Suppressive Games

This goes along with yesterday’s post as I attempt to document my struggle to create authentic friendship.

Suppression, suppressives and life

I think I have made it clear now in numerous posts that suppression exists all around us. It stems from the dramatizations of a certain type of personality (called a “sociopath” in classic psychology) who finds himself stuck in an ancient and long-gone problem where he was being attacked from all sides. His only solution was to lie, cheat and steal in order to survive. And though the attackers disappeared long ago, he is stuck in that moment, in that problem, and he still thinks that behaving like a “criminal” is his only survival option.

When a society becomes overrun with such people, more and more of us will be confronted with invitations to become like them, rather than to act as honest sovereign beings. In short, we are invited to play suppressive games.

Life is full of games to play. In theory, each of us decides about which games to join and which to reject. But as criminality becomes more “popular” in society, more and more people begin to feel as though they have no choice but to participate in games that they really don’t feel very comfortable with. And in this way, the criminals can drag a whole society down closer to their level, a level very near total insanity. It is a level that some of us call “slavery.”

What a suppressive game looks like

There are many games we play that treat some players as less than sovereign individuals. This includes a wide range of activities from relatively harmless ones to intensely evil ones.

But I can identify at least two common elements that can be used to spot a game that you might want to stay away from.

  1. Those who run the game are not responsible. This can be expressed in many ways. It can be subtle or blatantly insidious. It can make a bit of sense or be obviously crazy. For example, an ice rink might have you sign an agreement that you won’t hold them responsible if you get hurt while skating. Well, that makes some sense. But then if they go ahead and leave the ice surface all messy, or bumpy or cracked then it begins to look like they aren’t willing to do their part to make the rink safe and that maybe they are hoping you will get hurt. In another example, say a region suffers from a disease outbreak. The government wants to do something about it, so it enters into a contract with a drug company to develop a cure. The company then tells the government “we won’t develop this drug for you unless you pass a law protecting us from being sued if anything bad happens.” That begins to look more shady. The company seems to be using the bad luck of a disease outbreak to make a ton of money regardless of whether their product helps or harms.
  2. Those who play the game are the only ones who suffer if something bad happens. Right now we have a situation where extreme losses of liberty are being enforced to keep the population safe from a disease. But who will pay the price for those losses of liberty? We are expected to. The governments were just following “expert advice” in imposing these restrictions. If you choose to disagree with that advice, you will be made wrong for exercising your sovereign choice. You might even get fined or arrested or worse. Wouldn’t it be easier to just get sick?

Criminals work to find ways to make their victims accept crime as something that is just inevitable. Thus, any suffering that results is the victim’s problem.

A much lighter social example

The above discussion is a result of pondering a much lighter game that has long been accepted in society and is, perhaps, the cause of many sad songs about “broken hearts” and so on.

It starts with a problem that most cultures have accepted as just the way things have to be. Both sexes have a desire for sexual intimacy, for “sleeping together” and things like that. From my limited experience, women desire this at least as much if not more than men do. But in most versions of this game, the woman isn’t allowed to say so. She’s not allowed to take responsibility for what she wants and to simply state it as a desire. And so the stage is set for a suppressive game. Maybe it’s not that bad. Most of us learn to live with this. I never did, but I’m strange. We all agree that I’m strange, right?

The way the game works is that women get to use looks, cloths and various behaviors to flirt with guys. They don’t get to say, “I want you, let’s go.” That’s the man’s job. The man is supposed to decide to make an advance that might result in a sexual encounter. If it happens and she gets pregnant, he has to suffer the consequences of his decision. If he falls in love with her, but she walks off with another guy, that’s not her problem because the original decsion wasn’t her responsibility.

Perhaps this arrangement is best. It somewhat compensates for certain other factors that are part of biology and society that make it difficult to say that men and women are on a totally equal footing. Just because I found a few young women who preferred to express their desires to me directly rather than going through all the social ritual does not necessarily condemn this game. But there have been a lot of sad songs and broken hearts created by doing it the other way.

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3 Responses to “Suppressive Games”

  1. Ekaterina Says:

    You write so well.
    Many people just play without properly living

  2. More on Games | The Life Force Blog Says:

    […] And along with that, an article on “Suppressive Games.” […]

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