thanks for the fascinating topic, I really enjoy thinking and writing about this.
I'd like to see where my thoughts take me in answering these questions:
> 1- The fact that people change, and are different around different
> people, that there is no fixed person who must be accountable to all
> 2- It is unpleasant to mix games, talk to or play a game one plays
> with a particular person with someone else.
Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, a not very well-known sociologist, pointed out that the linguistic, cultural and social life of people doesn't start with "I" but with "you". It starts by being adressed by the group of people one lives in. And my identity depends on what people can see in me, i.e. when I display a certain behavior and the people in my environment can make sense of it, it will be part of my identity, because it can be represented linguistically and therefore be communicated. If the opposite happens and people seem to not be able to see my humanness in what I do or say, I won't be able to integrate that part into my identity and think of it as alien.
These interactions determine who we think we are. And since every relationship is a little bit different, the range of behaviors, feelings and thoughts that we identify in ourselves as human, loving and sharable varies. For example, talking about sex with your grandmother is only weird as long as you think it's not an acceptable experience in her world. What you think is acceptable to share for the other person depends on many different things. When you get to know the person, you check what her reactions are to what topics you bring up. You notice what she talks about and that gives you cues. Apart from that, associations with people you know already influence the picture. And then of course, the extent to which you know yourself and think of certain experiences as acceptable or not.
So if it depends on other people, how much we know and accept about ourselves and about what we live in relation to others, the question arises, what contributes to evolution and development in this area. The two ways I'm aware of are, that somebody sees something in us, that we haven't so far identified as human, lovable and beautiful. Marshall has contributed to that aspect tremendously in my life.
Or we sit still, observe and witness what's happening, so we have something else to think about except thoughts over thoughts over thoughts which have all come from what others have thought before. It's a process of real disidentifying from how others have seen us so far, towards witnessing, knowing and sensing our true self, independent or at least more independent from the circumstances.
Personally I've come to investigate how I can expand the game that I play with different friends and how to introduce different aspects of my life. It takes courage. The relationship might not be as it was before and I have no idea beforehand, how it plays out. At the same time, one might rediscover oneself and the other person, which can be very worthwhile.
The risk that this takes can be experienced as unpleasant or actually scary. And in my experience this is due to wanting to stay in touch with my own humanness and beauty. When people that have been with me for a long time don't recognize my "new tendencies" as beautiful, their defining power can have the effect that I lose touch with myself. This was the case with my ex-girlfriend. She didn't know what to do with me, when I started with NVC. She actually said that I wasn't the same person anymore, which in fact means, that my behavior didn't match her image of me. In order to still belong, there is then a strong urge to conform with that image. At the same time the image didn't fit my experienced reality anymore so this conflict was quite a challenge. I'm glad I didn't give in and stuck to what was real and alive for me.
This is my account so far. I'd love to hear your reaction.
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okay, let's see what we got.
> Either the self images were enjoyable or the games you play together
> were enjoyable, and she [my ex] was concerned with changing either of those.
I can see that.
> I dont think i agree with that. On one level there is a general
> concensus, probably largely manipulated by media, of how to view the
> world and other people. And this is what is used when people meet for
> the first time, or one wants to make a joke to a stranger.
My point is that this general consensus is constructed by all the people you know and how you see them. It may very well be, that this consensus is kind of "out there", stored in the way we interact with each other in our culture and the media influences it (being made by people who are also hooked up on the consensus) but at the same time I want to have my attention on my power to choose whether I go with it or not. If I comply with it, it's my doing. Therefore I have different choices. I'd like you to see that too, do you? Well, I guess you do, since you also wrote:
> So i agree that people often frame me in ways that will effect our relationship.
> But, perhaps because i understand this, that does not affect me. That
> is to say, i do not have to play along.
I agree with that. But as you say, it is necessary that you understand this and that you're not identified with these frames yourself anymore. That you can see "I'm not what I think I am." And then you can see your way around it and look at the feelings and needs.
> ... Then they will respond to this thing stimulated in a way that meets
> the need that is present.
> And that is by assigning roles and images to me and themselves that
> reflect the beliefs they have about themself and others.
So, I'm guessing you're trying to make sense out of this assignment of roles. You'd like to understand better, what needs are served by that? And once that is clear you'd like it to be replaced by a process that accounts better for the changes in life, moment by moment?
> There is a tendency to universalise or generalise ones preferences and beliefs.
> I think this is the essence of Jackal.
To me the essence is, that you're not really aware of what your preferences and beliefs are serving. And then it becomes a question of whether they are true or right or not, which leads to inevitable confusion, because the terms true and right are relative to a context. And since almost everyone experiences a different context, because everyone has a slightly different perspective, you fight about it assuming that everyone has the same information. But that is rarely the case. And so no wonder that it's hard to feel connected when you're assuming understanding to be there, that is not.
It becomes easier when you're aware of the relationship between your beliefs and what they are serving, because then you're less likely to question your own perspective and can allow for different points of view. You know then, that e.g. the person in the authority position is coming from a different background than you are, and that you don't have to question what your perspective tells you. You're more able to set it side by side and examine each perspective's merit relative to what you understand as human universal needs.
This to me is a great step towards liberation, because you don't have to fight anymore...
> For example i would assign myself an image, at high school, that is dumber than what
> i really was. This was to meet my need for cooperation and fairness within a system
> that was competitive, ranking people, and judging their worth against
> each other, through the use of grades.
Dumber according to what standard? According to the system's standard? To your standard today? Are you remorseful, because you want to let your light shine, to explore and express your potential more fully?
> It is because i genuinely do not want to include her in my games
> around sex. Its not an acceptance thing, its that certain games are
> fun with certain people, and mixing the wrong people with the games is
> uncomfortable, and not fun.
What makes them the "wrong" people? How does the game relate to the person? What image do you have of the person, that you want to play a certain game with? And what image prevents you from even trying?
I know a girl that I find very attractive. But I've stopped talking to her, because the games we played weren't fun for both of us. I'm missing attunement to her needs. I don't really see where she stands and what she is looking for. And she hasn't been able so far to tell me. So until I know that or at least find a lead, trying again and again isn't fun. I want to have sense of flow, knowing that the topics and games I bring up will be enriching for both of us.
Is that what you're looking for as well?
> There is a zen or budhist (cant remember which) phrase that goes,
> "the man who gets into the river is not the same man who gets out".
> That illustrates how quickly and often we change. But this is not
> accepted in certain parts of our society, mainly around laws and
> punitive order sytems, and relationships (hence the acceptance of the
> term "monogamy").
I think it's not accepted, because it is not realized how to feel safe and secure, while being in constant change. And until there is a broader support for finding out how that works, the systems will probably stay in place using images which imply consistency. Therefore I believe, we're contributing finely to change here, by examining how to stay in touch with life directly without going through the images ;-)
Curiously and waiting for a response
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