Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Head Games

16 Comments

IMG_2197 Fresh Head
I H.A.T.E. Head Games, but this looks kind of fun.
Seriously though, yesterday on another blog the post was about some kind of test that determines if a man is an alpha-male.  The Dating Market Value Test for Men (click at your own peril: rated R for language and general offensiveness) was pretty disgusting. The bottom line for the tester is that alpha-males tend to treat women like a piece of meat and want a girl for sexual purposes only – another notch on the bedpost (blech!).  Basically what I got out of it is that if you’re an alpha(male or female) you’re really good at the “dating game” and the opposite sex just throws themselves at you.  By “dating game” I don’t mean just simple flirting, I mean playing head games.  
So yeah, head games are a huge turn off to me.  One of the particular tactics is to pretend to be disinterested in the party to whom you’re interested.  Yeah, got it?  Instead of smothering the person in whom you are interested with attention and intent simply pretend to be disinterested altogether, because apparently there is no in between.  It’s one or the other.  Pretending to be disinterested makes you suddenly more desirable and mysterious.  People want what they can’t have so they in turn throw themselves at you, following you around and showering you with attention.  To quote another commenter, “My theory is pretty simple: most people are attracted to a challenge. Someone who just follows you around saying, “Please love me,” is no fun, whereas someone who won’t stop to give you the time of day seems like they probably are. And, of course, if that person doesn’t pay attention to you then that makes them seem far more mysterious, far more interesting and, therefore, far more attractive.”
Now I’m not saying this doesn’t work.  It evidently works well.  Reverse psychology.   In the end I think this  might land some folks in psychiatric treatment, though.  I digress.  Anyhow, who wants to constantly chase after someone who is either acting or really is completely disinterested and doesn’t give you the time of day?  I think mostly people who don’t value themselves behave this way.  They feel they need this other person to give them value.  So they follow them around, jump up and down, say it softly and loudly, “please find me lovable”, “please, pretty please, love me”.  
Most of us have been the puppy dog and the disinterested owner at one time or another. I personally hate head games, so if I sense that’s what’s going on I’m walking.  These days I don’t have the time nor the inclination to play along. It just won’t last as long as a fart in a whirlwind with me.  One party shouldn’t have to do all the pursuing. If you don’t give another the time of day, anyone worth having isn’t needy enough to hang around to beg you to spend time with them. They feel valuable enough to find someone who values them too. See, therapy does pay off. 🙂
Here’s where I’m going with all this:  the God of the Bible seems like the ultimate alpha-male. He wants to see how many of us will chase his shadow, following this mysterious, completely disinterested, elusive entity around – jumping up and down, waving our arms, begging him to notice us and shouting, “love me, love me, pretty please with a cherry on top”.  We feel we need him to give us value because we’re filthy sinners. And he’s not giving us the time of day.  It seems like we’re doing all the pursuing.  We thought he glanced our way.  Perhaps we even thought he flashed us a smile.  Then when we showed an interest – nada from him.  The more elusive he seems the harder we pursue.  Just like one big, fat head game, only we’re doing it to ourselves.  Some people have decided they value themselves enough to walk.
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16 thoughts on “Head Games

  1. You know what? Here's what gets me about all this. And I point it out to Christians often but to no meaningful response. The God of the Bible, according to the Bible, was once quite active. You would think if a pillar of fire swooped down from the heavens and settled over Washington, D. C. and President Obama came down from the roof of the White House with snow-white hair and carrying tablets with a message from God, written by God's own finger, most of us would quit carping about those who insist our nation was founded upon Judeo-Christianity. Let God appear to us in the whirlwind and have a meaningful dialogue with us as he did with Job and I will be – as our president said, "all ears." But for some reason, somewhere along the way, God went into hiding, leaving only his blustery press agents – who hopelessly contradict one another – to speak for him. And the "miraculous" interventions of our day look remarkably like the normal outworking of the laws of physics. So if that is a head game, it sure seems he ought to be omniscient enough to realize it doesn't work on thinking people. Or maybe God doesn't care that much for thinking people. My theory is this: Faith became extremely important to the manipulators when the audience became less superstitious and more insistent on rational proof.

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  2. That's a good point. Somewhat related to Doug B's comment and your post, it seems as though (if the God of the Bible exists) God has done one thing, one act of love, and then disappeared. Jesus got nailed to a cross because God loves us so much, but He doesn't love us well enough to have an ongoing relationship with us.As we understand the concept of love, it is a continuous process of giving. If I only waved hello to my neighbor once in 40 years, I could not rightfully claim that I have loved my neighbor. Yet, somehow, one impersonal action done ~2000 years ago is supposed to suffice to show that God really does love us. That does not add up in my book.

