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Games Women Play to Avoid Asserting Themselves

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Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I wanna talk about the five games that women often play to avoid asserting themselves.

Since the holidays are approaching, you might be triggered. This is something that I’m noticing within myself. You might be triggered if you’re hosting Thanksgiving and you feel the obligation of cooking, or maybe family’s gonna be in town, or you’re single and you’re tired of people wondering why you’re not married yet, when are you gonna have a baby, or whatever it is.

Because of that, women like us can often go into this game playing rather than speaking from a place of confidence and power and speaking in a way that’s going reach people rather than repel them.

I have my five cards here… the games that women play to avoid asserting themselves. They come from a book called The New Assertive Woman by Lynn Bloom and some other authors, Karen Coburn and Joan Pearlman. 

I found this book at an estate sale. I was in the basement rummaging through the books because I love estate sales, and I looked at the back and it was really chapter three that intrigued me.

If you decide to read this book, I haven’t finished all of it. It’s very white-woman centric and it was written in the ’70s, so you’ll want to separate the good from the bad and adhere to what’s good.

Let’s go ahead and get into it.

Number one. Do you identify yourself as the sufferer? The sufferer is a woman who does what everyone refuses to do and then resents it. She puts other people before her and subordinates basically her own desires and feels like no one does for me, I’m doing it for everyone else, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. Is that you? That’s the sufferer.

The second game that women play is called uninvolved. The uninvolved woman will say something like, “you know, whatever you want to do. It doesn’t really matter to me.”

For example, let’s say that some guy calls you up and wants to go to the movies but you have plans after work to wash your hair, to get some food and maybe go to the gym, and so he’s asking you and he’s like, well hey how about we go see a western movie and you don’t even like westerns, but you’re like “yeah okay, whatever, it’s fine.” You’re not really enthusiastic about it.

So, if you can identify with that, if you can identify with “well it doesn’t matter to me, whatever you want do,” you’re playing the uninvolved game, which means that you’re avoiding asserting yourself in what you want.

Oftentimes that can happen because women don’t want to seem antagonistic to another person.

The third game that women play, this is called The Wet Blanket. According to the author, the Wet Blanket usually says, “I won’t fight you, but I won’t give you the satisfaction either.” She hopes that people will recognize her disapproval and then plead with her so she tells them how they might accommodate her.

The book gives an example of a mother living with her son and daughter-in law. The daughter-in-law wants to decorate and she’s like, “I’m thinking about getting new pillow cases.”

The mom is like, “If it’s cotton they’ll shrink and get dirty. Are you gonna put it on the floor? If so, they’ll lose their appeal.”

The Wet-Blanket just kind of like not giving people their props. That’s what the wet blanket is. You’re just kind of in the middle.

The fourth game that women play is called The Saboteur. “If I don’t get what I want, you better watch out because I might get even.” Or, “I’ll give you what you want right now and I’ll silently accept this request, but best believe I’m coming for you on the back end.”

Her mindset, her game plan, is all about making people pay. Making people pay instead of talking about the problem. Do you identify with that?

How might this come up as the holiday season is approaching?

And then the last game is called The Seductress. “Poor little me needs big ole handsome strong you.” The seductress uses her sexual prowess for nonsexual acts. Basically, to get what she wants without again being clear.

All of these games that women play are about hinting and hoping and not coming from this place of powerful, feminine communication.

Which one do I see myself as? Which one can I identify with? Well, depending on the time of the day, definitely The Saboteur, The Sufferer, not The Wet blanket because I give people props.

My own pattern has been, like “I’m doing a lot. Why’s everyone asking me to do all of this?” I noticed that I got into the mindset, especially now because my mom is here visiting for two weeks.

If your mom is still around, you can just imagine the friction that can happen upon arrival,… the “oh your hair is not right or whatever it is,” and so I found myself becoming really tense and really stressed.

I found myself in the sufferer mode and I had to ask myself, “how is God using me in this moment to love an imperfect person?”

That is something that I have to ask myself often, especially as a married woman, as a daughter, as a sister, etc.

This is what I want you to ask yourself. You have a twofold assignment.

#1: Which one of these games do you identify with? Are you The Sufferer? Are you The Uninvolved? Are you the Wet Blanket? Are you The Saboteur, or are you The Seductress, so identify that.

#2: Then, I want you to get clear on what is the outcome that you want. You’ll know how this shows up in your body. Decide the outcome that you want and then you want to act in a way that’s going to be favorable to that outcome.

For me, so that I don’t go into the saboteur, it’s all about how is God using me in this moment to love an imperfect person?

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To your enhancement,


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