The Games We Play
“Your greatest power in seduction is your ability to turn away, to make others come after you, delaying their satisfaction. Most people miscalculate and surrender too soon, worried that the other person will lose interest, or that giving the other what he or she wants will grant the giver a kind of power. The truth is the opposite: once you satisfy someone, you no longer have the initiative, and you open yourself to the possibility that he or she will lose interest at the slightest whim. Remember, vanity is critical in love. Make your targets afraid that you are withdrawing, that you may not really be interested, and you arouse their innate insecurity, their fear that as you have gotten to know them have become less exciting to you. These insecurities are devastating. Then, once you have made them uncertain of you and themselves, reignite their hope, making them feel desired again. Hot and cold, hot and cold—such coquetry is perversely pleasurable, heightening interest and keeping the initiative on your side. Never be put off by your target’s anger; it is a true sign of enslavement.”
—The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene
Sasha bought the Art of Seduction in her late teens and totally engulfed herself in the idea of becoming the ultimate seductress. You see, in college, it was more than fun toying with men. Playing hot and cold, initiating well thought out game plans for any guy that she met. She had a talent for unearthing a man’s truest desires and fulfilling them only when she wanted to. She thought she had everything figured out then she met the one guy who completely broke her.
During Sasha’s first class of the new semester, she searched for a seat and discovered only one available. It happened to be directly next to a mysterious boy with the most beautiful green eyes. “Hi, I’m Charlie,” he said quietly. He turned towards Sasha and smiled, as he did her eyes widened, pupils dilated, the instant connection was maddening. Suddenly all of the laws she had vigorously studied didn’t seem as important. Sasha didn’t feel the need play with Charlie, as she was authentically interested in getting to know him, and she wanted him to know the real her.
Let’s be completely honest. We have all played games with someone at some point. It may have even been slightly fun, a little pleasing. There are plenty of books and articles that will teach you how to effectively play the game. For example, Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov provides advice about when a man asks to have his laundry washed. If I remember correctly she says to wash his clothes and throw a pink sock in, therefore dying his entire wardrobe pink. Then he wouldn’t dare ask to have his clothes washed again. Although the naughty side of me finds this hilarious, the more reasonable me begs to question why we shouldn’t just communicate about our thoughts and feelings. How hard would it have been just to say no, instead of ruining his clothes? Why are we spending all of our time, money, and effort learning how to play the game instead of learning how to be more authentic? Why is it easier to create a persona, then it is just to be yourself?
This quote by Sabrina Harris explains it all, “I am afraid to show you who I really am, because if I show you who I really am, you might not like it – and that’s all I got.” Being yourself and allowing another to see fully you can be a frightening process. Instead of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, we do the opposite and resort to trickery and manipulation. In the past, I would have totally agreed with Robert Greene and Sherry Argov. Now I question them, and ask if building a relationship off of inauthenticity is a good idea? The beginning of the relationship sets the precedent for the long haul. You can only hide parts of yourself for so long before the real you emerges, and no game can help you then. Why begin something so beautiful with white lies and deceit? If a lover doesn’t like you anymore because you like talking to them, then screw it!! Move onto someone who will appreciate the beauty of your soul.
I’ve thought about attempting to talk you out of playing games while dating, but I know now that is probably extremely unrealistic. Instead, I’d like to ask you a few questions:
• Are you a game player, and if so why?
• What emotions or feelings are these games covering up?
• Do you have true feelings towards the person you are playing, or is s/he just someone to keep you busy?
• How much energy are your pouring into consistently playing mind games? Is it worth it?
• What would happen if you showed him/her your true self?
P.S. Had way too much fun writing this one :)
Relationship Coach, and Master Healer of the Mind, Body, and Spirit.