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  3. Ooh! I really like this post. Excellent analysis. The God of the Bible is the ultimate alpha male, and the worst kind of narcissist. And you nailed it, D'Ma: those who value themselves tell him where he can stick it.

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  4. Thats right! I'm not some intellectual arrogant fool (the first two are insults) who has decided she is above the rest of her family.I'm learning to value myself enough to walk away from the abuse the narcissist sky god delights in! Thanks.

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  5. @DougB:My theory is this: Faith became extremely important to the manipulators when the audience became less superstitious and more insistent on rational proof. You know, you might just be onto something with that. It seems that, in my reading, the church leaders weren't so interested in individual's faith as they were in their behavior. That is, controlling it. Then and now, when they couldn't control the behavior, the answer is to excommunicate – always done under the guise of instruction from Paul, of course.@TWF:"God has done one thing, one act of love, and then disappeared. Jesus got nailed to a cross because God loves us so much, but He doesn't love us well enough to have an ongoing relationship with us."Bingo! It seems that if he loved us enough to kill his son on our behalf he'd stick around to give us more precise instructions and let us know he's still around. One sided relationships just don't work out. The fact that he just, poof, disappeared is befuddling. Things just don't add up. Theologians and "true believers" want to say that God's ways are higher than ours and that he's mysterious as an explanation. They point to "God things" in their life as proof. Here's the thing for me: I can't credit God any more for the good things in my life than I can blame him for the bad things. Inexplicable things just happen, good and bad, and that's just life. @CD:I'm not saying I'm giving up on the search completely. Maybe someone, somewhere will come up with some kind of new argument for God or the historical Jesus that I'm not currently aware of. I haven't exhausted all the literature available now. It's just all so subjective that there's no way in h.e.double hockey sticks that I can sort it all out. Having said that, the information that's available to me now doesn't hold a lot of water and I'm just kind of burned out on searching for the unknowable. God knows where to find me. @prairienymph:Is the narcissistic sky god or what humans have made him out to be? I'm not sure, but it's the only picture we have so, yeah, I'm exhausted of the effort. I'm walking away from it for at least a little while.

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  6. What an excellent analogy and one I'm very guilty of. I was the jumping up and down, begging cry person to God and then, just like you said I got enough. Game over for me.

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  7. Wow. Very interesting metaphor… hmmm… a couple of thoughts.Some would claim that it's the other way around. God is the one that is relentlessly pursuing us, and wants us to love him. (The "hound of heaven," if you will.) When we don't reciprocate, eventually he gets mad or goes away. But your main point is the "head games" thing. I don't think Christians try to act "disinterested" in God, just to get his attention. Do they?? But yes, God, at least how he's described in the Bible, does all kinds of manipulative stuff to try to get us to love him. Hides, sends calamity, etc. You know, just the opposite of what we've been taught that "unconditional love" is all about. It certainly resonates true with my earthly experience. My mother's love was very conditional and she would use emotional coldness or negativity when my behavior wasn't making her happy. So Yahweh gets mad or pouts or punishes or says "you're not the apple of my eye" anymore, it seems very believable. I know what it's like to be on the other end of that. But I'm not sure a neurotic, bi-polar woman should be held up as the standard for what God should be like.The perennially perplexing fly in the ointment is Jesus. Although he said he was the "exact representation of the Father," he was nothing like that. He, for sure, demonstrated unconditional love in all his dealings with men. He didn't hide. He didn't play head games. He just loved and ministered and helped and was present. Raises an interesting side point. If Jesus was who he said he was, maybe he came to show us that most of what we believed God was like was wrong. In other words, it might have been his way of implicitly saying, the Old Testament writings are wrong! The God pictured there is not what he is really like! I don't know though. He never said a disparaging word about the scriptures, to my knowledge. (Maybe John 5? "You study[a] the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.)And then you've got the Holy Spirit. When Yahweh storms off and gets mad, the HS is the one who seems to slip away silently, and then you have to chase. Isn't the HS portrayed much more as a feminine character and Yahweh as the alpha-masculine? I'm thinking out loud in this post obviously! So, to summarize my brilliance… We've got 1) Yahweh the alpha-masculine male, 2) the sweet, feminine, mind-game playing Holy Spirit, and 3) the perfect Jesus. And they just took the last train for the coast.

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  8. And now a little Foreigner for your listening enjoyment!http://youtu.be/mctBMLUQdsg

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  9. Since Blogger ate the comments that were previously on this post and won't spit them back out, I'm re-posting them from my email. Below are the comments.

