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'Recognize me' Game

 

Explanations > Behaviors > Games >  'Recognize me' Game

Purpose | Game play | Discussion | So what?

  

Purpose

Primary: Attention, sympathy

Secondary: Social position

Game play

  • A seeks attention and recognition from B.
  • B ignores A.
  • A increases their efforts.
  • B gives in and strokes A's ego by praise, affection, interest, etc., This may be more to stop the pestering than for any real admiration.
  • B feels superior to A. Perhaps patronizing, condescending, or some other way.
  • A feels comforted, but may suspect the real reason for B's behavior, and hence needs confirmation that B really does like them.

The game then repeats.

Discussion

This is a common root to many games. The insecurity and low self-esteem of A leads them to seek comfort and confirmation of their existence and worth. 

Many of us play it at some time or another as few of us are so totally self-assured that we need no attention from others. The main question here is the degree to which the person seeking strokes can empathize and understand the effect they are having on the other person. The more dysfunctional the game, the more the requestor ignores or is blind to the discomfort of negative perceptions of the other person. In their need for attention, any attention is considered better than none. Being treated negatively also is a confirmation for them of their low self-worth and hence is strangely comforting.

This is a reflection of the Child-Parent relationship, where the child seeks nurturing attention from the parent. If nurturing is not forthcoming, then controlling attention is considered better than no attention, at this at least confirms (and shapes) their sense of identity.

The game often appears as a part of other games, such as 'Catch me', 'Clever me' and 'Poor me'.

So what?

When others approach you (in almost any interaction), a part of their approach almost always is seeking of attention and recognition of their ego.

See also

'Clever me' Game, Blame Game

 

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