Category Relationship

It Takes Two to Play Games

It Takes Two to Play Games

Why Do We Play Games?

Just as we need two people to agree to tango so too it takes two people to subconsciously agree to play the psychological games we all play.

However, they don’t realize how exactly the game is being played, or how it all started, but usually the payoff for both sides is negative and it comes fast.

The whole process of playing games comes from an earlier stage of one’s development during childhood. Most of the time games happen automatically, like a habit that the brain has in creating realities that we believe and live in.

Watching other people’s behaviours in early childhood is the core of the games being played later on...

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Drama-Free Life: Is It Possible?

Drama-Free Life: Don't Make an Elephant Out of a Fly

Life Is Not a TV Drama

Is it possible to live a drama free life? Is it necessary to have drama in our lives in order to feel balanced when it is over? Isn’t it easier to just exclude even the smallest possibility of turning a fly into an elephant? What make us create dramas in our lives when this is the thing we fear and dislike the most?

Look at the games the couples in our stories (The Story of Tamara and Alex, The Story of Vanessa and Mark, Vanessa and Mark (cont), Detecting Games in Relationships, Responding Assertively to Game Playing).

An Exercise

If you want you can challenge yourself: try imagining each game discussed as initiated by anyone, of either sex, and imagine how that game story might play out...

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The Traffic Light for Change

The Traffic Light for ChangeIn all relationships there is only one kind of response to your partner that is acceptable. If the couple are well tuned to themselves and each other this could be happening from the beginning though for many this is a growth thing and doesn’t develop until much later as you come to know each other more.

In the meanwhile, the response each person makes could be narrowed down to one of three.

The first one is to hope that, in response to non-game playing behaviour, the other person will eventually join with their partner on the Winner’s Triangle and there’s no need to do anything except to get on with life and have your deserved “Happy Ever After” become real.

If one person however, is on the Survivor’s Triangle, he or she may try to keep the other person there by constantly chall...

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Getting What You Want from Your Partner

Getting What You Want from Your Partner

Pavlov’s Dogs and Skinner’s Theory of Conditioning

Ivan Pavlov, a Russian Physiologist, and BF Skinner, a US Psychologist, are most well known for their experiments with behaviour in the early 1900s.

You might recall hearing about Pavlov’s behaviour modification experiments with dogs and pairing feeding them meat with a ringing bell. Naturally the dog would begin to salivate at the sight of the meat.

Over time Pavlov proved he could change the dog’s behaviour and could get the dog to salivate on the ringing bell even when there was no meat present.

Then Skinner expanded on this theory it into what’s now called Behaviourism. He showed that all behaviours could be modified and that this is how certain behaviours developed in the first place...

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How to Be Assertive

How to Be Assertive

When in relationship, as in life, our thoughts, feelings and behaviours become habits. Getting what you want could thereby follow those old well-worn habits, sometimes successfully and sometimes not.

If not, you could use this to inspire and even change the way you express your thoughts and feelings.

You can become more assertive by following a formula when expressing what you like and what you want to change, according to who it is being directed at and how it will be received.

How to Be Assertive

Here’s the formula I use and teach my clients:

“I feel…” (Here, simply name the feeling or feelings)

“…when…” (Describe the situation that creates the feeling, but try to neutralize it so it doesn’t sound like blaming...

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Responding Assertively to Game Playing

Responding Assertively to Game Playing

I will illustrate the topic with an example from the story of “Lyn” and “James”.

At one time Lyn decides to take her children on vacation with a girlfriend and her children for a few days. But when Lyn tells James of the plan, he is not OK with it. When she asks why, he just says, “Because I said so.” When she says she is definitely going but would like his consent, he again refuses to give it.

Earlier in their relationship, Lyn would have backed down, but this time she decides to go anyway. James remains angry and revengeful. On Lyn’s return, James refuses to speak to her, and they go to bed in silence. The next morning, Lyn wakes to discover that James is not there. She finds him in the living room with her wallet and a pair of scissors cutting up her credit cards.

She ask...

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Five Ways to Respond to Game Playing

Five Ways to Respond to Game Playing

STOP Goku S.S. vs Majin Bu - Cosplay A house of mirrors in the Czech Republic Mine's bigger than yours

When you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is about to explode then it might be an indicator that you are being invited into a game. It might be something that someone else says or may be conveyed by a gesture, a look on their faces, by touch, or even by a period of silence.

When this happens you have several choices in considering the best response. Here are a few of them:

  • Ignore it. Ignoring a problem or a situation usually doesn’t solve them, but when it comes to games of first degree this might appear to be the wiser reaction one could approach...
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Detecting Games in the Relationship

Detecting Games in the Relationship - The Story of Lyn and JamesThe Story of Lyn and James

“Lyn” and “James” have been married for ten years and have three children. When they first met, Lyn had just left school. James was fifteen years older and had already been in the workforce for some time.

At the time they met Lyn still lived at home, while James had his own place. Lyn looked up to James for support and guidance and he was able to be that at a time when Lyn was still new to adult relationships and adulthood generally.

Lyn was still somewhat naïve, so she allowed James to advise her in exactly how she was to act as his wife and even what she should be like as a person.

Then things changed.

Lyn grew up and started to have opinions of her own. But whenever she attempted to express them they had a disagreement...

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Game Playing and the Winner’s Triangle

The Winner’s Triangle: I am okay

Many people who have played the Survivor’s Triangle games have realized that it usually doesn’t lead to a good outcome. Then comes the need of a positive outcome and you have to figure out how to make it happen.

Approaching the task logically, if you want a positive outcome to a situation you need to be positive yourself.

All could be different depending on which angle you are watching it from. And if the Survivor’s Triangle is viewed from an “I am okay” position, then the whole picture will change and the roles played will change as well to become the higher “self” of that positive interaction – no longer a game of the negative kind.

For example, the higher self of the Aggressor from the Survivor’s Triangle would turn to an Assertive type on the Winner’s Triangle and will...

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Some More Facts about Game Playing

Game Playing and Duality

Here are some little known facts about the games we play with our partners in relationship:

  • Games are not played only between people in a romantic relationship. They can also be played between family members, between work colleagues, between friends and even between “teams” of people.
  • You need two to tango. All players have to be willing to play otherwise there will be no game. And while playing, each participant can and do make conclusions about the game which may have nothing to do with the payoff of the game itself.
  • Games can be played out of fear.
  • Some people are just scared to let other people get close to them simply because they fear the possibility of the other person leaving and the pain of missing them.
  • Some games can be played out in a minute, though the ultimate script ...
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