What can I do to be peaceful?

Don't let yourself be annoyed!

The term mind games is common in everyday language and is also present in the school context. For example, when it says in the classroom: “Leon, stop it! Don't play games with me! "In the following we speak professionally of mind games in the classroom in order to do justice to the depth psychological dynamics of such arrangements.

In such cases, it is a question of highly manipulative interaction strategies that always follow the same pattern, the supreme discipline of manipulation, so to speak. They are actively staged by the player. The interaction partner involuntarily plays along, more precisely in a scheme-driven manner. Mind games are not just a matter for students. In the course of their lives, each person has designed their own strategies through trial and error in order to animate interaction partners to a desired interpersonal reaction. It is always about the fulfillment of basic needs!

Teachers also practice such strategies. It doesn't hurt to face your own mind game culture. In the practical field of school we find an accumulation of typical psychological games on the part of the student body. In the context of schema-pedagogical thinking, it is essential to know them and to be able to work efficiently with them directly in the classroom. To do this, however, they must above all be present to the teacher in terms of content.

The classic: "Come on. Give me one!"

In my experience, there is a true mind game classic that many teachers fall for over and over again. And it works like this: In the so-called “Versetz mich eins” arrangement, a teenager typically reveals the following behavior in class (just one of a very large number of variants): At the beginning of the lesson, droplets and inconspicuously disrupt the process, as if the class disruptions were occurring accidentally and unintentionally: “Why should we write this down now? Is that important? "Or" Are your pants new, they already have two holes! "The other students eagerly follow the action. As expected, the player is then briefly admonished or reprimanded by the teacher. What else should she do? She has to react:" Leon, please concentrate! "The adolescent now assures that from now on he will take full active part in the class:" All right! Easy. Just chill out! " A little later, however, he took up the project “Versetz mir eins” again, obviously unimpressed - only more creatively and provocatively. “Sorry, yes, my cell phone is ringing, I know! So what! I forgot to turn it off ! WHAT CAN I DO FOR? "Again the teacher admonishes the student. "Does he want to tease me?" She thinks now. In principle she is right.

The game goes on for a while, the emotional stress on the part of the teacher increasing step by step: "Your blackboard writing looks like it was painted by a handicapped person!" Two minutes later: "Are we going to smoke a cigarette afterwards during the break?" Corresponding reactions of a threatening nature on the part of the teacher take place at this stage already at a higher level. The stress level increases. At the end of the banter, just before the break, the player is finally thrown out. But not just like that. In slow motion he packs up his things and walks slowly but smiling out of the hall and winks at some of his classmates. They are now in agreement. You understand each other. The rest of the class as a whole is visibly amused. There were few lessons in this double period.

Stress for both sides

The teacher goes into the break very stressed. And from there into the next double period. It is not uncommon for such (or similar) banter to take place regularly in classrooms. The reason is that teachers play along without even realizing it! You are so to speak, right in the middle of the game right from the start. Schematically speaking: in a typical mode activation. As a rule, this also applies to young people. As mentioned, the pupil reveals the “manipulator mode” during a game, the teacher reveals the ego state “sanctioning parents”. As I said: a classic.

Preventive measures

From the perspective of the adolescents, such a procedure looks very attractive in the front of an audience. In a way, it's a welcome change. For the teacher this means nothing more than extreme stress on the relationship level. Experience has shown that it is very difficult to constructively work on mind games that have already become established. Reason: The teacher extensively neglected to deal professionally with the psychological game harbingers (tests). Then it's almost too late. Nevertheless, the following basic counter-strategies are conceivable, which can be communicated in an empathic and confrontational way when players are opened in future:

  • Addressing and uncovering the game as such directly ("Leon, you want to provoke negative attention with your show here - and you also know how it all ends in the end! So, leave it!").
  • Anticipate the rest of the game ("Leon, the number here is not only boring for me! In two minutes the saying will come with my pants, ten minutes later your cell phone will ring! But I'll give you one more chance to take part in the class here! ").
  • Confront the player with the costs of his behavior ("Leon, if you would invest your creativity for mind games in the cooperation, I could easily give you a 2! You are always clever enough!").
  • Appreciate the player as a person and demand alternative behavior ("Leon, you really have what it takes to let teachers hit the wall. You've proven that enough. We all know that. What can you offer me so that I can give you better grades? Otherwise it would be a shame! Fast forward five years! How do you stand then? ").

There are pedagogical limits to this interaction strategy. As soon as an adolescent has successfully tuned into a particular teacher, his power is already very considerable. He or she knows exactly how to get his teacher up to 180, all that is needed is to press the right buttons.