Sex Education: Playing with Players
29th December, 2008
If you are under the influence of emotional turmoil, you may not necessarily recognise the signs of the games that people play.
After being hounded, pounded, humped and dumped by a guy (or girl) who has stripped you bare, opened you up and left you high and dry, you may feel as though you have no choice but to feel the pain, the rejection and the eventual betrayal. You may feel paralysed and unable to see what other options are available to you. You may feel tied down or blocked from any possible future happiness. Life seems not worth living and you feel unworthy of ever being loved again.
While you might have to cope with those horrible of all emotions I’ll ask you to take a moment, to stop reading this and to look around you. If you are at your pc, take a quick peek at the many video channels available to view. The internet has opened up a wide variety of lives to the individual who chooses to lock themselves away in the confines of their own four walls – safely hidden away from the challenges that life presents.
At times, trying to second-guess anyone’s intentions through their behaviour, their actions or their words can become a rather perplexing business. It’s rather like watching a movie and wanting to skip to the end before the introductory credits have rolled. And this is why many have decided not to watch and not to participate in this game called love.
Nevertheless, the art of winning through the romance stakes and (sooner or later) a romp in the sack, is to learn to recognise the signs of a true warrior of your heart – rather than a worrier of it.
While on the subject of finding the person who may become a champion of that most valuable of all organs, this blog has been opened in an attempt to decipher the Player.
Before I begin, I indulge in the question:
Of all people on the planet, what right have I to write about he, she or it? Well, it would be hard for me to write this if I hadn’t experienced it myself. I’ve been a Player and I’ve been Played. And because of this, I understand that I cannot blame anyone else for rules they didn’t make up or were reluctant to abide by.
So, if you would like to learn from my experience and knowledge on this sensitive subject, please do read on …
Inevitably, we all respond to experiences - not the real world as you know it. Every single one of us has a life path that is coloured by incidents that are unique. We hear something, see something, we taste it and we feel it. We perceive the world as it is in our eyes because of those encounters and our emotional reactions to them.
Sometimes, those emotions come from responses that can sometimes become so powerfully overwhelming that we can’t bear to experience them, so we begin to shut them out. We ignore them. Eventually, that gut instinct turns into something we don’t understand, or don’t want to acknowledge, because it hurts too much.
When we choose not to become involved in the world, on an intimate level, life becomes a stage upon which we begin to play a part. It is a choice that we make at a deeper level.
A Player chooses to play many roles because they have learned and observed much of what the rest of us have not.
A Player is a Soldier of Fortune - they will hang around for as long as the going is good.
A Player is an actor - who will never willingly show his (or her) true face.
A Player is a sexual flirt - they will never want to commit to you, though they will rehearse big, powerful (and fundamentally), shallow scenes into fooling you that they do.
A Player is the ultimate liar – they will shower you with superfluous praise and wild and seemingly valid encouragement using words enshrined in flattery and deceit.
A Player is an excellent storyteller - we all know it’s a fictional tale, but we want to believe that it’s based on a truth.
A Player may be trying to lose themselves, or even to find themselves. They will play all parts with all people at all times. They will try on disguises to suit the situation or the person in order to get to their final goal: inside your body. Not necessarily expertly.
To the Player, the sexual act is not their prime target. Because it doesn’t offer as much stimulus as the preparation prior to the penetration itself. Some call it ‘the thrill of the chase’ and they would be right.
Do you recognise one yet? Have you been played by a Player? Are you feeling peeved? Put out? Put down? Betrayed? Or abandoned by one?
You need not fear, fret, crumble or cry, for our emotions are keys to that which we have experienced in life. What we remember of what we’ve seen, heard, tasted, felt - is kind of like building up a rapport with yourself. It’s what you begin to rely on to help yourself move around the real world you have chosen to live in.
Players make a choice. They choose NOT to get involved. They choose to take whatever pleasure they can, wherever they can and with whomever they can.
So the key here is not to hate a Player. Perhaps, instead, pity them.
Pity? What for?
Well, if only because their biggest fear is not in being played themselves. In getting themselves wrapped up in an emotional set-up beyond their own control, or by allowing the experience of the real world to get too close - they fear indulging in yet another painful experience.
Players don’t recognise depth – or if they do, they choose not to immerse themselves in it. They avoid it. They don’t want love or human bonding.
When Players recognise these things in another, or in themselves, it’s like standing on the edge of a chasm and staring into a deep, dark abyss below. Of course they are afraid of it. They don’t want to step too near the edge. They don’t want to become intimately involved. They don’t want to give up the truth about their lives to you – heck they’ll even make up a life up to suit the image you have of them. They’ll even go to so much trouble as to learn so much about life and, in particular, your life that they’ll become the perfect partner in your eyes – so much that you won’t even contemplate considering they can be capable of such a cruel act of deception and desertion.
