Tag Archives: game

Reading Out Loud

Reading Out Loud

In fifth grade we would play a game called “popcorn” where the students would take turns reading out loud and when that student had read enough they would yell out “Popcorn!” and the name of another student, who would start reading where the previous student left off.  The process would repeat until the entire section was complete or the teacher got tired of hearing the word “Popcorn!” yelled in as many different ways as the class could come up with.

Once the “cool” kids (who were really just bullies) got a hold of the popcorn torch, I pretty much lost all chance of getting to read out loud.  One day my eagerness to read out loud caught up with me.  I couldn’t contain my excitement for the story and was reading silently along, eager to see how the story would unfold, when I started whispering the words only loud enough for me to hear.  Unfortunately I was so lost in reading that I started reading out loud along with the “cool kid”.  The girl looked up at me, confused.  She and I made eye contact; I shrugged my shoulders as if to say “opps” and blushed as she continued to read.  Luckily, no one else seemed to notice.  The awkwardness only lasted a second because I once again found myself engulfed in the story.

On Social Games

On Social Games

The most recent situation I’ve encountered is the “if you don’t agree with me, I’ll pick on you” game.  At certain pivotal points people when speaking need to be listened to AND agreed with.  If for some reason you don’t agree and you state your opinion, even in a passive “oh by the way” easy-going manner, you’ll see the split-second glare, probably followed by a few word stumbles while they take what you said into consideration and finish the conversation as if nothing really bothered them.  Then…wait for it….wait for it….wait for it…. once the topic changes suddenly the next most interesting topic is criticizing something personal about you.  This will definitely make me avoid someone for a while.

The next one is what I like to call the “set you up to put you down” game.  This one I walk into all the time.  It just works so well on me.  Pick a topic that you know we both disagree on, bring it up by inquiring about how I recently responded less emotionally supportive than you think I should have.  I will defend my reasoning on the matter to show that I meant no ill harm, “the situation has nothing to do with me so it is reasonable for me not to get involved”.  Then respond to me with something like, “well, I don’t think you’re always rational”.  And I didn’t think it was necessary to bring up the topic.

Doubts

Doubts

Doubts.  I don’t know where they come from but I would love to be able to ignore them and continue on as if I didn’t have these lingering thoughts flashing through my mind at oh so specific times. The fact of the matter is that they are there and keep reoccurring.

So what am I going to do about it? I don’t really know. Doubt, to an extent, is inevitable because it serves to sober you from some sort of ecstasy by lifting you way up in the sky where you think can see clearly all the players in the game and pass judgment outside yourself. In this it is deceiving. Doubt is an emotion, so by using one emotion to view others, you’re essentially still acting emotionally. No one emotion has all the answers, yet in our craving of one, we must encounter the others. This check-and-balance system, which I am assuming I learned from somewhere, needs to be monitored even for the dry emotions because I need to figure out what blanks they are filling in.

Not Being Spoken For

Not Being Spoken For

Every once in a while I run across a guy who thinks that just because I make some sort of witty comment back at him that I am flirting, or that I am playing some sort of word/communication this-means-I-like-you game. Without knowing my personality, they must assume that I reserve this behavior to someone I am interested in. In this situation (lately it happen to be sailing class where I was stuck on the boat with this guy for 6 hours three Saturdays in a row) no matter what I did I couldn’t escape the guy. If I commented back, he would make it into a bigger scene for the rest of the classmates to witness and if I remained silent I still heard my name being annoyingly tossed around. Even after I declined his drink offer, nothing changed. I can only attribute this behavior towards me to my singleness, because he wasn’t harassing the married girl on the boat. But maybe if her husband wasn’t there he’d’ve harassed her as well.

The Abuse of Power

The Abuse of Power

I’ve been noticing the influence of power in life, more importantly the abuse of power. The easiest example is always my boss, who can give me unwarranted shit since she is in the position to do so. Power abusers don’t realize that it is actually more difficult for others to judge if the criticism is an authentic critique of a specific situation or if someone is using the situation to show their power. Because most situations fall on a foggy line between the two, the recipient of the abuse- once aware of what is actually going on- cannot tell what the real problem is. So a cycle starts where the abusee ends up doing all these things at the request of the abuser, but never does it right because the abuser forgets (or even worse changes their mind without disclosure) what they instructed the abusee to do. The abusee can never explain the correct side of the story because abusers see their own power as a right to construct reality- as they see fit- for those which they have power over.

