games people play

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By Eric Berne(Book PEOPLE GAMES Review) PLAYBy Group-9,Section-B,PGDM-I(2008-2010)

Contents: About the Book About the Author The Need Brief Review Introduction to Transactional Analysis The Basic Terminology The Analysis of Games Life Games

Marital Games Party Games Sexual Games Underworld Games Consulting Room Games Good Games Beyond Games References

About the Book Games People Play (subtitle: The Psychology of Human Relationships) is a famous 1964 book by psychiatrist Eric Berne. The book describes both functional and dysfunctional social interactions. Since its publication it has sold more than five million copies In the first half of the book, Dr. Berne introduces transactional analysis as a way of interpreting social interactions. The second half of the book catalogues a series of mind games, in which people interact through a patterned and predictable series of "transactions"

About the Author Eric Berne (May 10, 1910 July 15, 1970) was a Canadian-born psychiatrist best known as the creator of transactional analysis and the author of Games People Play. He was born as Eric Lennard Bernstein in Montreal, Canada. He attended McGill University, graduating in 1931 and earning an M.D. in 1935. He became an American citizen in 1939. In 1943 he changed his legal name to Eric Berne.

The Need As a future manager. To prepare for the expected moves. To be a resourceful persona. For introspection. To be successful in personal and public life. To understand human nature and relationships Finally to gain liberation / autonomy

Brief Review Brilliant, amusing, and clear catalogue of the psychological theatricals that human beings play over and over again. Berne starts out by explaining transactional analysis: the ParentAdult Child model, strokes, various types of transactions, and the definitions of game, pastime, procedure, and activity. The fun part of the book is the thesaurus of games, some of which are more recognizable than others. The names themselves sometimes evoke that recognition: Kick Me; Now I've Got You, You Son of a Bitch; If It Weren't for You; Let's You and Him Fight; I'm Only Trying to Help You.

Contd. Included in the analysis of each game is an especially helpful antithesisa way to break out of the game. Bernes focused on patterns of action that people display over and over again, which he referred to as scripts or games Some of these scripts required a crowd, while others could be limited to one or two people. He analyzed games such as NIGYSOB, (The initials SOB mean exactly what you think they do) in which a person who has the upper hand takes more pleasure in making the loser look bad than in actually winning.

Contd. Another game, Why dont you? yes but, involves the interesting party game in which one person presents a problem and the rest of the group offers suggestions, all of which are turned down no matter what their value. Berne doesnt just describe the games, he gives the reasoning behind them, and what each player gets out of it. He also analyzes the interaction from the point of view of the participants, who act as child, parent, or adult, according to the circumstances.

This book is good reading if you want to add dimension to your characters or insight into your situations. It is truly a must-have, and also pretty entertaining reading.

Book manages to create a-ha moment for people as soon as the realize how much of their own lives have been ties up in playing them

Introduction to Transactional AnalysisAccording to TA, there are three ego-states that people consistently use: Parent ("exteropsychic"): a state in which people behave, feel, and think in response to an unconscious mimicking of how their parents (or other parental figures) acted, or how they interpreted their parent's actions. Adult ("neopsychic"): a state in which people behave, feel, and think in response to what is going on in the "here-and-now," using all of their resources as an adult human being with many years of life experience to guide them. Child ("archaeopsychic"): a state in which people revert to behaving, feeling and thinking similarly to how they did in childhood.

Typical Behaviors:PARENTAdvising Criticizing Ordering Telling Fault Finding Moralizing Scolding Nurturing Caring Loving

ADULTFact Finding Questioning Analyzing Problem Solving Helping Cooperating Planning Coordinating Scheduling Thinking

CHILDLaughing Crying Sulking Being Frightened Playing Enjoying Dancing Curiosity Obeying Dependent

Transactional Stimulus and Response The initiator of the transaction is called the transactional stimulus. The response of the respondent is called transactional response. The transactional response become again the transactional stimulus for next transactional response and so on.

How to Begin Transaction? Good Morning start with salutation. Have you read the News Paper today? start with a question. There is a meeting today at 10.00 a.m. start with some important information. You are so handsome today!- Start with a complement.

Termination of transactions: OK, See you later. time constraint We shall discuss this later. post pone the transaction. I will get back to you later. promise to do something later. I am already late. time constraint You are right give a sense of disinterest.

Types Of Transactions:Reciprocal Transactions: Stimulus Parent Response Adult Adult




Complimentary Transactions: Parent






Crossed Transactions: Parent Parent





Theory : The three needs of human beings that if remain unfulfilled can have fatal consequences and they create reasons for social intercourses:


Stimulus hunger: if an infant doesnt get enough of emotional stimuli from his mother he may develop complexities. To avoid sensory and emotional starvation

ii. Recognition hunger: person become individual in his quest for recognition iii. Time structuring hunger: how to structure your time after youve said hi! To avoid boredom

Forms of social activity: Rituals programmed by external social forces eg good manners, culture specific salutations.

Pastimes: general chit chat like who won (sports)

Games :series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well defined predictable outcomes

Characters Mr. white and Mrs. white : they are usual game players.

Mr. black : supporting character or the other player of the games

Sexual games Games played to exploit or fight off sexual impulses eg:

i. ii.

Let you and him fight Perversion

iii. Rapo iv. The stocking game (white seduces and acting as if unaware) v. Uproar

Rapo i. ii. Aim : revenge Roles: seductress, victim Moves : White try to behave as if she is available through mild flirtations. Man pursues her and make advances. White either rejects her politely or in a higher degree may even falsely accuse him of rape. Black is often playing another game kick me a kind of reverse pride at being worst off

Contd. i. ii. Advantages: Expression of hatred and projection of guilt. I am blameless.

iii. NIGYYSOB. i. ii. Variants: Casting couch where budding actress doesnt get the job Cuddle up where secretary is fired soon after that.

Significance of games: They have cultural significance as the people who play these games represent their culture and their history. They are passed on from generations to generations. People pick as friends associates and inmates who play the same games. Games are usually more interesting then pastimes.

More disturbed a person is more he is likely to play games intensely

Liberation Recovery of the following is essential to gain liberation : Awareness : being in present ad knowing how to do I feel now Spontaneity : ability to rise programming of the past. Intimacy : essential human nature to love rather then play games.

These characteristics are a part of basic human nature .

Beyond this book This book lead to discovery of a new field of science i.e. TA after which several attempts have been made to understand basic human transactions through description of life positions and life scripts