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  10. Doug B said:You know what? Here's what gets me about all this. And I point it out to Christians often but to no meaningful response. The God of the Bible, according to the Bible, was once quite active. You would think if a pillar of fire swooped down from the heavens and settled over Washington, D. C. and President Obama came down from the roof of the White House with snow-white hair and carrying tablets with a message from God, written by God's own finger, most of us would quit carping about those who insist our nation was founded upon Judeo-Christianity. Let God appear to us in the whirlwind and have a meaningful dialogue with us as he did with Job and I will be – as our president said, "all ears." But for some reason, somewhere along the way, God went into hiding, leaving only his blustery press agents – who hopelessly contradict one another – to speak for him. And the "miraculous" interventions of our day look remarkably like the normal outworking of the laws of physics. So if that is a head game, it sure seems he ought to be omniscient enough to realize it doesn't work on thinking people. Or maybe God doesn't care that much for thinking people. My theory is this: Faith became extremely important to the manipulators when the audience became less superstitious and more insistent on rational proof.

    Like

  11. The Wise Fool said:That's a good point. Somewhat related to Doug B's comment and your post, it seems as though (if the God of the Bible exists) God has done one thing, one act of love, and then disappeared. Jesus got nailed to a cross because God loves us so much, but He doesn't love us well enough to have an ongoing relationship with us.As we understand the concept of love, it is a continuous process of giving. If I only waved hello to my neighbor once in 40 years, I could not rightfully claim that I have loved my neighbor. Yet, somehow, one impersonal action done ~2000 years ago is supposed to suffice to show that God really does love us. That does not add up in my book.

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  12. Cognitive Dissenter said:Ooh! I really like this post. Excellent analysis. The God of the Bible is the ultimate alpha male, and the worst kind of narcissist. And you nailed it, D'Ma: those who value themselves tell him where he can stick it.

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  13. prairienymph said:Thats right! I'm not some intellectual arrogant fool (the first two are insults) who has decided she is above the rest of her family.I'm learning to value myself enough to walk away from the abuse the narcissist sky god delights in!Thanks.

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  14. @DougB:My theory is this: Faith became extremely important to the manipulators when the audience became less superstitious and more insistent on rational proof.You know, you might just be onto something with that. It seems that, in my reading, the church leaders weren't so interested in individual's faith as they were in their behavior. That is, controlling it. Then and now, when they couldn't control the behavior, the answer is to excommunicate – always done under the guise of instruction from Paul, of course.@TWF:"God has done one thing, one act of love, and then disappeared. Jesus got nailed to a cross because God loves us so much, but He doesn't love us well enough to have an ongoing relationship with us."Bingo! It seems that if he loved us enough to kill his son on our behalf he'd stick around to give us more precise instructions and let us know he's still around. One sided relationships just don't work out. The fact that he just, poof, disappeared is befuddling. Things just don't add up. Theologians and "true believers" want to say that God's ways are higher than ours and that he's mysterious as an explanation. They point to "God things" in their life as proof. Here's the thing for me: I can't credit God any more for the good things in my life than I can blame him for the bad things. Inexplicable things just happen, good and bad, and that's just life.@CD:I'm not saying I'm giving up on the search completely. Maybe someone, somewhere will come up with some kind of new argument for God or the historical Jesus that I'm not currently aware of. I haven't exhausted all the literature available now. It's just all so subjective that there's no way in h.e.double hockey sticks that I can sort it all out. Having said that, the information that's available to me now doesn't hold a lot of water and I'm just kind of burned out on searching for the unknowable. God knows where to find me.@prairienymph:Is the narcissistic sky god or what humans have made him out to be? I'm not sure, but it's the only picture we have so, yeah, I'm exhausted of the effort. I'm walking away from it for at least a little while.

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  15. You are right. He knows where to find you.If the incarnation is true, that it was God who fully entered into human life, and suffering, that we would not only be forgiven, but enabled to share in His life, then He knows where to find all of us.I think evangelically incorrect you are on to something. It's true that very often people project onto God the very characteristics of their earthly parents, and this impacts even their interpretation of the Scripture.People who have had abusive relationships with their parents, have a more difficult time believing that God loves them, and that He is there for them..for sure, and I think the reverse is true as well.Becky.

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  16. Doug B., it does seem to me that things could get pretty chaotic if God were here performing a miracle a minute, and constantly disrupting the normal forces of nature.And, even if he did perform this spectacular cosmic display, how would we know it was really Him, and not some kind of mass hallucination, government conspiracy, or even the work of aliens?Jesus said that in His day there were people who would not even be persuaded by a resurrection from the dead.Also, just as an aside, it is a strong possibility I think that many of these issues that Christian people get their "knickers in a twist," over may not be high on the list of God's agenda. I mean is the Lord interested to prove that America was originally founded as a Christian nation or not over two hundred years ago, or is He more concerned about what we are doing as a nation today to support the poor, and needy, and to be a positive force for justice, and peace in the world in 2011??Becky.

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