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Barbara Buck. He is an addict that has been sober for over 20 years. He told me my refusal to see him almost made him want to use drugs again, and implied it would have been my fault if he did. He was trying to make me feel sorry enough for him that I would acquiesce and agree to another date. Another guy would tell me he was going to pick me up at a certain time, then show up an hour or more late.
Games may have been fun when we were children and still can be as adults but the types of games we play carry immense consequences.
These favorite pastimes can also show a negative face on yourself personally, or the society within which you are operating. Some environments encourage these behaviours whether consciously or not.
12 s someone is playing mind games with you
So WHY do we regularly display these kinds of unproductive behaviours, knowing how detrimental they can be to our well-being? Together, we will examine how our more toxic thought processes and behaviours negatively impact our relationships. Our minds are very cunning. Our minds are never still.
Why do people play mind games in relationships?
Thoughts stream relentlessly through our he. On average we produce 70, thoughts per day, which makes per hour and 50 per minute. This is our monkey mind. Watch your mind closely and notice how much it constantly comments on life. We are telling ourselves stories about reality all the time. We create a storyboard which becomes the backing track to all our life events and activities. Our mind even chatters in the background when we are talking directly to another person. It seems to have a life of its own. Fifty to eighty percent of the day our mind is in this state. Where does it wander off to?
You have an early morning flight to catch for an important job interview programmed for late afternoon. Just a one-hour flight, so plenty of Mind games with people. You check the departures board. Flight canceled. Bad weather at the destination. Where does your mind go? Scenario: We start commenting on the situation in our minds and build some negative stories about the incompetence of the airport services. As we get more upset and impatient we begin to complain out loud to gain support from others around us. That makes us right. We choose to ignore the simple facts and get drawn into our own drama as the story spins further.
I could lose a precious business opportunity because of their incompetency. I want to speak to someone in charge here. Then, to prolong the suffering, we phone a friend or two, and repeat the story, adding a little more spice and indignation each time, feeding Mind games with people their sympathy and confirming that life is just not fair. We are now extremely stressed out.
Constant negative commenting on life rarely gets us anywhere. Have you ever come out of a meeting that went extremely well and noticed how quiet the mind becomes? Of course. It has very little to comment on! Compare that to an unsuccessful meeting. So, can we learn to be aware of our constant commenting? Of course, we can. We can practice transforming our Mind games with people narrative into more neutral, less emotional narratives.
We can remember that it is not the situation which is the problem but the way we think about it. This means seeing people and events as they are, not as we are. It means seeing life without adding any story to it. Have you ever spent a day without entertaining a single negative thought or judgment?
We are judging people and situations all the time. Whenever we meet someone, whether we are aware of it or not, we Mind games with people implicitly and automatically judging them in some way. As Carl Rogers observes:. Our first reaction to most of the statements which we hear from other people is an immediate evaluation, or judgment, rather than an understanding of it.
In milliseconds, and with very little information at our disposition, we decide how we feel about a person or a situation along with a continuum from:. When we judge others, we do not define them, we define ourselves because our judgments actually reveal our own soft-spots, weaknesses and insecurities. There is a very fine line between using good judgment and being judgmental. Negative judgment usually shuts us down and prevents us from understanding the full situation and is usually based on incomplete information.
We think we know a lot more about people than we really do. I use a trick with myself here. This section would not be complete without saying a few words about our biases.
Our speedy classification of people and events is masterminded by our unconscious biases, those prejudices which we have formed over many years of life conditioning and which have been left unquestioned, mainly because they are unconscious. Neuroscience informs us that as human beings we process up to as much as eleven million pieces of information from the world around us at any one time.
This is overwhelming. In fact we can only consciously process forty pieces of this information at any time. The rest gets filed in our unconscious.
These quick judgments then translate into micro-behaviours, the little things we do and say on a daily basis in reaction to life events. These behaviours play an enormous role at home and at work. So often they are unconscious and detrimental. Micro-behaviours come with risks. Whatever impact they have, whether desired or not, the relationship can be negatively affected. The same goes for playing to our favourites. This can alienate and demotivate other team members.
Instinctively we prefer what is familiar and move away from what is different. This choice is often unconscious and comfortable. Now, more than ever, working in global businesses with global clients and multicultural workforce, accepting and leveraging diversity is a skill we need to re-adopt. Another area of our lives that cause us great suffering is our attachment to and defense of our opinions.
We all build our opinions in different ways. We might invest time forming them by reading, researching, debating and reflecting.
Or we might hear something which appeals to us on the media or from friends, and decide to adopt it as our own, not because we have checked its validity, but because it suits our world view. Whatever way we choose to build our opinions, once they are formed we easily become very attached to them. They feed our sense of self, our sense of identity. They are intangible and transitory.
They enter our minds and then exit. And yet we attribute deep existential value to these bundles of thoughts. They become much more that just viewpoints and when they are challenged, then so is our identity. Our minds are very tricky.
We are easily led into unconsciousness. If someone has more, knows more or can do more than us, our egos often feel threatened. To restore this, we need to criticise or belittle the other person to put us back on morally superior ground.