We all learn to use some patterns in action and conversation, especially if we keep meeting similar people reacting in a similar way to what we do or say. Like we learn to get others’ attention and approval by complaining or by giving presents or by repartee, counting only a few. None of these things is wrong itself, but everything that is used as a pattern is false, is a kind of manipulation, because the purpose of being with others is not true meeting, but winning, getting a reward, confirming own betterness. Behind all the games we play is fear of showing own worseness that we believe in and that we try to hide by all means. No matter how it looks like, it is sign of helplessness, of being prisoned in a schema, of compensating something we can’t bear within ourselves.
Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. — Greg King
Everyone who repeats one scenario all the life becomes a master of it. Every time we join this kind of “conversation”, we must lose, for we don’t even know the rules of the game we join to play. If someone asks you about an advice and you share your ideas, it is a real talk. But if someone plays in “yes, but…”, you may involve all your mind and heart to help them, you may find hundred great solutions, but all you are going to get is “yes, but….” – just because the interaction is not about exchanging anything, it is about proving the master is right and can have the last word, moreover, is able to awake some emotions in you, so can control you.
There is only one way to recognize whether someone is playing or not – listening to our emotions during the talk; every untruth brings on negative emotions that inform us about its presence, regardless it is in others or in ourselves. We feel the negative emotions, but we usually don’t try to understand them, we just follow them, getting irritated, angry, sad, confused, trying to make it not visible – what is impossible and what is the expected reward for the master of the game. If we are able to stay in touch with what we feel and read it, we can recognize the other person’s intention – and name it. This is the last thing the master of the game expects and this is the only way to win with someone who wants to play. We fear to show what we feel, because we believe it makes us vulnerable, so we try to pretend something else, but following our emotions we make them totally recognizable for others who may use them for their purpose. Naming openly our emotions we win on many levels: we surprise the master of the game, because he usually is not prepared for this, we name his intention making him more conscious – we call his truth, create a chance for him to see his pattern, and first of all – everyone can argue with what you think endlessly, but nobody can question what you feel. So, going back to the example of “yes, but…” game, the only way to not lose, staying with negative emotions and to break the game is naming what we feel, like “I have an impression you don’t want any solution from me, do you want to prove you are a victim in this situation that can’t do anything to change it, are you expecting me to pity you?”
Every time we feel someone wants us to feel inferior, stupid, awkward, sad, we can name it – if it is the other person’s intention, he will finally abandon us as a bad stuff for his game, if it is not his intention, he will respond with showing his feelings and real intention, what can illuminate our false assumptions and make us see the worseness in ourselves, not assumed betterness outside. This is the risk we fear the most and this is why we need to practice being an observer of own thoughts and feelings to become self-confident and to do it for Truth, because if we do exactly the same thing of fear, on emotions, from intention to beat, to “pin” the other person, we make it an another game, nothing more, and it is not going to work for anyone. We need to be open to Truth wherever it is, we need to be prepared for saying “my bad” as well.
The key to stop fearing a failure, being beaten by someone, is changing our thinking: as long as we believe that every situation defines us, we are too scared to take a risk; when we believe that everything uncovers something true in us, and we can learn from it and become better, when we believe that nothing can define us without our consent, we become free to test ourselves – but under one condition: if we are able to forget what others will think about us and how they will judge us – how it is going to re-shape our image.
Two things else are worth mentioning here. One is that everyone experiences triggers that awake our negative emotions, and everyone can get blind following them and losing an observer’s point od view – this is not a failure yet, we can learn backward, analysing the trigger and the pattern and creating in the mind our desired reaction; next time when similar situation happens, we will be much more conscious, self-confident and prepared and probably we will react from a different level. The second thing worth mentioning is that we need to remember that it is very hard to say who starts playing – often we are not aware that the way we treat others is like invitation to playing; if we work on being true, on expressing our truth, we meet less and less games on our way, because our attitude doesn’t provoke them at others, and if they start playing and we don’t join them, they simply go away or join us in the Truth.
Expressing who we are means showing what we really think and feel. We are afraid of it, because we are afraid that something in us is wrong, unacceptable, and that we are going to get rejected – so we prefer to pretend who we are not, but who we think others want us to be. If we do it constantly, if others’ opinion is the most important to us, we learn to not listen to what we feel – and finally we stop differentiate what is ours and what is others'; we lose connection with the Self, the identity, the Truth that is a sign to happiness.
We are afraid to express ourselves truly, because we want to be perfect to get others’ Love. It is a false and harmful belief. First, we feel others’ Love the most when they accept our imperfections; second, if others’ Love depends on something in us, it isn’t Love; third, there is nobody and nothing that is able to get 100 % approval, “the perfect” simply doesn’t exist. We can only be perfectly ourselves what brings us inner peace, freedom and joy – the happiness. Yet the way to this state leads through expressing who we are right now, we can’t skip levels and start from where we decide it is right, safe, acceptable. It is like learning a language: you must use it the way you are able to, even if you think it is lame, to get feedback, to improve it, to finally make it a flawless routine. The same way we have to risk to express who we are to see ourselves in the mirrors that other people are for us – to recognize what is true and what is false in our thinking, to get rid of fear, to get self-confident, to regain identity.
Choosing is like entering one of two doors – every choice is followed by its consequences, its future, its version of reality we are creating. Yet what we usually try to do is to eat a cake and to have a cake. It is concerned with everything, also with choosing self-expressing or conforming to others’ expectations. Whatever we choose consistently, leads us to truth and happiness: when we choose conforming, we create increasing inner conflict with our nature, with who we are, with Love in us, what sooner or later is going to make us face the untruth we live in, the misery we get instead of happiness – and change the direction; when we choose self-expressing, we learn, uncover the true Self and feel better and better. However, the most frequent scenario is that we get in touch with the Self, we feel a need to express it – but fear makes us careful and afraid, so we reveal only a piece of it, tailoring the rest to fit in. It is like taking a step forward and then a step back – we are still at the same place, between two doors, trying to eat a cake and have a cake. Some people and circumstances encourage us to be who we are and other ones press us to conform – until we are able to choose self-expressing freely and automatically, we need to learn to choose circumstances that support us, that help us learn.
As we can’t listen to two persons at the same time with full attention, as we can’t be fully aware of our inner voice when we focus on some other voice or voices from outside. To express ourselves truly we need to practice being in touch with our thoughts and feelings as much as possible, we need to forget about others’ approval to not follow its voice unconsciously. We can’t make people change the filters they look through, we can’t directly change the other person at all – but when we focus on identifying with our Truth constantly, others’ false beliefs get questioned automatically, because our Truth always makes ripple effects, awaking Truth in others. Yet not when we try hard to fight with others’ thinking, but when we stop caring of it, when we allow Love to act without controlling it.