in Books, Reading more books in 2012

Games People Play


Here’s the second book from 2012. Same circumstance as the last one. This also completes 2012 as far as I know.

Social Intercoursegames-people-play

  • Stimulus hunger / emotional deprivation

    • Most favored form: physical intimacy

    • On a biological chain, same relationship to survival as food-hunger

  • Sensory Deprivation

    • E.g. solitary imprisonment

  • Both can bring / encourage biological changes

  • Similarly to hunger for food

  • Transformation from infant’s stimulus hunger into recognition-hunger

    • Varies between people; film star: many „strokes“ per week; scientist one „stroke“ from a master per year

  • “stroke“ unit of social action

    • can be a stroke, pinch, or even non-physical => some acts of recognition

  • Any social intercourse is better than none

Structuring of Time

  • After recognition-hunger comes structure-hunger

  • „What do you say to him/her then…?“

  • Programming the time

    • Material

      • Mainly measurement and probability estimates

      • Social factor is subordinated

    • Social

      • Traditional (semi)-ritualistic interchanges

    • Individual

      • When you know people better

      • People often play “games”

        • Regulated environment

        • Substitute for real intimacy

    • Examples

      • Pre-defined activities by work

  • Structuring time is important because boredom can lead to emotional starvation

    • Solitary person can structure time in

      • Activity

      • Fantasy

    • Member of social aggregation

      • Rituals

      • Pastimes

      • Games

      • Intimacy

      • Activity

    • Gains of social contact

      • Relief of tension

      • Avoidance of noxious situations

      • Procurement of stroking

      • Maintenance of an established equilibrium


Structural Analysis

  • Ego states

    • Different states with feelings and body posture

    • Coherent feeling & behavior patterns

    • Grouped in

      • Resembles parental figures [exterophysic / Parent]

      • Autonomously directed towards objective appraisal of reality [neopsychic / Adult]

      • Represents archaic relics which were fixated in early childhood [archaeopsychic / Child]

    • Means that you act like your parent, objectively or like a child would

    • Implications

      • Everyone carries his parents around inside of him

      • Everyone has an Adult

      • Everyone carries a little child around inside of him

    • Structural Diagram of ego states

      • Parent

      • Adult

      • Child

    • Remarks

      • Child can be charming, pleasuring and creative

      • Adult can be

        • Direct: Do as I do

        • Indirect: Don’t do as I do, do as I say – requirements

      • Child can be

        • Adapted: behaves like its parent would what him to

        • Natural: spontaneous expression

      • Adult is essential for survival

        • Calculates probabilities

        • Processes data

        • Regulate activities

        • Mediate between child and adult

      • Parent helps

        • Act as parent of actual children

        • Makes many responses automatic

Transactional Analysis

  • Unit of social intercourse = transaction

  • Start of transaction: transactional stimulus [ego state one]

  • Response: transactional response [ego state two]

  • Ego states by difficulty (easiest first)

    • Adult — Adult [Complementary Transaction Type I]

    • Child — Parent [Complementary Transaction Type II]

  • Communication breaks if a crossed transaction occurs

    • Most problematic: Crossed Transaction Type I

      • Stimulus: Adult — Adult

      • Response: Child — Parent

      • => Crossed transaction

    • Crossed Transaction Type II

      • Stimulus: Adult — Adult

      • Response: Parent — Child

  • Ulterior, simple: Angular transactions

    • Focuses on two ego states, e.g. Adult and Child

      • Stimulus: “This one is better” (A) “… but you can’t afford it” (A2)

      • Response: as (A) “That’s the one I’ll take” (C)

  • Ulterior, duplex: ulterior transaction

    • Four ego states, e.g. flirtation

      • Adult — Adult, about the topic

      • Child — Child, about a sex play

Procedures and Rituals

  • Procedure = series of simple complementary Adult transactions manipulating reality

  • Reality can be

    • Static: all possible arrangements of matter, e.g. arithmetic

    • Dynamic: possibilities of interactions of all energy systems, e.g. chemistry

  • Effectiveness = actual results

  • Efficiency = psychological criterion, can be contaminated by Parent or Child

  • Ritual = stereotyped series of simple complementary transactions programmed by external social forces

