Everything you’re in is a game. Your school. Your job or business. Your teams. The groups you belong to. If people are involved, there’s a game taking place.
And you are either playing the game or being played.
So, how do you know which one you are? Easy, and I’ll paraphrase a poker reference: Look around. If you cannot identify who is the sucker being played, you are the sucker.
So how can you become the player and not be played?
Become more aware of what’s happening around you. Have vision instead of sight. Read between the lines of what is said and not said. See between the lines of action and what people show you. Adults are good at concealing what they want to conceal and showing what they want to show. Just be aware that there is always more going on than what you can see and hear and taste.
Simple, but not easy.
At least now, you’re in the second stage of learning (conscious incompetence – knowing that you don’t know some things) instead of the first (unconscious incompetence — not knowing that you don’t know). Not the best position, but not the worst.
And you can at least question whether or not you’re being played. Either way, game is out there.