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
As a Pisces, I can tell you pretty confidently that we’re a pretty tough group to read.
Don’t get your panties in a bunch, though — I love myself and all my fellow Piscean friends, but you have to admit, you either have no idea what’s going on in your Pisces-friend’s head, or you are the Pisces who constantly feels misunderstood.
Well, I have good news!
You’re not alone, and you can thank your sun sign for all that confusion.
Here are 10 reasons why no one understands a Pisces, and why that is totally okay:
1. Pisces is the 12th sign of the zodiac.
Being that Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac, those born under this sign have a mix of characteristics from all the eleven preceding signs.
This means that Pisces are somewhat at a constant battle in choosing how to feel and that non-Pisces have an extra hard time figuring out how one feels.
Pisces are pretty indecisive, even with the silliest of decisions. However, they are also very open-minded. A Pisces is the friend who always says yes, even if it means he or she has to cancel later (guilty).
This battle of characteristics force Pisces to think before feeling. Yes, Pisces can be quite impulsive, but they think before they act first even if it doesn’t seem so.
Being this way means they are always willing to try new things at least once.
2. Pisces are always seeking new experiences.
Pisces are constantly looking for new things, but don’t let this offend you; they are most happy when they have someone along side them, experiencing these new things as well.
A Pisces would most successfully be in a relationship with someone who is just as stir crazy and up for anything.
If a Pisces feels trapped, he or she will most likely revert to his or her impulsive side and jump at the first opportunity for change.
3. They are compassionate and charitable.
Did anyone else cry while watching the new GE commercial? I did.
It can seem like a Pisces’ compassion even for strangers is a little over the top, especially in this world. But, it really is a good thing and it’s totally genuine. When you need someone to be compassionate with you, you’ve got it.
4. They have trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy.
Pisces are, at heart, dreamers. Jupiter and Neptune, the latter of which represents illusions, rule them.
Pisces shift from goal to goal and sometimes, those goals may seem impossible. To a Pisces though, the goals are as close to reality as it gets. Silly fishes.
5. Empathy rules.
Pisces are extremely empathetic. Sometimes, they place another’s emotions over their own, and this can be chaotic because they are then left to fester in their own ignored emotions.
This is also great because if you ever need a shoulder to cry on or genuine advice, a Pisces will selflessly give it.
6. They can only think straight when they’re alone.
Locking yourself in your room for an hour usually means something is wrong, right? Not necessarily for Pisces. If they are socializing 24/7, they are probably on autopilot.
A Pisces needs to take time to him or herself to gather thoughts and feel productive.
7. They are inherently introverted.
This basically means that they are always trying to surround themselves with new people, but they don’t know when those people switch from new people to actual friends.
A Pisces finds it difficult to be his or her full self around people to whom he or she doesn’t feel close.
This can come off as fake or closed off, but in reality, it is most attributed to a Pisces’ innate curiosity about other people’s lives and stories. Excuse Pisces and their many questions.
8. They accept literally everyone.
This has gotten me, personally, in a bit of trouble. A Pisces assumes the best in all people. In fact, it was probably a Pisces who coined, “innocent until proven guilty.”
A Pisces-hosted party is an interesting sight — people of all walks of life are welcome, as far as a Pisces is concerned.
9. They’re a little oversensitive.
And by a little, I mean a lot. Words cut deep with Pisces, so this might be why your Piscean friend hasn’t been as chatty lately.
Be careful with your words and be honest with how you feel because Pisces are also sensitive to others’ emotions. If you’re feeling stressed, a Pisces can feel it. Trust me.
10. They need role models.
… And they look for it in everyone. If you feel like a Pisces looks up to you, it’s probably because one does.
Without a role model, a Pisces feels lost and usually can’t decide what his or her next goal or step should be.
Author: Ilia Jones
In this post I have tried to present 10 of my all time favourite quotes by “Rumi” from every walk of life<3
1. “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
2. “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.”
3. “You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”
4. “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
5. “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”
6. “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
7. “The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.”
8. “silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.”
9. “Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
10. “Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”
Which one is your favourite? Share in the comments. 🙂 ♥
“Eleven Hints for Life”
1. It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return.
But what is more painful is to love someone and never
find the courage to let that person know how you feel.
2. A sad thing in life is when you meet someone who
means a lot to you, only to find out in the end that it was
never meant to be and you just have to let go.
3. The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a
porch swing with, never say a word, and then walk away
feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had.
4. It’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose
it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been
missing until it arrives.
5. It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an
hour to like someone, and a day to love someone-but it
takes a lifetime to forget someone.
6. Don’t go for looks, they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth,
even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you
smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day
7. Dream what you want to dream, go where you want to go,
be what you want to be. Because you have only one life and
one chance to do all the things you want to do.
8. Always put yourself in the other’s shoes. If you feel that it
hurts you, it probably hurts the person too.
9. A careless word may kindle strife. A cruel word may wreck
a life. A timely word may level stress. But a loving word may
heal and bless.
10. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best
of everything they just make the most of everything that comes
along their way.
11. Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, ends with
a tear. When you were born, you were crying and everyone
around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die,
you’re the one smiling and everyone around you is crying.
Music, movies, friends and fairy tales teach us how to love but they don’t teach us what not to do and where it can go wrong. Will you accept any suggestion without asking a single question about it? Don’t you argue to a statement said by a friend or a teacher or anyone who you think is trying to advice you?
Then how can you accept such lessons without questioning , this can be dangerous to the health of your relationships. Here are five myths that can kill any love relationship.
You’ll be wise to avoid them.