    • Often used by people to achieve some amount of strokes

    • You can see strokes as some kind of currency; if people don’t get their strokes they will have hunger

  • Procedures and rituals are somewhat predictable

  • Rituals can be evaded by using procedures as a substitute


  • Simple pastime = series of semi-ritualistic, simple, complementary transactions arranged around a single field of material, whose primary object is to structure an interval of time

    • Beginning and end are often signaled by procedures or rituals

    • Maximum gain for each party

    • Higher adaption will mean higher gain

  • E.g. chit-chat, cocktail parties, discussions about topics that interests a group

  • Games can be played on different levels, e.g. ‘PTA’

    • A — A: talks about school reforms

    • P — P: how the kids are lazy

  • Different topics and ego states don’t mix well

  • Help stabilizing positions of persons (existential advantage)

  • Positions become fixed early (first to seventh year)

    • Positions of adults tell a lot about their childhood

    • If there’s no intervention, people try to defend their positions or try to avoid contradictions


  • (Set of) simple transactions for a stated purpose


  • game = ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined, predictable outcome

  • Series of moves with a snare or ‘gimmick’

  • Difference to procedures, rituals, and pastimes

    • Ulterior quality

    • Payoff

  • Every game is

    • basically dishonest

    • outcome has a dramatic quality

  • Dynamic instead of static like attitudes

  • The stimulus player will lapse into the state ‘despair’ if the response player will refuse to play the game


Life Games


  • Process:

    • Player drinks and gets a hang over frequently

    • Partner [Persecutor] often want to stop this habit

    • Third player [Rescuer] is concerned with player and wants to help

    • Player stops for some time and then starts again

    • Fourth player will protect player from his partner who don’t understand him [Patsy / Dummy]

    • Agitator: provides supplies without even being asked for them

  • The real pleasure doesn’t come from drinking

    • Pleasure from talking about suffering

  • Pastimes:

    • ‘Martini’: how many drinks and how they were mixed (social drinker)

    • ‘Morning After’: Let me tell you about my hangover (alcoholics)

  • Related:

    • ‘Dry Alcoholic’: Goes to the process of financial or social degradation without a bottle

    • ‘Addict’: more sinister, more dramatic, more sensational and faster

  • Rescuer sometimes encourage the player to drink, so that the game continues

  • Games from others:

    • Rescuer: ‘I’m only trying to help you’

    • Persecutor: ‘Look What you’ve done to me’

    • Patsy: ‘Good Joe’ — how can I help people?

    • Players shift to play ‘Wooden Leg’ because rescue organizations promote that alcoholism is a disease which allows the game to continue

  • Player has to stop the game

    • Often players are going to play an other game because they are afraid of intimacy

  • Antithesis:

    • Being the adult in the relationship

      • Often problematic because the public wants people to play the game

      • One clinic cured people by stopping the game which was done by not entering — this was responded by indignation and the treatment stopped


  • Process:

    • Player takes on debt — gives him a ‘purpose’

    • Further moves, see TAC and TAG-AWI

  • Related:

    • ‘If it weren’t for the debts’ — mild form

    • ‘Try and Collect’ (TAC):

      • buy lot of stuff on credit

      • try to escape creditor

      • creditor is determined to collect the money

        • Player gets angry and play ‘Now I’ve got you, you son of a bitch’ — demonstrates that the creditor is greedy and ruthless

    • ‘Try and Get Away With It’ (TAG-AWI)

      • players are small landlords

      • regardless of outcome, player can play ‘Why does this always happen to me?’

  • Antithesis:

    • TAC: Request immediate payment in cash

    • TAGAWI: Promptness and honesty

Kick Me

  • Player tries to attract misfortune

  • ‘Why does this always happen to me?’ (WAHM)

    • inverse pride: ‘My misfortunes are better than yours’

  • Positive form: ‘What did I really do to deserve this?

