Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Games People Play

I like to play games.  Game games.  Board games like Monopoly, although Monopoly itself I do not really like.  Card games.  Lots of card games.  I have played at least twice:
  • Bid whist
  • Poker (multiple variations)
  • Euchre
  • Gin Rummy
  • 500 Rummy
  • Canasta
  • Spades
  • Hearts
  • Pitch
  • Baccarat
  • (I Declare) War
  • Spider Solitaire
  • Klondike Solitaire
  • Uno
  • Phase IV
  • Sorry Revenge
  • Old Maid
  • Crazy Eights
  • 52 Card Pickup (I was slow to get it)
I play some computer games, like Zuma's Revenge and Freedom Force (the greatest computer game of all time as far as I am concerned).  I like sudoku.  I like game shows and some puzzles.  But there is a set of games that I do not generally play and I am not good at.  The human games.

Since I always felt apart from people, I never learned the social rituals and expectations.  In truth many of them still do not make sense.  So to figure out why other people do what they do, I read a book on a psychological discipline called Transactional Analysis.  The book was titled Games People Play.

It helped me make "sense" of some behaviors that puzzled me.  I put sense in quotes because in my meaning / thinking they still do not make sense, but I understood better why people do them.  The games have very good descriptive names like Why Don't You? Yes, But... and Let's You and Him Fight.  But there were many they did not write about, ones I have seen in relationships, including my own.

One is asking a question for reassurance and not the actual answer.  I would just as soon you say to me "Honey, I am feeling a little insecure about my attractiveness.  Please pay me a compliment" than you ask me "Does my blank look blank in this?"  Fortunately, I think I may have found someone in Kathy who would actually do that, or at least not ask me a question with a loaded answer.

Another I first saw in a movie and only years later did I live it and figure out why it struck a chord with me.  It was in the movie A Star Is Born, the Barbra Streisand version.  Toward the end Barbra's character wanted Kris Kristofferson's character to fight with her to somehow prove that he cared.  In that scenario to her, fighting with her meant that he loved her.

I did not understand it when I saw it, and I only intellectually understand it now.  But that is because of how conflict habituated relationships are bad for me emotionally.  I think fighting is a false indicator of passion, because I know some people who do not really care what they are fighting about; they just like to fight.

So I try to avoid games whenever possible.  The exception is my infrequent trips into deviousness, such as at work, and in deciding whom gets to really know me.  But unlike the other games I play, human games I do not ever hope to be good at.


The Spinners

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