes to this one. If I’m saying something important, I want fast replies.
I get very impatient while waiting for a response. I guess I can be a clinger at time.
3. You Check To See When Your SO Was Last On His Or Her Social Media Accounts.
You go through the “following” tab on Instagram to see if he or she has liked any pictures. You see when he or she last favorited, retweeted or tweeted anything on Twitter. You go through your stories to see if he or she viewed it or posted anything.
Basically, you do anything to make sure he or she hasn’t done something on social media before he or she responded to you.
2. Your Texts
Texting is a blessing and a curse. If you catch yourself doing things like this, you’re a clinger:
1. If You’re SO Doesn’t Respond, You Try Other Platforms.
You Snapchat, Facebook message or slide into your SO’s DMs. This can be annoying if your SO is actually busy, and it can make for an interesting argument when he or she sees the notifications.
2. You Always Text First.
Yes, guys, some girls do text first all the time. If you can go almost an entire day without hearing from your SO because you didn’t text first, there’s a chance you are clingy.
There is nothing wrong with going hours without talking to your SO. I promise.
3. If Your SO Doesn’t Respond, You Send A Short Novel Explaining Why He Or She Should Respond, Or You Guess As To Why He Or She Hasn’t Responded.
I have also been guilty of this one, but only if it’s in regard to something important. But if you asked, “What’s up?” and sent an intro, body and conclusion before your SO could tell you he or she was in the shower, you have reached a whole new level of clingy.
3. Your In-Person Interactions
It’s easy to get wrapped up in your SO when you’re together. But sometimes, being so invested isn’t a good thing. If you catch yourself doing things like this, you’re a clinger:
1. When You’re In Public, You Can’t Be Away From Your SO.
If you’re at a social gathering and you can’t let him or her go to the bathroom without you standing by the door, you aren’t doing any good for your relationship.
2. You Check In At His Or Her Go-To Spots.
You just so happened to stop at his or her favorite restaurant at lunch to make sure he or she wasn’t with anyone or ignoring you.
I admit that being in a relationship with Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook all available to you at all times of the day can add a little stress to your daily routine, especially now that cheating is such a common trend. But, being clingy isn’t the answer.
If you’ve realized you’re guilty of a few of these things, take a deep breath. Being a clinger isn’t entirely terrible.
Just take a chill pill, and let your SO live without you all up in his or her grill 24/7. It will be okay. I promise.
Author: Sammy Swift
Source: Elite Daily