Now I’ve got you, you son of a bitch

  • Player tries to find an error in an agreed on contract and then exploits this fact to be furious

  • Related:

    • ‘Ain’t it awful’ (AIA)

    • seeks injustice in order to complain about them to a third party [Confidant]

    • Confidant also often plays AIA

  • Antithesis:

    • Correct behavior

    • Contractual structure should be explicitly stated in detail at the first opportunity and strictly adhered to

    • Yield gracefully without dispute if errors happen

See what you made me do (SWYMD)

  • First-Degree:

    • White is in an activity that tends to insulate him against other persons

    • Other person interrupts him and leads him to make an error

  • Second-Degree:

    • White takes SWYMD as a basis for life

    • Let other people take a decision

      • If it is good, he enjoys it

      • Otherwise, he plays ‘You got me into this’ (UGMIT) (variation of SWYMD)

      • He can also play: ‘I told you so’ or ‘See what you’ve done now’

  • Third-Degree:

    • Paranoid people play this against people who want to give them advice

    • SWYMD-UGMIT classical combination for cover game contract in many marriages

  • Antithesis:

    • First-Degree: leave player alone

    • Second-Degree: Give decision back to white

    • Third-Degree: Therapy

Martial Games


  • Couple begins process which leads to intimacy

  • One player mentions something the other one don’t want to hear so that she can escape intimacy

  • Antithesis:

    • Response player doesn’t try to offend other player

    • Initial player just ignores remarks

  • Related:

    • ‘Dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t’ — Player says to other one, that he doesn’t do X, but if he does X player will criticize him

    • ‘Lunch Bag’ — husband takes leftovers and makes himself lunch for work

      • Wife must be some kind of self-less

      • Husband has the privilege of eating lunch by himself

      • Possibility of catching up work


  • Players:

    • Plaintiff – husband

    • Defendant – wife

    • Judge – therapist

  • Antithesis:

    • Therapist says to husband: ‘you’re absolutely right’ – asks how the husband feels about this, then corrects his statement and says that he feels that the husband is actually wrong

      • If the husband is honest: game doesn’t progress

      • If he is not honest, he will show some kind of reaction and the game can progress

    • Alternatively: Husband and wife are not allowed to talk to a third-party; they can only talk about you (partner) or themselves => game stops

Frigid Woman

  • Husband advances his wife but is repulsed

  • Repeat this until his wife says that all men are beasts, he doesn’t really love her or is only interest in sex

  • Some time after that he stops trying

  • The wife becomes forgetful and may walk half-dressed in the bedroom or flirts with other men at parties if she’s heavily drunk

  • Husband tries to approach her again but is repulsed

  • Wife starts ‘Uproar’ — which takes the place of sex

  • Husband stops completely

  • Wife again starts provoking him until she approaches and kisses him

  • Husband starts to engage with her until the wife stops and says “All men are beasts, all I wanted was affection, but all you are interested is in sex”

  • Related:

    • ‘Rapo’

  • Antithesis:

    • All highly dangerous

    • Taking a mistress

    • Husband takes psychotherapy

    • Best: Both go into therapy together


  • Housewife which is at home, often with kids, cleaning, etc

  • Starts with ITWFY and ‘Blemish’

  • Then ‘Harried’ starts

    • She will do everything

    • Act on demands

    • Volunteer every time

    • Then she will crash and don’t do anything

    • After that happens some times, she will get untidy & develops symptoms

  • Antithesis:

    • She must stop being every role simultaneously

Look how hard I tried

  • Process:

    • White goes in therapy with his spouse but resists it

    • At home, he finally gives in and tries to cooperate

    • After some therapy sessions he refuses to come any longer

    • Now his wife is forced to take the next step (e.g. divorce)

    • The husband is now blameless

  • Antithesis:

    • White is declared as not ready for a therapy

  • Related:

    • ‘I am helpless’ / ‘I’m blameless’: Child let parent take the responsibility

    • ‘Look hard I was trying’

      • Ex. Husband has gastric ulcer

      • First degree: tells everybody but still continues working — gets everybody’s admiration

      • Second degree: Don’t tell anyone, works till he collapses — wife now is plagued with guilt and in a corner position

      • Third degree: The cancer progresses until the husband kills himself saying that he was trying


  • Spouse makes derogatory remark and ends with: ‘Isn’t that right, sweetheart?’

