It’s something Jung is claimed to have said, but whether he said it or not, I think there’s a lot of truth in it.
Our family has the tradition of playing the Settlers of Catan. The players are me, Zuzi, Hanka (my sister in law), Jakub (my sister in law’s boyfriend), Jan, my father in law and Veronika, my mother in law.
It’s a game in which you have to trade with each other and from time to time you can also sabotage other players. Here is what this game says about all of us.
Very competitive. Aims to obstruct the player that has the best chance of winning any which way he can. This include advising other players to do things that sabotage this player. He will help players that have no real chance of winning. If attacked he will never forget and do everything to take revenge. There’s no fun in the game if he doesn’t win. There is only one purpose and that is to win. He hates the fact that sheer luck plays a role in the game, and would prefer to play games where the luck factor is minimal. He’s also so obsessed with blocking other players that he sometimes doesn’t see and doesn’t use his own advantages. EXCEPTION: when he plays this game to entertain children or people with a mental illness, he lets them win, since there’s no honor in it, the victory is not worth it. He would, however, never let his own children win, thinking it would be a bad lesson for them.
Doesn’t pay actual attention to the game. During the game she will try to talk about interpersonal stuff that have nothing to do with the game. She only plays to do something as a group. She doesn’t have a speck of competitiveness in her bones. If the other players don’t point out the resources she’s getting, she will not take half of the resources she has a right to have.
Jan, my father in law
Looks for some methodical way to win, but too much depends on luck to find that way. Is too sweet when it comes to doing damage to other players. It’s not clear whether he wants to win or whether he just doesn’t want to see William win, because he dislikes people who show signs of being too controlling or dominant. Is willing to invest too much time and energy into something that in the end doesn’t pay off.
Very competitive. Has less problems blocking and sabotaging other, especially if they are also competitive, like Jakub and William. Will not doing anything truly nasty and is too nice when trading with other players. Except for William all players are too nice when it comes to trading.
Really wants to win, but contrary to William, will likely not doing anything nasty to get there, and contrary to William doesn’t want to show how very much he wants to win. Not really good at manipulating the other players, and he’s not manipulative in real life either. Doesn’t like the luck factor either, and will not really invest in ‘action cards’ because that only heightens the luck factor. Expects loyalty from Hanka, because she is his girlfriend, but Hanka is too competitive to give anyone any special status.
Is somewhere in between Zuzi and Hanka, she pays more attention than Zuzi, but is less competitive than Hanka. She will only sabotage people for the fun of it, not with a clear goal in mind. All players, except Jakub and William are willing to please other players and help other players along with no hidden agenda of their own. Only the men and Hanka remember the outcome of previous games, and certain events during them.
Most likely to win: Hanka, Jakub and William
Sometimes wins: Jan
Rarely win: Zuzi and Veronika
Has the least fun: Jakub, William, Hanka (if she is not getting resources, she starts to sulk)
Have the most fun: Jan, Veronika, Zuzi
You could argue that it’s just a game, but I know how much my attitude in a game says about me in real life…