Hug your mom every day if you can. I randomly did it this morning, pretending I was stuck to her and couldn’t pull myself off of her… just long enough to become slightly annoying.
I’m still that boy who expresses affection toward females by annoying them. I always will be. I constantly look for openings in the ‘social milieu’ to annoy women to whom I have some sort of attachment.
If they pull some sort of power-play, causing me real-world consequences, it doesn’t just end the annoying behavior… It severs the relationship. I never forget that kinda stuff. It’s not some sort of masculine “code” or test or power-play… It’s ‘the thing itself’… they’re willing to cause me harm. Just to one-up me. I understand what they’re telling me, even if they thought they “didn’t mean all that,” and I never forget it. It hurts the feelings I have for them. Of course it does. How could it not?
If they just ‘go silent’, it chills the relationship, and it takes a long time to warm up. I stop trusting them.
Otherwise, no, they don’t have a choice in the matter. I will try to annoy them. Trust me, it’s intended as an expression of affection.
The dynamic with men is similar, but very different. It’s assumed they won’t be annoyed, and thus becomes what’s called in the vernacular, ‘ball busting’. It’s actually quite fun, when it’s with a dude I know I can totally trust.
From an ‘objective perspective’, it’s a trait evolved to test and ‘cement’ relationships through taking a social risk. I put myself on the hook, and if someone yanks the line, they cannot be trusted.
There are very few forces in the world powerful enough to kill your “inner child.” They’ll try to convince you otherwise, coerce you into psychological suicide, but they’re lying. I’ve seen dudes come out of a men’s prison — one of the few places in the West that can really destroy a person — who still retain a sense of humor and playfulness. It may take a while to rediscover, but it’s still there.