Remember the game Truth or Dare? As I pondered the expression of daring for the month of July, this game was one of the first things to pop in my mind. Most people who grew up in the U.S. can recall playing the game when they were young. Players either chose truth or dare and were asked to tell a truth or dared to perform an act. The game was usually played in a group with the purpose of getting players to say things they might not readily volunteer to say—truth—or to do something they might or might not characteristically do for the enjoyment of others—dare. I played Truth or Dare numerous times in my youth and with different levels of severity: there was truth, dare, double dare, triple dare, tricky dare, freaky dare, and promise to repeat. I’m not sure if the game was played like that in other places, but it was where I grew up.
Playing Truth or Dare
Those extra levels came in handy because folk around my hood didn’t think people should be forced into committing acts they didn’t have the desire or courage to take part in. Thinking about this game brought me back to a time in my life when I didn’t have a care in the world, when consequences and responsibilities seemed fleeting, and when I dared to make myself vulnerable, afraid, and excited just for the sake of having fun. As a young person, playing Truth or Dare involved putting my fate, for a time, in the hands of others all for the sake of social entertainment and I didn’t seem to mind that back then. But if you ask me to do such a thing now in my adulthood, I will likely have some questions and concerns to express before deciding to play.
Truth or Dare holds such a powerful memory for me and reminiscing about the game had me wondering why most of us stop playing Truth or Dare when we become adults. To investigate this phenomenon, I decided to consult a group of my colleagues who provided the following reasons why they stopped playing Truth or Dare:
Why We Stop Playing Truth or Dare
Having this conversation with my colleagues was most enlightening. Most of what they listed as a reason why we stop playing Truth or Dare is pretty straightforward, but a couple points stood out for me. “The truths get deeper” was offered by my colleague Sydney and I think it’s such a great reason why we possibly stop playing this game. I took her statement a bit further to say, the truths get deeper for the speaker and the dares become bolder as we get older. In today’s world, we hear a lot of language about truth and how living it, facing it, sharing it, and believing it can uplift your life. But sometimes an uplift can be more like an upheaval and as adults, it seems that most of us choose to tread cautiously when it comes to truth and the impact its telling can have on our lives.
Concerning the dares getting bolder, I think when we are small children a kiss on the cheek is a sufficient and appropriate dare whereas as a teenager, we are dared to do something like make out in the closet with someone we like, don’t like, or don’t even know! This relates to the point on the list that states, “The type of dares haven’t grown up.” I actually rephrased that from my colleague Sean who asked, “Well, do we think the dares have grown up?” There is always magic in asking the right question and this question certainly sheds a brighter light on the topic. There is often a childishness to the type of dares played during Truth or Dare and perhaps that doesn’t make people want to flock back to childhood games. When Sean asked this question, I felt like I had gotten the right direction for this blog which is to ascertain what Truth or Dare looks like as an adult, rather than leaving it solely to all that it represented as a child.
Truth or Dare as an Adult
After creating this list with my colleagues, I wanted to find a way to incorporate the fun of Truth or Dare into my adult life with the addition of two small changes. The first change is that I am “playing” this game with myself. Meaning I don’t need to be in a group of people to blurt out a truth or act on a dare. I am seeing the game as a theme for this month rather than a form of social entertainment. That being said, I think it would be totally fun if someone decided to play this game as an adult with others or even play a PG version for fun with some children you know. Whatever you decide to do, just take the pressure off somehow and decide to invite the fun of this game into your month in some way.
The next change to the game will be that instead of using the phrase truth or dare, I am using Truth and Dare. I figured there is no reason to choose between the two when these two areas work so well together. For example, if the truth is that I am afraid of something, the dare is to conquer, face, or simply acknowledge that fear. If the truth is that I spend too much money on Uber, the dare is to challenge myself to find different ways to transport myself (or my food) for less money. If the truth is too hard to face alone, the dare is to find someone or an entity who can face that truth with me. I could also just dare to be truthful and thus get the best of both aspects of the game. However I choose to play, the purpose of Truth and Dare will be to challenge myself in the moments when I want to hold back, quiet my truth, not try something different, or fall short on a consistency.
Truth and Dare
Speaking of the game, when it comes to games there is typically an element of fun involved. As this relates to the game of Truth or Dare, when we get older, I think we begin to take life a little more seriously. This is necessary, of course, in many areas of our lives but where can we find room to be playful when it comes to Truth and Dare? For me, that means not needing every truth to be some big revelation. I see examples of this every day on social media when people dare to share some truth about how many times they’ve watched their favorite movie, an anime character they are in an imaginary relationship with, or sharing that they didn’t know the song that the woman in the song “Home Again” by Kanye West was a metaphor for Chicago. I am not confessing to anything, I’m just giving examples…wait, wait. If this blog is about truth, then I can say that 2 of those 3 things are true for me and I actually know someone who said she was dating an anime character and prefers this character over men in RL (real life). I judge not! I am just here for the truth.
My point is that truth and dare can be fun and playful and perhaps it needs to be. Perhaps, if we take the pressure off speaking truth, we can find truths that are joyful and playful. Likewise, every dare isn’t something you have to fulfill in some specified amount of time, nor is completing the dare some marker of coolness or success. Dares aren’t about winning or proving yourself to anyone, even yourself. Sometimes a dare can let us know what our boundaries are or perhaps what we can make room for later in life. Saying no to a dare, whether the dare was instigated by you or someone else, is a great way to use truth in your life. Boundaries are about honor and honor is a daring quality to exude and possess.
I believe there is still room for the game of truth and dare in our lives as adults, but only if we are honest and have the brevity to play. What do you believe? Do you see yourself playing truth or dare as an adult? Could truth and dare work for you? Maybe you have some truth or dare memories you want to share. We’d love to hear from you!
About the Author
Tracie Chavonne is a writer, yoga instructor, flight attendant, energy reader, and student at UNLV. She has self-published several books about her life’s journey at Crescent Sol. Currently, Tracie is majoring in English for Creative Writing and is currently an intern for the Love Yourself Foundation.