Remember being a kid and running and playing with your friends and family? Remember playing that one game where one or multiple people go and hide, while one or more people countdown to come and find the ones who have hidden. You know, that old game called “hide and seek”? What if I told you hide and seek can be applied to so many life concepts. What if I told you in a way, we play this game when trying to build relationships of all kinds with people. Weird, right? How a children’s game can have a connection to parts of teenage and adult life. You don’t believe me? Well, why don’t I explain then.
In life we grow up having to learn how to interact with others. From a young age, we are being taught and constantly being shown how to navigate different aspects of our life. As children, we tend to play more, and as we get older play changes and interactions with those around us tend to change too. While these changes are expected, did it ever occur to anyone if there could be a possibility of any of the games we played as children would be something that would show itself still through our lives just in a different format?
Think about it for a second. In psychology, you learn that most learning that children do is through the process of child play. So, for instance, a lot of children go through childhood playing hide and seek off and on. In a way, we play this all throughout our lives. Especially when it comes to making friends and really just navigating almost every type of relationship we have in our lives. Whether it is family, friends, romantic partners, peers, co-workers, etc. You get the jist of it. All relationships we try to create or manage, we play hide and seek.
In the same way you would play the game as a child you still play it in your relationships with others, but there’s no counting and there is no literal hiding. We hide in our minds instead. We try to seek understanding and knowledge and affection from others. We try to seek out who these people are. We even try to seek out who WE are. We hide ourselves from those we don’t know, and we hide things we are insecure about. We hide the things we think are bad about ourselves, and we hide what we think others won’t want to see.
The truth is, if we keep on this merry go round of hiding ourselves from one another, while still trying to seek from someone else. We are never going to get to know another person or ourselves well. We certainly won’t accept ourselves and others well either. We have to be vulnerable and show our bad qualities in addition to our good ones in order to be able to seek others. We cannot hide ourselves from one another and expect complete and total acceptance. That just is not how it works. We do these games of hide and seek when we don’t know someone well enough, sure. But if you know someone well enough, and they seem to have proved to be a good person, there is no reason to keep going on with these games. What to do then to stop this madness?
First, seek yourself out. Learn about yourself and what your good qualities and bad ones are. Come to terms with your bad qualities and honor your good ones. Try to find out what you would like to make better for yourself. Start giving yourself attention when you need it. Learn to wholeheartedly love yourself. Next, when interacting with others, try to see if you can tell what type of person they are. Do not force them to tell you anything if they aren’t comfortable doing so. When you have identified somewhat of the type of person they may be, then seek them out, as long as they are willing to show you who they are. Unless, they’ve already shown you the type of person they are, then it is up to you if you want to carry out a relationship with that individual.
This now concludes how the child’s game of “hide and seek” is still used in our lives outside of childhood. We should not feel the need to hide from ourselves or others, yet we do. In some ways this has a lot to do with ourselves, and in another way, it has to do with our societal norms, and those around us. Choose wisely who you enable yourself to be around. Be aware of what you are allowing yourself to believe. Most importantly, make sure you know yourself first. At least a little bit before trying to seek out others. We must seek out ourselves first, always! See you next time, in my next post! Thanks so much for reading!
The Inspiring Hummingbird!