Games People Play (Pt 2)



  1. Another common game is, Stupid. Stupid is a two player game. The key Stupid player is someone who rather than, “I laugh at my own mistakes, so I can improve” will respond with, “I laugh at my own mistakes, that’s the way I am, so do me something”. The game relish’s on playing “poor” and “needy” so ultimately someone else will end up completing the key Stupid player’s work load. The running theme of course, “I’m too stupid to figure it out, here you do it.” Goal: to shift responsibility. Underlying theme: “See, I’m honest because I admit I’m stupid. You can’t blame me because I don’t know any better. But because I never knew better, you still have to like me.” The secondary player to this game is usually someone who has put trust in the Stupid player to complete a task and comes upon disappointing results. The game is successfully ended when the secondary player, should they have the designation, is able to hold the Stupid player accountable and attain them training or a new job description as natural consequences.

  1. Disability is a game that can parallel or ensue with Stupid. The only difference between Disability and Stupid is that the theme, “What else do you expect from someone like me? It’s your fault you trusted me to do this.”  The key player in Disability will often blame their inability to complete a task on stress, grief, lack of education, experience, emotional turmoil, depression, past history of a “hard-knock” life, or even acknowledgement of their toxic behaviour. The point of the game: not to be blamed for your actions/ to shift responsibility- despite being caught. Because Disability does not require an enabler to be regularly played, it is a one player game.

  1. Lets Pull a Fast One on Jane is a game commonly played by coworkers and colleagues. This is a three player game.

Player 1: Instigator

Player 2: Follower

Player 3: Unsuspecting

It begins with the Instigator having a project or task to complete. The Instigator will usually recruit the Follower unless they have a previous relationship. The Follower simply tags along for the first part of the game as a non-threatening shadow figure behind the play boundaries. Next the Instigator recruits the Unsuspecting and while acting humble and modest, whether by blaming workload, talents or stress, backs out of the project to have the Unsuspecting take over the project and complete the bulk of the work. At the last moment the Instigator will tag in the Follower and the two will bully the Unsuspecting out of the game. Usually this is done by accusing the Unsuspecting of poor, amoral, unrequited, wrong doings or work. It is not uncommon that the Instigator and/or Follower will make a public display of this to shame the Unsuspecting out of the picture. Then the Follower completes the remainder of the task and the Instigator and Follower submit their work together receiving praise and recognition. Premise: ego stroking, one-up-manship, undermining.

Instigator: “I’m working on this project but I’m not sure if I can get it all done.”

Follower: “I’d love to help you but I’m busy too. Maybe ask the Unsuspecting.”

Instigator: “Hey Unsuspecting, you are very talented in this area (mass flattery) could you help me with this? I don’t understand this, I can’t do that…”

Unsuspecting: “I’m flattered you asked, yes.”

Instigator: “Whoa, whoa- you did the job wrong! What were you thinking! I hope they will accept this! You’re supposed to know what you are doing! You better leave or get caught.”

Follower: “I can help you now.”

“Instigator: “I can’t do all this. Please complete the rest and I will give you all the credit?”

Follower: “Okay.”

Instigator and Follower: “This is the project we worked on, isn’t it perfect.”

  1. Butcher is a game where an individual may approach another for advice or help. This is a common colleague/coworker game used in corporate and social services environments. The expected “problem solver” is actually the Butcher. They butcher all the facts and dissect and analyze too such a point that the main objective or even truth becomes lost in all the dismembered facts. It is a game to hide either the means or the ends. The hidden facts are usually something of a indecent matter that affects the butcher directly. It can be used to protect their reputation, someone else, or to attain / keep an object or transaction. Ultimately the butcher does this for themselves.

  1. Flamingo is played as a distraction game. It is a one to two player game. Sometimes the game is supplemented by a second player who reinforces the Flamingo’s action plan. This second player is usually submissive and passive to the Flamingo but can be outright aggressive and harsh with others. The leader of this game is a typical “ringleader” where they appear smart but unsuspecting, flamboyant but humble, they essentially draw attention to themselves but pretend there was no intention. It follows this mentality, “You can blame me for attracting attention. I’m graceful, but I was born pink.” They use this as a distraction method so in the confusion you will release other information about yourself and your intentions, and when necessary your organizations/teams intentions. This game can be commonly used with Butcher and Lets You and I Play Office.


2 thoughts on “Games People Play (Pt 2)

  1. Number 1 is something that is so easy to slip into without realizing. When I catch myself doing it, I tell myself to knock it off. Never fun when new coworkers are that way….

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