Sadly, it can take a long time to see comedy in all the ways which I have been tossed around at somelse’s whim. I’ve learned that once I laugh over a situation, I am more able to rationally deal it with and therefore end up relaxing because I start to express less defensive emotions in future encounters. From there I can see how the content is not worth reacting to because each situation is just a drug people can chose to feed off to get their power abusing fix. At the point it is just a game where I am a player capable of choosing not to play.

Getting Mad at People

Getting Mad at People

Thinking back, the effect of getting angry at people (aside from family members, we have no choice but to work it out) was a sure fire way of putting the breaks on the relationship (though I didn’t really notice this in the moment, it has a few times been the outcome). In the past I was naturally getting mad at things that annoy me, then getting even more pissed off when told that I don’t have to feel that way about the topic…. then getting even more pissed off at the defense of “If you just change how you think about it then you won’t get mad.” There just came a point where I was just masking my anger for the sake of a smooth ride, but I was still mad, I just was trying not to be. Clear sign of an unhealthy relationship. I should always be free to express myself, what makes me mad is part of what makes me. My personality is respectful of not doing things to other people that (in my shoes) would piss me off… so to get frustrated with me for getting mad and not getting frustrated for going out of my way not to piss you off, doesn’t make any sense, they are two expressions of the same internal value.

An annoying thing about rightfully being angry at people is that for the most part they’re trying to explain why I shouldn’t be mad and what I can do differently to not let this situation bother me. I don’t get mad at people often…..so if I am already mad because of some repetitive behavior on their part…. of course I’m going to be more pissed off when you’re asking me not to be mad so you can continue to do whatever you want that affects me.

Since it is rare that I use outright anger to gain power over the situation, when I do use this tactic, it is because of a major problem, here is the deal: you don’t do it, and I won’t be mad. If you make it a game to piss me off because you know what pisses me off…. that’s when the phone stops ringing.

Bipolar Behavior

Bipolar Behavior

The most annoying aspect of an over expression of annoyance or anger is the transition by way of guilt . How one passes from positive to negative emotions I think plays an important part in their behavior towards other people. If I were to get into a positive mood by relaxing, reading, playing golf, etc. and completely moving into a positive mood unrelated to the negative state of mind then the forthcoming actions, when presented with that negative situation, is different than if I convinced myself that I have gone too far and used that realization to further “make up” for my previous over expression of emotion. Thus being able to be overly nice later is not honest because it would not have happened had I not been in a bad mood yesterday. Some people just need to be bitches in order to get to that super nice state of mind they probably wish they could always be in.

In reality, it is best to simply own your bad mood, possibly admit to those who took the brunt of it that you were wrong to get that heated or at least, completely address it to yourself so you can better understand yourself. Then, and this is key, return to homeostasis! Don’t go on a super overly nice spree because it is way, way obvious that your doing it because of yesterday’s behavior and just don’t want to address it by admitting you read way too far into the email for some stupid, emotionally reactive ego protecting reason. Beyond that, you’ll burn yourself out because most probably the people you are now trying really hard to be overly nice to, probably don’t deserve THAT much niceness. Knowing this, you will eventually get bitter and play the game called “Look at how nice I’ve been to you” and end up getting really, really pissed off at nothing once the wick of your Nice candle gets blow out by some common minor annoyance, which, had you been maintaining homeostasis, would have hardly been noticeable.

Liking Myself in Someone Else’s Eyes

Liking Myself in Someone Else’s Eyes

I think a major factor in determining if I am enjoying the people I am with in the moment (any moment) is the image of myself that the other person expresses back to me. Sure I can read their facial expressions, get feedback about how they interpret what I am communicating to them, or even see whether or not they personally like me, but regardless there are those comments, gestures, glances, etc. that paint an underlying picture in my mind of how they view me. When that matches my own idea of how I’d like people to view me then, well, the other person gets me! hooray!

Okay so, on the flip side, (this is the story that got me thinking this), I made a series of comments (2 or 3 maybe over a few days) to a friend of mine way back when and in my mind it was a sarcastic joke in lieu of something better to say, maybe not the best choice, I admit, but I could tell the person wasn’t comfortable being viewed as my comments suggested. I would think the other person would be thinking, “shit, I don’t want her to think that way about me. Game over.”

I just want to know why I act the way I do, or at least, to enjoy thinking about it.