Shifty Shades of Cray: BYOT


We left off right before I introduce you to the first incident at the camp. As I was writing my first draft I was chatting with a friend. Chatting with friends/family helps my writing immensely—that’s how this topic arose. Running a few ideas by them convinced me that life will be easier for everyone involved if I devote some time to analogies—mainly, but not exclusively, mental health analogies…

I explain myself often—ultimately, because I’m eccentric weird.

NOTE: Sorry, I'm not rich enough to be eccentric... yet... 

Explaining myself repeatedly for 50 years (give or take 40 years) has taught me that analogizing my experiences always helps—well almost always. It has only failed when dealing with bad faith arguments/situations, but honest attempts were doomed to fail there anyways…

Today I’ll address how I perceive people. I’m useless when I can’t gamify things, so I gamify interacting with and/or understanding people. Naming things makes them easier to discuss, so I’ll name today’s game Build Your Own Toy—hereafter abbreviated BYOT. I care most about communicating the idea efficiently and effectively, so I’ll stick to this for now. You don’t need to call it that—call it whatever you want—as long as you get the point, great.

NOTE: Game doesn't explain BYOT best. It's not the word we deserve; it's the one we get...

I don’t willingly play BYOT; it’s neither fun nor trivial—it’s just a description of what happens; it’s an analogy. For those who disagree whether or not you can call something that’s neither fun nor trivial a game, try Monopoly. I only play Monopoly with people I’d take a bullet for… What I mean by that is completely up to your interpretation.

If we’re serious, BYOT is one of my coping mechanisms for triggers and intrusive thoughts, but it’s a lot more manageable if I just call it a game. Calling it a game adds a bit of levity. Anyway, how does it work?


  1. Acknowledge (and accept) it. Trying to forcibly rid myself of it worsens everything…
  2. Update it when something changes. Never assume it’s over.
  3. NEVER tell anyone about their results. Seriously, never. But Roybert, what if it’s
    shutup, I said never for a reason…

Aside from that, it’s straightforward: when you meet someone, (conceptually) build a toy that’s accurate enough to replicate them. Here are a few sample questions that steer my process (about building the toy—once again, conceptually…):

  • What would it do?
  • What would it say?
  • What do they like?
  • What do they hate?
  • Do they have any catchphrases or mannerisms?
  • What differentiates them from others?
  • What humanizes them?
  • How do/would I get them to leave me alone? (This one takes precedence above all: always have an exit strategy…)

This exercise helps me manage most intrusive thoughts and triggers (pertaining to people). It doesn’t solve everything, but it always helps. To be clear, it’s not something I consciously do—or force myself to—this just describes the process well enough to discuss it. It doesn’t mean that I confuse this for reality—it’s an analogy.. You might find this repetitive, but I like to clarify things for when some [redacted] chimes in with worst type of UmM, aCtUaLlY —the one that’s neither relevant, correct, nor entertaining…

Also, just because it took me this long to explain this doesn’t mean that’s how long it takes me to “play” it—people gloss over that part, and I wish they didn’t…

Never share the results: people don’t like finding out that they’re closer to an NPC than a person…

Now that you know how BYOT works, I hope things (will) make more sense…

Next post I’ll return to the story I started last post (you know, the one where I volunteer at the chess camp)… If someone interjects with another idea, I might just head down that path and move the story back one more post…

Thank you for your time,
Roybert S. Henanigans

NOTE 0: I’m supposed to promote myself here. Like, comment, follow, yell at me via email (please make any vitriol entertaining—though ideally, no vitriol would be nice), and more (please see NOTE 96).

NOTE 1: No, “cray” is not an official word, but I’m dedicated to this bit.

NOTE 96: I’ve updated my Contact Me page explaining how you can help me if you choose to. This includes a messaging form, my gmail address, my Twitter account, and a donation button to my Ko-Fi page. I’ll update specifics gradually…


Published by justcallmeroybert

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