Why It’s Important Never to Label a Guy (Best Kept Secret in the Universe)

Non-Violent Communication and Letting Go of Enemy Images

Several people who read my post on Natural Game were very concerned for my well-being. They said “be careful, this guy is a player.” I appreciate very much that they are looking out for me.

And at the same time it’s important to me to address this point because it is exactly this dynamic that causes so much unnecessary pain in human relationships.

What is a “player”? What do people really mean when they say that?

For me, if I use it at all, it’s a term of affection. A player is someone who connects well with other people. Some of my absolute favorite people in this world are professional PUAs. Why do I love them so much? Because they are deeply connected with their own aliveness, and that brings out the aliveness in everyone around them.

But I see that other people attach a lot of fear to that word. If I empathize with that fear, I see a lot of unspoken assumptions. First of all, they are assuming that I want a traditional relationship, and that it won’t be possible to have that with a “player.” Second, they seem to be assuming that a “player” is someone who is insincere. What’s really behind all that, if you break it down into the language of the heart: they are afraid that what I’m wanting in a relationship won’t match up with what a “player” is wanting in a relationship. They are afraid that I’ll want a lifetime of commitment, and he’ll want one night of fun. They are afraid that I am going to suffer pain because of the mismatch. But all of that fear is basically unconscious and unspoken, wrapped up in one seemingly innocuous word: “player.”

This is a way of going from zero to 100 mph in two seconds without checking first to see if you’re about to drive off a cliff.

(“My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.” – ACIM)

In non-violent communication, we don’t ever stop at a label like “player.” (In fact, we try not to use labels at all — you’ll notice that I did not use that word in my post.) We recognize that labels very easily turn into “enemy images” that will prevent us from connecting, through our hearts, with what is really alive in another person. Labels are self-fulfilling prophecies that can easily shut down communication and lead to exactly the result that the fearful person fears.

I feel sad when I hear women use terms like “jerk” or “asshole.” Same goes for a zillion words of judgment that people use in the dating world — “weird,” “needy,” “insecure,” “arrogant.” Every single one of those labels is a cover-up that prevents people from connecting at the heart level. Unless they are willing to look below the label and see what is really going on for themselves and the other person in that moment. No matter how much someone is rubbing you the wrong way, if you look deeper, you can be sure that person is meeting their needs the best way they know how.

Wouldn’t you like to find out what’s going on for them before you assume something? Say you see someone “littering” (another judgment). Maybe you have an initial knee-jerk reaction of anger. How liberating it can be to say out loud: “I noticed that you just dropped that piece of paper on the ground, and I’m concerned about keeping our streets clean, would you be willing to let me know what was going on for you when you did that?” And you may be shocked by the answer. Maybe they didn’t even realize they dropped it on the ground.

It’s funny, people think they are protecting themselves by using labels. “Well, I’ll just avoid that person then,” they often think. This saddens me because I see people cutting themselves off from others instead of realizing the best kept secret in the Universe, which is that true freedom and safety lie in vulnerability. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “Communication is salvation.” There is no way to know whether your needs match up with someone else’s unless you are willing to communicate. I would much prefer to ask a guy his intentions than assume anything. And sometimes I would prefer to live in the moment and trust that everything is happening exactly the way it is supposed to happen.

Just because someone has game doesn’t mean he is not a human being with the same exact needs everyone else has. Labels are what is painful. Labels are limits. Labels are walls that we build between ourselves and other people.

Let the labels go, connect with your heart, and see the beautiful loving amazing person who unfolds before you.

For more on non-violent communication, check out the teachings of Marshall Rosenberg.

I really love this passage from A Course in Miracles, which seems helpful here:

“Forgiveness lies in communication as surely as damnation lies in guilt. It is the Holy Spirit’s teaching function to instruct those who believe communication to be damnation that communication is salvation. And He will do so, for the power of God in Him and you is joined in a real relationship so holy and so strong, that it can overcome even this without fear.

“It is through the holy instant that what seems impossible is accomplished, making it evident that it is not impossible. In the holy instant guilt holds no attraction, since communication has been restored. And guilt, whose only purpose is to disrupt communication, has no function here. Here there is no concealment, and no private thoughts. The willingness to communicate attracts communication to it, and overcomes loneliness completely. There is complete forgiveness here, for there is no desire to exclude anyone from your completion, in sudden recognition of the value of his part in it. In the protection of your wholeness, all are invited and made welcome. And you understand that your completion is God’s, Whose only need is to have you be complete. For your completion makes you His in your awareness. And here it is that you experience yourself as you were created, and as you are.”


erika awakening

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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  1. Wow, I am really enjoying these comments. Thank you.

    Lee, you said: “has the ego in my mind sought out for what is best for me alone at times? absolutely, that is what egos do.”

    Sometimes when I hear someone going off on a diatribe of criticism of what someone else did, I’ll say, “So do you mean that so-and-so was meeting his needs in a way that didn’t meet your needs?” And so often that’s all the criticizing person really needed to hear, and they calm down immediately.

    @Escalator, I appreciate that you practice the pickup arts with honesty. Honesty is the springboard for deeper connection. Women need to take just as much responsibility for communication as men. Magic happens when you’ve got two people coming together who’ve moved out of the world of shame and blame and into the world of taking full responsibility for themselves and their own happiness.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s so true what you said, that labels are to separate yourself from other people (and the world). You may call me a ‘player’, but I don’t lie about my intentions.


  3. Anonymous says:

    hi erika

    i came over i found you at GFG. you are right on babe. if we are vigilant for the kingdom, we don’t willingly going for a stroll in hell. FULL responsibility. is it loving to go for a tumble with someone trying to elevate a fragile ego through sex? of course not. is it loving to label them because they are attempting to comfort themselves in a way that will never comfort. nope.
    labels edge all possibilities out. even if they are “angelic.”
    according to ACIM if i label someone a “player” it is because somewhere i have been a “player” and have comdemned myself for it and now i am projecting it out.
    has the ego in my mind sought out for what is best for me alone at times? absolutely, that is what egos do.


    great blog


  4. My sweet friend,

    I am glad you are here, and I would very much like to respond to your post but I’m afraid the answer would be too long.

    All I can say for right now is that you are in the right place, please keep reading. You are going to see a completely different and happier world :-)

  5. Erika,
    I agree that labels are wrong, but I also agree that trying to justify someone’s misbehavior is wrong. A player is an opportunist. A person who uses something for their own benefit with no moral or ethical consideration. For example, a photographer taking a picture of a child dying of hanger with the intention making money. Or a sect recruiting people when they’re at their lows to brainwash them and take their money. Or even a man who is horny using a woman who is in love with him to have sex. All of these examples illustrate what a player is, and to me, there is no forgiveness to that until they realise and feel sorry.

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