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Games People Play (apologies to Eric Berne)

Several decades ago Eric Berne wrote a book called, Games People Play. Ii this book he describes how we all find ways unconsciously to reinforce our early Script decisions in life, by playing Games. Games with an Upper case G, rather than games, as in cards, and Scrabble etc.

I came across this concept in the late 1990’s whilst I was training in Transactional Analysis (TA). At that time I also learnt about Karpman’s Drama Triangle

In Games People Play we come across various Games with titles such as;
‘See What You Made Me Do’ ; ‘Ain’t It Awful’; and ‘I’m Only Trying To Help You’ and ‘Let’s you and him fight’. There are many more, and I think I have probably played them all many times in my life. It was quite a struggle to understand that I was playing Games, when I found myself slap bang in the middle of one, as I hadn’t “consciously” intended to be in one. In fact, I was horrified to find myself playing, and always wanted to blame the other person for making me play. It’s important to understand that it takes two to play. I think it was only as I moved on in my own therapy and over time that I managed more and more to spot the Game and either extract myself more quickly or even avoid getting in there in the first place.

I have learned also that now I have moved away from my training establishment, my therapy, my supervision and work environments, I am more Stroke hungry, so more vulnerable to Game playing. Currently, I believe I am in a good place, and can know this as I extracted myself from a Game earlier in the week and near the beginning too. It was the “Let’s You and Him Fight’ I think, or it could have been, ‘Now I’ve Got You Son of a Bitch’. NIGYSOB for short.

The Game started when my husband and I were bantering and playing on Facebook (Facebook is an interesting place for things going tits up). So, we were playing (even though we were only metres apart in different rooms) because playing in a relationship is good and we do play on Faceache and in reality. Along came someone from Persecutor on the Drama triangle to tell us not to play, and in fact later emailed us to slap us for playing! Of course the words being used weren’t as clear as that, but the unconscious intention was loud and clear. The email was even clearer. In fact I was told not to answer on my husbands behalf! I think this person would have been happy if we were fighting, but didn’t want to see us playing.

Since this person is hardly a friend of mine, I didn’t have a problem sending them away to Persecute elsewhere. Husband also more gently kicked them into touch. But this didn’t work. Several emails later this time from a mixture of Persecutor and Victim, husband received a copy of the email I’d sent as if in an attempt to really get us fighting. Said person obviously didn’t realise that along with playing, we share, and share everything, so husband had had a copy of the email as I’d sent it. I was and am astonished that someone can come in from nowhere and attempt to divide us and destabilise us and whilst I understand the Game theory, can’t work out how we’d arrived there. I am pretty positive we didn’t start a Game. I am sure if I were still in therapy or supervision, I would be able to unpick this with my therapist/supervisor. I know I manage to extract myself quickly as I didn’t get the payoff.

So along with the Connard stuff yesterday and this a couple of days before, it’s been an interesting (in the Chinese sense) week.

Keeping the gate closed doesn’t seem to be protecting against Incoming, I guess because the gate is not completely closed due to Facebook.

Tomorrow is Friday, and we’re going to have lunch out with my daughter and her boyfriend (after a visit to the gendarmerie) to celebrate the good stuff that has happened this week.

Bon weekend tout le monde.

As a special treat (;-) ) here’s a photo of our snowy garden, 6 days after it had snowed, no thaw in sight!
Snowy garden


About kathythesane

Content to be Lefty, Libtard, Snowflake, TreeHugger, DoGooder, kind, generous and sane. This Atheist will say potent prayers for you Trumpettes.

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