Psychological games that people play : 6. The Child



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For my first post on this series, please click here.

Have you ever observed how children get what they want?

Contrary to what adults would feel about revealing one’s weaknesses, children turn this around by using their weaknesses and vulnerability as a weapon, often against their parents.

Have you ever wondered how this is done?

Consider this:

“Mum, I have a headache today. As you have mentioned, I should take care of my health. So, shouldn’t I give school a miss today?”

“Hi Dad, you know what that they say about kids who keeps on studying? They are nerds! And  I do not want to be one! Shouldn’t we play soccer for once? Just once? ”

And more often than not, their parents often relent and accede to their requests. The love for their children has often been translated into a way for their children to wriggle their way out of most tricky situations in life.

For some adults, this childlike behaviour has never really left them, and they often take on the role of the Child even when they are into adulthood, or even beyond them.

“The elderly also takes on the role of the Child often as well. However,  it is easier for them to pull it off because being old often implies being fragile and weak, thereby evoking sympathy among others. Childlike behaviour exhibited by the elderly  are often a delight to watch since it implies their natural acceptance of the aging process and taking life lightly in their golden years.”

Hence, the role of the Child is often seen not only in the young, but also among the elderly.

Moreover, the role of the Child can be used to devastating impact when applied within the dating arena by singles. What the Child lacks in decisiveness and confidence (as can often seen in Alpha Males / Authoritarians), he makes it up in terms of his zest and enthusiasm for life, their childlike innocence, and their easy humour.  Other than the Alpha Males / Authoritarians, the Child is another charismatic role that singles take on to attract others, their primary charismatic quality being the ability to elicit smiles and laughter among others.

“This is close to  the the role of the Jester, but they differs in the fact that while the Jester‘ jokes are all-encompassing, covering most aspects of life, the Child’s humour lies primarily in his vulnerability, his curiosity of things around him, and his ignorance of what adulthood entails.”

From asking about the obvious and apparent (“Why is the earth round?”) to exploring aspects of nature most adults would often not even ponder upon (“There’s a butterfly on your bag a while ago that looks like Nemo.”), the Child takes delight in exploring strange and childish questions, which in turn interest others in what they are up to next.

While most feel that the role of the child is often taken on by a female (due to its dominant feminine qualities such as weaknesses, childishness etc.), a male skilled in the role can take on this role equally well. It is precisely this feminine qualities exhibited within the males that make this role omnipotent.

“While the Alpha Males / Authoritarians shine with their masculine confidence and courage, the Child exerts his deadly charisma on others through his ability to coalesce masculinity and femininity into one. It is hence not surprising that the Child can often be found in the arts sector. Most metrosexuals also take on the role of the Child, as it enables them to optimally exhibit their ability to fuse their feminine aspects of design into their masculine aspects of style.”

People who adopt the role of the Child can prevalently be found in certain industries, such as showbiz or creative industries. This is because their ability to imbue innocence into the world of misery (as portrayed by most mainstream media) often serves as a beacon of hope among the masses. And it’s only in such positions of prominence can the Child relish the satisfaction of offering laughter to the world and making this world a better place while optimally utilising their natural gifts.


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Alter ego of the Child:

The Eccentric

Of course, as in all roles, the Child also has his eccentricities that others might find either intriguing, or downright annoying when the role is played beyond its limits.

When the role is played to the extreme, the Child will inadvertently transforms into the Eccentric, who can be defined here as someone who does not look and act their age.

When pondering on the obvious or somewhat ridiculous questions, others might find it interesting and engaging up to a point, after which it can turn annoying – in the same way that tantrums can be thrown to a degree after which the other party will just tune out or simply feign ignorance. The Eccentric will come across as ignorant, disrespectful, and having no regards for social conventions. Others will not take the Eccentric seriously and the Eccentric can easily become the weakest link of any social groups.

With their importance and power significantly diminished in such a role, most Eccentrics will simply resigned themselves to their fate and maintain the group dynamics by accepting their role as a trivial character, to be made fun of at will among their social groups. Those who eventually fight back will face an uphill task, since their image and standing in their social groups would, by then,  been fixed.

Hence, it is this very important that the Child do not take the role too far, lest it gets stigmatised as the Eccentric. It seems that eccentric traits are often highly respected in the creative arts (considering that this is an industry that places strong emphasis and value on originality) but not so much in the corporate world.

Nevertheless, if the role of the Child is played just right, it can well elevate their standing among their peers as someone who is able to not only vacillate between the masculine and the feminine, but also one who is able to retain and integrate the vagaries of childhood days into any points in their lives, their eternal youth and laughter mesmerising anyone who crosses their paths.

For the next blog post, we will look at the Loyalist.


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