Games People Play

Games People Play

The Psychology of Human Relationships

Book - 1996
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We think we're relating to other people-but actually we're all playing games.

Forty years ago, Games People Play revolutionized our understanding of what really goes on during our most basic social interactions. More than five million copies later, Dr. Eric Berne's classic is as astonishing-and revealing-as it was on the day it was first published. This anniversary edition features a new introduction by Dr. James R. Allen, president of the International Transactional Analysis Association, and Kurt Vonnegut's brilliant Life magazine review from 1965.
We play games all the time-sexual games, marital games, power games with our bosses, and competitive games with our friends. Detailing status contests like "Martini" (I know a better way), to lethal couples combat like "If It Weren't For You" and "Uproar," to flirtation favorites like "The Stocking Game" and "Let's You and Him Fight," Dr. Berne exposes the secret ploys and unconscious maneuvers that rule our intimate lives.
Explosive when it first appeared, Games People Play is now widely recognized as the most original and influential popular psychology book of our time. It's as powerful and eye-opening as ever.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, [1996]
Edition: 1st Ballantine Books trade ed.
ISBN: 9780345410030
Branch Call Number: 158.2 Berne
Characteristics: 192 p. ;,21 cm.


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Jun 10, 2019

One of the things I found most interesting is that the classification has two dimensions. First, there's the game itself. Second, there's the question of how seriously you're playing: he divides this into First Degree, Second Degree and Third Degree. First Degree is just playing for fun. Second Degree means people's feelings can be badly hurt. Third Degree means that the game ends up "in the courts, the hospital or the morgue."

So let me give you an example. There's this game he calls RAPO (one of the most appealing aspects of the book is the witty labels he's made up for the different games). First Degree RAPO is a game you can see being played at almost any party. The first person, most often a woman, flirts with the second person, most often a man, until he expresses some concrete sexual interest. Then she frowns and moves on, leaving him feeling like a bit of a jerk. Her payoff is satisfaction that she's managed to discomfit him and reassurance that she has sexual power, but it's basically harmless.

May 07, 2019

The worst quality of this little book is the pompous psycho-gobbledegook, most of which is left unexplained (eg., on page 128, "...'Kiss Off' is phallic, while 'Indignation' has strong anal elements." There are no mentions of penises or anuses nor is the metaphor ever explained (must be lost in the depths of the pseudo-science of Freudian psychological literature.)) The basic typology of play is divided, wholly arbitrarily, into Adult, Parent, and Child. Although mention is made of roles in society, they are very brief. The book mostly goes through the games, which are just repeated patterns of behavior in interactions, though why they are called games and considered non-genuine is a mystery.

Dec 27, 2018

ribbonfarm gervais principle reading list

Jun 20, 2017

" YDYB is the inverse of ITHY. In WDYNB, the Parent wins, and the Child retires in confusion." Yes, it would be nice for Berne to have answered every objection one has with 'the depths of psychoanalytical theory;' however, isn't it more helpful to you to realize why you noticed those two zones, and were somewhat ready to challenge the professor, on this?" / Freud: delayed gratification of pleasure and the repression of instinctual sexual desires is lodged in the unconscious.// The book separates them into categories, such as, LIFE GAMES, and MARRIAGE GAMES. There are THERAPY GAMES, too. Many narcissists fancy themselves as leaders. they are very defensive of the self image, and tend to wreak revenge if someone -- even if inadvertently-- tweaks that ego bubble. But their persona doesn't contain the feature of being vengeful, so they need to cloak (from themselves) * such endeavors in a disguise, such as in a game of IM ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU( extremely popular as WOTH-We're Only Trying To Help You. At times they will covertly court the slight of themselves, such as by playing a game of GEE YOU'RE WONDERFUL PROFESSOR, or KICK ME; they run a decent chance of being made to appear stupid (in their own eyes), and then are allowed ( by other game players ) to assuage their hurt feelings by a more or less complicated (public or private ) revenge. NOW I'VE GOT YOU SON OF A BITCH is a prime example. MARITAL games, THERAPY games, LIFE games. . . .the wary Joseph refused to be inveigled into a game of RAPO, whereupon Potiphar's wife made the classical switch into LET'S YOU AND HIM FIGHT, an excellent example of how a hard player reacts to antithesis, and of the dangers that beset people who refuse to play games. These two games are combined in the well-known BADGER GAME, in which the woman seduces Black and then cries rape, at which point her husband takes charge and abuses Black for purposes of blackmail." " One of the most unfortunate and acute forms of Third-Degree RAPO occurs relatively frequently between homosexual strangers, who in an hour or so may bring it to the point of a homicide." Maugham describes RAPO in OF HUMAN BODAGE, and Dickens does so in GREAT EXPECTATIONS. This is Second-Degree. Third-Degree may be played in tough neighborhoods." Like down by the docks. Why are games considered 'not-genuine?' Read on to the endpieces, if you skipped the beginning. The beginning is where the difficult theory work is, and it establishes the point-of-view that games are destructive, and a waste of valuable time. Perhaps the reader had difficulty with the concept of degrees-of-games. The game of PSYCHOLOGISM, for instance, has its victims repeating, 'this has to mean something.' Then they'll fold that on over into a GYWP and/or a WDYTT, with the player who can keep up with them, in their necessary, and opposite, roles. What must it be like to think you are not a gameplayer, only to discover, that you are. Since this seminal book was written (although he preceded it with INTUITION AND THE EGO STATES, and TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS), others equally influential have been written (including SCRIPTS PEOPLE LIVE and the books the Gouldings wrote) and much background has been added to this science, in order to differentiate it from Freudian theory, per se./ " For certain fortunate people, there is something which transcends all this: Awareness, Spontaneity, Intimacy. "

xaipe Jan 01, 2015

This is an oldie but goodie. This is an older book based on transactional analysis. It looks at the roles people play in their interactions based on unconscious "rules" that we follow in dealing with others. I read this book years ago, but the games described still pop up in my mind in the middle of some conversations. For example, I recently had a conversation with a friend who complained about his bank's unfair rules and really outrageous fees and penalties. I suggested that he move his account to another bank. He gave me several reasons why he couldn't, but continued to complain about how he hated his present bank. I got sucked into a game of "Why Don't You .... Yes, But ......" The games appear to be normal to those involved and observers, but have a private significance and are usually counterproductive. Years after its publication, this book is still very relevant and influential. Some other "games": "See What You Made Me Do," "Ain't It Awful", "Now I've Got You, You Son of a Bitch," and others you will be embarrassed to recognize. I loved re-reading it.


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