- Love is enough.
- There is nothing to learn.
- If you love me, you’ll _______.
- My mate will change.
- I’ll do my half.
- Love is enough.
This is a lie. Love alone is not enough to hold you together. There must be communication, a sense of togetherness and understanding each other is an important part of any relationship. Life brings with it challenges. There comes a point when you now have to find out how to share the same house, the same room, the same bed, and the same money you have.
This will be no longer a dating scene as it used to be, you now have new friends, relatives, and strangers to deal with. Those charming things you like about each other are now with you all the time. Closeness brings intimacy but it also brings a need to change and adapt. Change is difficult. You can tolerate so much of change that won’t affect you.
In fact, studies show that living together before marriage is an indicator for a higher chance of divorce. Even though you can’t avoid problems, you can prevent their damage. What you can do is to create a safe environment at home where you can talk with each other, get some time to communicate with each other. When you can talk without fear of criticism, anger, or any other lack of support, you can talk about anything. Problems can only be solved when you can talk as true partners, without any fear of one denying other.
- There is nothing to learn
Since love is not enough and you were probably not taught neither you were keen to learn how to communicate and solve problems, it’s time to learn. Even couples who have come from the best of homes probably never saw their parents solve problems. What they often get to see is a conflict in place every third day and then none of them talking to one another till the weekend. Parents rarely are able to teach their children the skills for handling difficult times and the skills for keeping love alive.
As your relation celebrates more days adding into it making it closer to one more anniversary, romance takes a backseat. Romance often get reduced gradually with the time, there can be many reasons for the same. As you grow through life, you will change. Your partner will change. Your relationship will change. If you stay open to accepting change, you can grow from it rather than resisting it.
Learning who you are and who your partner is can be a wonderful experience. Just remember that it doesn’t stop when you think you have learned everything from the past. You have the present and the future to look forward to.
- If you love me, you’ll _______.
Fill in the blank with what comes to mind.
Some popular ones are: …you’ll change, know what I need, do what I want, give in, and just trust me. This statement makes love conditional upon the other person doing what you ask as a proof of their love. Such expectation of conditional love is dangerous. There is a dark translation to this type of expectation. What you are saying, in effect is, “I don’t trust your love so you better prove it to me now.”, or “I don’t care enough about you to consider your feelings, wants, and needs. What I want is more important.”
This type of statement can be a warning sign. Demand and conditional love usually say more about the person making the statement than about the recipient. It speaks to an unreasonable expectation that may be motivated by a lack of care about the partner or by a personal lack of self-esteem. Expectations of “knowing what I need” demand that your partner have the ability to mind read. I noticed it many times that your girl will not ask for what she need, thinking as if you know her demands. You are in a relationship doesn’t mean that you know everything about your partner. You are not a mind reader I believe!!! They must tell what they need and what they don’t.
The only way your partner can know what you need, want, feel, or think is your telling them. Good communication is a powerful tool for understanding. On the other hand, it is not unreasonable to have expectations of your partner in the relationship. How you voice them is important.
- My mate will change.
Yes, they will and you have no control. The people who expect there mate to change in the way they want are the ones who gets disappointed. The only person you can ever change is yourself. This can be a relationship killing expectation, as no one changes for anybody and no one actually should change for any person except himself/herself. In many cases, they expect there partner to change for example If he is a foodie and you cannot expect him to be on diet as soon as he marries you !!!
Such demands are unreasonable, unwelcome, and unlikely to succeed.
People change because they want to not because you want them to. And all people change and grow as they age. But people rarely change for the better when they are under pressure from someone else…even a loved one.
The strongest relationships are founded on the commitment of two strong individuals who bring themselves to the relationship. It means compromise, growth and change but it does not mean giving in to the unreasonable demands of another. The article, Change and Grow has some further insights on this subject.
- I’ll do my half.
It’s about compromising several times; you compromise because you love your partner. There is no such thing as a truly successful long term marriage where each partner gives only their half (50%). The only truth is that our expectations for a fairy tale marriage lead us down the road to disappointment, disillusionment, and divorce.
“I’ve had it. You’re selfish. If you really loved me, you’d understand what I need. I’ve been giving and giving and I get nothing in return. You don’t give me what I want anymore. Maybe we should get divorced.” This conversation or others like it is held are more common in relationships these days. Being in a relationship is not that easy and magical as they show us on television or movies. It takes lot of efforts; it’s about keeping aside your ego. Sometimes you have to fight with your own-self. Relationships can provide you immense pleasure and strength but when it comes to hardships this can let you experience the worst.
The truth will help you create your role in a positive lifetime marriage. The Truth: Men and women are not equal. Thank God. We are different as individuals and, in that difference, lies part of the answer to a happy marriage. What we choose to do with those differences determines, perhaps more than love, what our relationship will look like. And it’s not a fifty-fifty deal. A truly happy and lifetime marriage relationship is a seventy five: seventy five proposition (75:75) and all marriages will have problems at some time. It’s inevitable. Differences and intimacy are a recipe for conflict.
By giving more than half, with the faith that you are both committed to the same marriage team and by communicating for understanding, with the goal of a winning marriage, you can overcome the inevitable problems of creating a happy married life. You can prosper and be happy when you each give seventy five percent to your marriage.
When you know that your partner is contributing more than their fair share, it’s easier for you to do the same. Even though the fairy tales aren’t always right, there can be a happy ending; a happy married life for those of you who commit to giving more to your marriage. When you communicate for understanding, and make your relationship a priority, you do have a chance of succeeding where so many other millions have failed. Yes, it takes work.