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Thursday, March 1, 2012

More Playing the Family Game

Dear A. B.

I keep reading your reply and know it's very rich.  Meaning is escaping me though. I'm trying hard to grasp it.  I know you are on to something big!

So, if I am playing a game, and my sisters are playing a game. What would the conversation have looked like if "love" had guided it, rather than game playing?  It's embarrassing that I don't seem to know what love is, or what love looks like!  I thought I was a loving person, but perhaps I am not. 

Also...I know you refer to "winning" fairly often in your writings, as in, "All you did here was win..."  I think sometimes I am confused by the way you use "win."

I read the Parodoxical Commandments.  They are amazing!  I have been on the receiving end many times of the first one... from you !

"People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway"

Thanks, AB!


Dear G.

Okay, I’ll try to be more specific. Start with:

She screamed, "You DO NOT have a $426,000 house! You paid $426,000 for it, but you knew you paid too much for it when you bought it."    "A house is worth what ever someone will pay for it," she sternly added.   

If you are in a family that wants to play the competitive game, the only way to interact with them is to play the game with them. But you can play the game to lose and it is much more interesting and you tend to take it less personally and can therefore feel more loving toward the family member who is fighting all by herself. You no longer feel like the target because you don’t think of her barbs as arrows, more like fun. This is playing the game where you are diffusing the aggressor, and when the arms stop punching, maybe you can move closer.

Possible answers:

Hang your head and say “I’m so ashamed, I shouldn’t have said it was more than it was worth. I was just trying to impress you."

Nasty comment by sister.

"I just want you make you proud of me."

Nasty comment by sister

"Well, I’ll keep trying to do better and then maybe you’ll love me."

If she takes you seriously she may wake up and feel bad for you. If she is still into winning and goes on to berate you. Let her berate you as long as she wants and answer her always in the one-down position until she runs out of steam. 

I used to do this with one of my relatives. She would get so ridiculous sometimes but I never tried to best her. After a while I really enjoyed what, at one time, was very painful for me because I ceased to take her comments as an attack. I began to think they were funny, then sad, and then my relative came down with dementia and isn’t that how these things tend to end. Why not love each other all along, nasty or demented.

You have to be careful playing this game because you can really get insulting if your one-down comments are coming from fear rather than love and the can end up as obvious sarcasm which would be really devastating a person you would rather love than beat at their own game.

And all along you will be facing your own demons of wanting revenge, or power or respect and will have to simply recognize your own flaws or they will corrupt your efforts to be close, and instead you will get very good at sarcasm.

 You don’t want to end up “winning” by “losing” because your real goal is to be close. The thing about sarcasm is that unlike outright insults there’s really no way to counter it except to call the person on “being sarcastic.” Sarcasm usually wins unless the person is smart enough to say, "well you’re just being sarcastic but that’s doesn’t mean I’m wrong," and then the argument can continue. 

One other warning. You may find playing the one-down position very painful at first. This pain is your repressed fear, and playing this game is one way you can get in touch with your own repressed fear. Just recognize it, and let it waft through you and the fear will finish itself. Love is your experience of yourself without so much repressed fear covering it over.

 A. B.

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