I know the title sounds confusing, even I am confused. But after having a Liar Game marathon, there were some questions in my mind that kept me thinking, and I tried to put pieces of the experiences I’ve had as well as observations of others that I’ve made together.
During Season 2, a second antagonist, Katsuragi Ryo, appeared. Though she bugged me a lot, largely due to her calm yet eery disposition, there were certain psychological analysis of humans that she stated which made sense. During the semi-finals where the team played the game ‘Angels and Demons’, Nao-chan went around begging 2 players to cooperate and work with her team. While what she did seem like an innocent action, that same act could in fact be seen as an act of guilt-tripping others by being all nice (and sometimes pitiful). While in Nao’s case, it was clear that she wasn’t doing it for a selfish reason, the same can’t always be said of real-life situations. There’s some truth to a certain extent that occasionally, we do good and nice things intentionally (or unintentionally) to make others feel bad and in the future, they may return us a certain favour. In certain cases, it’s not about being seemingly nice but rather, we portray ourselves to be weak, so as to get someone to do something that we want (cue self-presentation strategy: supplication). I then realised, this has happened far too many times.
In some situations, we find ourselves giving endlessly – usually unintentionally – without any clue of whether or not what we are giving (be it tangible or intangible) is in fact, what others really need. Has it come to a point where it becomes a burden on the other party instead? Humans are all made differently, no two person has the same perceptions on how much is too much or enough. While one party might think that what they are giving is okay, the other party might view it as them stepping too much into their boundaries that they feel suffocated. While the givers may perceive their actions to be an act of goodwill, they don’t see the differences in expectations between both parties, and thus becomes oblivious to how selfish they have in fact become.
In other circumstances, we intentionally give as much as we are willing to, so that in the future when things don’t go the way that we think they should, we either use it as a bargaining chip to make the person feel guilty and try to have things our way or we hope with all our might that the other party feels guilty about it for the rest of his/her life and you were the only mistake they’ve ever made. I for one have been guilty of this before – being nice, giving my supposed ‘all’, and when things were not going my way, I ended up hoping the person would feel terrible for the rest of his entire existence for doing such a horrible thing towards me. Fast forward so many years from then, I realised how silly and terribly immature I was. Nobody asked me to do anything; it was all just silly thoughts in my head. It wasn’t even being truly nice from within because almost every action that I made was to see what kind of reaction the other person would give. It was no longer about giving because I genuinely wanted to. In the end, I wanted to beat myself up for being so selfish and wishing such a terrible thing on the other person who practically owed me nothing. I kind of despised myself for being such an ugly person from within.
Then there’s the other scenario where people unknowingly (or knowingly) portray themselves to be weak and pitiful, just so others would scoop them up and give them tender loving care. While I’m not entirely against it (because those that I’ve encountered were all unknowing parties), I’ve learnt to recognise it and stopped myself from being confused by sympathy and affection. These are two entirely different entities, but when you start to care for someone who’s seemingly so fragile, and when you start to offer them help, if you aren’t aware of it, you end up getting caught between the two. If a person isn’t able to distinguish between sympathy and affection, then he/she becomes the selfish party as well if the feeling present was in fact sympathy, not affection. While the weaker person was being selfish in the first place, the latter’s own indecisiveness would also cause hurt and pain in the long run.
And now, I’m back to the part where my thoughts get all jumbled up in my brain and I’m confusing myself again.