Thursday, March 19, 2009

The games we play with our words

Have you ever stopped to think about the mind games people play, and why they play them?

I did. And these are some of my thoughts on the subject.

I think playing mind games is a form of OCD... a compulsive need to control other people. Playing mind games is a manipulation tactic. If Person X chooses to play mind games with someone, it's because she wants to manipulate their responses and their reactions to her. She wants the ball to stay in her court all the time. She wants to make the rules. She wants to ensure that the situation goes according to her plans.

Sometimes this manipulation is conscious, but I think a lot of times it's just a subconscious habit, a way of doing things that we've had ingrained in us from a very young age. We see it everywhere we look. Parents do it to their children, couples do it to each other, the media (in all its various forms) does it to society... we are all guilty of it at some point in our lives... doing or saying something with the express goal of eliciting a certain response.

What I am aiming for in my life right now is the opposite of this manipulation. It's honesty.

See, honesty puts the ball in your court. It lets you as an individual decide how to react to what I lay out as truth or fact. It does so without emotional hang-ups and without any particular desired response. And it is, honestly, a remarkably difficult thing to accomplish.

See, at least for me, whenever I interact with someone, I have an automatic 'desired response.' There is a certain way I want people to react to what I say or do. And it's tough to push that desired response aside and get into the mindset that it doesn't matter what reaction I get, as long as the truth is being told. But sometimes it's hard to be truthful in a society that doesn't really respect the truth.

And truth... one of the words that I will soon have tattooed permanently into my skin... truth, in it's truest form, isn't easy to come by. It tends to be tainted. We're not used to telling it, and so we're not used to hearing it. It's so easy to embellish or sugar-coat the truth... but is it really the truth after all that?

How long are we as a society going to be okay with living in lies?

I tell the people close to me in my life that the best way to hurt me or insult me is to lie to me. If you have something negative to say, it's like ripping off the proverbial band-aid. Say it honestly, brutally honestly, if you must, and let me deal with the pain and get over it. If you just keep covering up everything with band-aids, there are going to be a lot more to pull off eventually, and the pain is going to be prolonged unnecessarily.

Yeah, the truth can hurt. A lot. But if you ask anyone who's been chronically lied to, they'll probably tell you... lies hurt a lot more.

Maybe Mom was right. Maybe honesty really IS the best policy.

1 comment:

Melyssa said...

I continue to be amazed by your ability to express yourself at the deepest level. You're so in touch with the root of things. I wish I knew a better way to put it. I know I'm a very recent addition to your following but your writing really speaks to me and makes me think. I wish I could write this way!! Thanks - the more time I spend on your site the more and more I adore you. When you truly had me at hello! :)