Thursday, August 13, 2009

Games People Play write up

Hey guys,

Today I have a quick write up on “ The Games People Play” and transactional analysis as related to this crazy little thing we call game.

The first thing I want to write about is the concept of a game. A game according to Berne is an ongoing series of complimentary ulterior transactions progressing to a well defined predictable outcome. In other words they are actions motivated by an internal psychological payoff which may or may not be healthy.

Games are fascinating because they generally determine the patterns of people’s lives. In the book Berne examines a ton of different types of games from life games like Alcoholic to sexual games like the terrifying Rapo. By being able to identify the games you and people you are interacting with are playing, you can start to better understand yourself and others.

The concept of games really applies to some of the “ugly” truths about dating. So many guys want to rant and rave about how attractive women like to date jerks, but they don’t see that the girl may be playing a game to get some sort of psychological payoff. Same thing with girls who are star fuckers or club social climbers. Try thinking about that the next time you’re interacting with a woman, ask yourself what the psychological payoff she’s getting may be.

Ultimately the point of Games People Play is to communicate honestly through the structure of use of transactional analysis and seek the attainment of autonomy. Autonomy being defined as the capacity to make an informed rational decision. In other words being in control of your life.

The attainment of Autonomy comes from recovering awareness, developing spontaneity and the liberation of intimacy. Awareness refers to the idea of living in the moment and having the mind and body in the same place at the same time. This is where Eckhart Tolle’s teachings come into play being in the moment is key to developing your awareness of your feelings, thoughts, etc. Spontaneity is all about opening up all of your options so that you can choose from any outcome not just the ones you’ve been having or feel like you should have. Intimacy comes from being in the moment, spontaneously feeling the urge to open up candidly to another person and doing so.

Overall Games People Play was a little disappointing as it gave some solid starts for inner game restructuring but it left me with a few more questions than answers which led me to Dr Berne’s second much less publicized book “ What Do You Say After Hello?”

But that’s another blog post altogether….



  1. Anonymous12:39 PM

    Sinn - its not that guys want to "rant and rave" about hot attractive women dating jerks - its because they just do! So we just see what we observe over and over again....

  2. I think the "hot attractive women dating jerks" is just a limiting belief. These jerks get more attention because of the way they act so we just notice it more.

    I live in a big city and when I walk around there are hot girls with ugly dudes, good looking dudes with busted chicks and every other combination you can think of.

    If you go to a club its always the obnoxious douches making the biggest commotion so attention seeking party girls flock to them. Stay away from these places to shatter that belief.

  3. I love this. I think I read (or skimmed) that book several years ago, before I got into game, and looking back it really has a lot of relevance.

    Especially if by spotting frames early on you're in a position to choose what game gets played...

  4. Anonymous4:21 PM

    So would you recommend it...should we just read the second book...

  5. Anonymous4:52 PM

    very complicated book! Interesting ideas.. but needs a major overhauling to make it understandable, and usable.

  6. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Yes women do date jerks. They always have and always will. Its like they cannot help themselves. Women on the whole can't be trusted if you really think about it. They will go for the jerk just about everytime up until the age of say early 30's or so. Then reality starts to set in. So gaming younger women is almost pointless for the average "decent" normal guy.

  7. Anonymous... we notice this "hot girl/jerks" phenomena more because we have misemtion about it.

    A few weeks of pointing out Counterexamples should clear it up unless the person is using it to justify their own payoff for holding onto it. (In which case they aren't even ready to use Counterexamples Process.)

    It also works the other way... since the girl is hot you may be 'distorting' the guy as a jerk.

  8. I remember reading somewhere that he lifted these ideas from someone else and got heavy criticism for his representation being incomplete and potentially harmful if carried out.

    I LOVE the idea of creating common categories but not without standard, workable way to dissolve the games for good. Otherwise, you will create more havoc in a person.

    I think he lifted it from Dianetics. The ego states and the idea that a person can act in that role during an interaction sounds like the dianetics idea of "Valences." The breakdown in Berne's idea here is that 3 valences is a gross simplification.

    There could be hundreds and they aren't categories but SPECIFIC people from the past that you identified with and act out as if restimulated.

    Further, it is not easy to shift from one valence to another. The restimulation needs to simmer down before you "snap out of" a valence.

    I could go on and on with the similarities there are many, many more.

  9. All these comments about women and jerks (which by the way misses the point of the article) is retarded. But it is a psychological pattern and from Berne's perspective yet another game, and a fairly simple one.

    Guy disparages "jerk" for being a jerk, and also girl for being "stupid". Guy has an excuse for inaction, feels superior, and is emotionally gratified. Even though it's not true and more importantly not helpful, the emotional gratification feels good, reinforcing the pattern.

    Is the pattern of girls hooking up with jerks a bad psychological pattern?

    Believing that girls prefer jerks is a much worse one.

  10. Markus5:44 PM

    The more I hear about this stuff, the more I think of Freud. Everything seems to spring from that guys basic teachings.

    Parent = Freuds Superego
    Adult = Freuds Ego
    Child = Freuds Id

    "This is where Eckhart Tolle’s teachings come into play being in the moment is key to developing your awareness of your feelings, thoughts, etc."

    This is Child, or Id. If you are fully in a moment, you have no 'observing ego' or 'Parent' or 'Superego'.

    There's a time and a place for being this, making love for example...that's the time to be fully in the moment. Tolle's ideas are very seductive I believe because they imply an abandonment of the internalized 'Parent'.

    The 'Parent' or 'Super-ego' or "observing ego' as Dr. Paul calls it, is also necessary....this is ALSO called 'mindfulness' by eastern philosophers...( sheesh )... where you use your bran new cerebral cortex to 'think things through'...something animals can't do.

    Being 'in the moment' with all your senses, is getting in touch ( ha ha ) with your senses so that you have a more sensate and enrichened experience of life.

    Problem is, you CANNOT do that when your job is to be an accountant and work with figures on an excel spreadsheet 12 hours a day and then come home and take care of the kids.

    The result of not allowing the 'child' 'id' to PLAY 'and be fully in the moment', and express itself is....depression. Well, that's one result, there are probably others.

    We do have base instincts that must be satisfied. Proof? Sex and Money...people KILL over money, they KILL over a cheating partner.

    There are your primary drivers.

    What happened to O.J. Simpsons 'observing ego'. or "super-ego" or "parent" when he allegedly killed Ron Goldman...they were over-run by a more powerful part of the mind, the Id. we go with more terms...the limbic brain.

    And it's not like he didn't have one. On youtube they have a tape of the conversation with him and a friend as he's can clearly hear that he's in very severe distress as he realizes what he's just done 'Parent'...and is contemplating suicide.

    So, what would I do with all these speakers. I think there's a time to play, a time to work, a time to think about things.

    Play = Id 'being in the moment'
    Work = Adult - Earning a living
    Reflection = observing ego "Am i heading in the right direction"

    Then put all these perspectives in their respective places.

    I'm going to take a shot at the "why YOUNG women like jerks" conundrum after writing the above.

    Ok, so, there's enormous pressure on a young woman to behave a certain way. "don't be sexual' 'be a lady' 'Be slim' "be this be that'.....ARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHH.

    A 'jerk' is not a Parent, or an Adult, he's more, 'child' or 'id',

    the jerk then acts as an auxiliary ego state through which a 'nice girl' can live vicariously through.

    As women get older and more independent of social influence they can acquire some of these experiences for themselves without the 'help' of a jerk.

    Ever seen women at a male strip club....they're ANIMALS. That's how much pent up repressed emotion they're letting go of.

    That's my 'women with jerk' theory anyways.