If you are lucky, and you begin to recognise the tell-tale signs of a Player, you’ll put on a suit of armour and hold that shield up high.
In actual fact, it won’t matter how many times you tell them to go away, or say no to them, when you think they’ve finally gone, up they pop - they just keep coming back – until they get what they want. It may take them a while, a couple of dates, a month, a year even, before they get into you. Eventually, though, they’ll find a chink and they’ll hack away until they crack it.
Before the pain of exposure sets in, what we need to recognise is that this is a rich and varied world. There are five billion, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand people sharing this planet with you (quite possibly more), and as many people there are, there are as many choices and options available.
Earlier I asked you to look at the internet and to watch the many lives available for you to observe. From those few thousand images you saw in the briefest of possible times, from those lives that are available for you to view - without the threat of personal invasion - you may have begun to recognise that people come in all shapes and sizes using all props and guises. And that each of those people have choices to make, decisions to arrive at and options to explore. Just as you do.
In order to gain strength, what we need to become aware of is that every person on the planet goes through phases in their life that help them to become better or bitter. These phases are called transitions, or crisis, or turning points, or as some might say; challenges. Some people face these periods in life and come through smiling – you may have heard the saying “if they fell in a bucket of poo they’d come up smelling of roses”. Others, though, feel only the pain and dread the experience as something to be endured. Those who welcome the challenge look at life as a multitude of options being freely available to them. Those who experience only pain, scramble around in the dark seeing none.
When we finally recognise choices are available to us - and that those choices are only ours to make - we can begin to take responsibility for our own lives. Only then can we learn not to blame others for the bad feelings we hold in our hearts.
So, if you ever find, or feel, or think yourself to be the victim of a Player, try not to let the tears fall through bitterness or to plot sweet revenge. Try not to let that frustrating ache inside of you eat away or lay awake at night blaming yourself or thinking what a fool you’ve been. It will be of no use. The Player has already gone. They’re done with you and onto another game plan. They may even have been playing you along side someone else.
One in a multitude of options that is open to you is to hold your head up high, stick your chin out, smile through the tears and say to yourself,
“At least I wasn’t afraid to give love one more shot. At least I had the guts to go out there and take the emotional turmoil like a true heroic man (or wallow in the depths of beautiful emotions like a woman).”
Just as a warrior fights in a battle, his actual goal is not to protect others, but to preserve himself – if only so he can fight another day. And, just as an actor finishes one play, he begins rehearsing the next – you can take heart from knowing that a Player will never be able to say those words and mean them - while they are playing.
Of course, ultimately, the decision to wed or bed is up to you. It’s your body, your life, and no one has the right to judge you for the decisions you make.
But think on this: how much value do you place on someone who’s only prepared to furnish you with the most tangible of contacts? A contact that is fluid and easily changeable with nothing solid or concrete. Where there’s no evidence that they really want to share anything more of their life with you.
Who really knows why Players play games with people’s bodies, hearts and spirits? Does it really matter to you? What you have to decide is what you want and what is important to you. Ask yourself these questions:
“Do I have all that I deserve?”
and, if not,
“Do I think I can change my own world – or my own attitude - to get it?”
If a man truly wants to be with you, he will take action and he won’t want to share you with anyone. Equally, if a woman wants you to be her man, she will give all her sweetness to you. The people who want to be part of your life, do value you, cherish you and they will want to bring out the best in you. They will seek out and crave your very essence. They will staunchly support you in times of agony and ecstasy.
But, if you want to play with a Player, go ahead, that’s entirely up to you. It can be a fun experience - and as long as you know the rules of the game you cannot plead ignorance. You have a life to do with as you please and you may invite whoever into it.
But when (or if) the chips are down and you find yourself beginning to care for a Player, that’s your prerogative. And even though the rules may have changed from your perspective, don’t expect the Player to stop playing and start being serious.
The option for a greater choice and even bigger challenge is always there for you to take. Remember, it’s not the challenge that is the issue here – but the choices you make in dealing with the challenge that is presented to you. That’s what makes you the person you are today.
Related articles from our experts
- The value of sharing our vulnerability in conflict resolution
Phoebe Fuller BACP(Sr Acc): individuals and couples19th May, 2017
- The changing face of a relationship
Graeme Orr MBACP(Accred), UKRCP Reg. Ind. Counsellor18th May, 2017
- Emotionally abusive relationships: Survivors of narcissistic parents
Amanda Perl MSc Psychotherapist Counsellor MBPsS BACP (Accred) CBT Practitioner16th May, 2017
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.