    • Partner often agrees because

      • Correcting small details would be seen as pedantic

      • People don’t want to disagree with someone calling one ‘sweetheart’

      • Partner helps them to tell about misfortunes

  • Antithesis:

    • Be offensive and direct

    • Say ‘Yes, honey”

Party Games

Ain’t it awful

  • ‘Nowadays’

    • self-righteous, punitive Parental pastime

    • ‘You can’t trust anybody, nowadays’

  • ‘Broken Skin’

    • Slogan: ‘What a pity’

    • Talks about health issues

    • Positive outlook is seen as betrayal

  • ‘Water Cooler’ or ‘Coffee Break’

    • Three-handed game

    • Character ‘They’

    • ‘Look what they’re doing to us now’


  • Starts out with a depressive Child position ‘I am no good’

  • Which is then transformed into a Parental position ‘They are no good’

  • Player only feels comfortable with a new person if they find their blemish

  • This can develop into authoritarian personalities


  • Schlemiel means cunning

  • The victim is often a ‘good-natured fellow’

  • Moves:

    • White makes some mistakes that involve black

    • Black may respond with rage but know that then white will win the game

    • White says that he’s sorry

    • Black forgives white

    • White continues to destroy black’s property

  • Antithesis:

    • Don’t offer the demanded absolution

      • ‘Tonight you can embarrass my wife, ruin the furniture and wreck the rug, but please don’t say “I’m sorry”’

Why don’t you – Yes but (YDYB)

  • Moves:

    • White complains about a problem

    • Other players offer solutions “Why don’t you try X’

    • White responds with ‘Yes, but Z” where Z is an other problem

  • The game helps to reassure and gratify the Child

  • Payoff:

    • Game usually ends in silence

    • Meaning that nobody has a solution

  • Antithesis:

    • Responders play ‘I’m only trying to help you’ (ITHY)

    • Don’t play ITHY — ‘That is a difficult problem. What are you going to do about it?’

    • ‘X didn’t work’ — ‘That’s too bad’

Sexual Games

Let’s you and him fight (LYAHF)

  • Manouevre: Woman will let two men fight for her and fulfills her promise

  • Ritual: She already made her decision and if this men loses she must live with the wrong man

  • Game: While the two men are fighting, she meets up with a third man


  • First-Degree: Woman flirts with men, as soon he has committed the game is over

  • Second-Degree: White’s primary gratification comes from rejecting him

  • Third-Degree: White leads black into a compromising physical contact and then claims that he has raped or done other harm to her

    • Society can force white to Third-Degree because the sexual contact isn’t accepted

  • Antithesis:

    • The man has to distinguish game from real moves

Stocking Game

  • Moves:

    • Woman (White) comes into a strange group and exposes herself in a provocative way

    • Men get aroused and other women are angry

    • White plays innocent

  • White tries to prove her cynical world view

  • Antithesis:

    • Other women should handle the game


  • Often played by teenage daughters and fathers

  • Moves:

    • White finds a fault in black or the other way around

    • The outcome can end in

      • White retires into his bedroom and slams the door

      • Black retires into her bedroom and slams the door

      • Or both retire and slam the doors

  • Slamming of the doors highlights the fact that they have different bedrooms

    • Avoidance of sexual intimacy

  • Antithesis:

    • Often daughters try to leave the house early, e.g. premature marriage

    • Father finds an outside sexual interest

Good Games

Busman’s Holiday

  • Rather a pastime than a game

  • Player works his profession in an other country in his holidays


  • Men compliments a woman whenever possible but within appropriate limits

  • They don’t want to offer themselves but their work (e.g. poetry)

Happy to Help

  • Player helps or spends money with some ulterior motive


The significance of games

  • Games are passed on from generation to generation unless there is a successful intervention

  • People who play the same games have often offspring

  • ‘Raising’ children is often teaching them games

  • Society teaches that intimacy is not welcomed but in privacy which leads to playing games

  • People have friends who play the same games as them

The players

  • The more disturbed people are, the harder they play

  • Two classes play the games with the greatest conviction:

    • Sulks

      • Man who is angry at his mother

      • He doesn’t like women

      • Similarly with female sulks

    • Jerks / Squares

      • People who are overly sensitive to Parental influences


  • Release of three capacities

  • Awareness

    • ‘Where is the mind when the body is here?’

      • Thinking about some event

      • Immerse in the activity

      • Is aware to the environment

  • Spontaneity

    • Option, the freedom to choose

    • Liberation from the compulsion to play games

  • Intimacy

    • Spontaneous, game-free candidness of an aware person

    • Uncorrupted Child living in the here and now

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