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Games people play

Postby xSid » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:33 pm

(read whole post)

It is a book, which I haven't read, btw, but was discussing about it with a friend recently. It simplifies human interactions to two basic patterns: adult-adult interaction and parent-child interaction. Adult-adult is the healthy interaction. Parent-child interaction comes with a few varieties, but it is basically unhealthy way of interacting and based on power games. Whoever holds the "parent" role dominates over whoever holds the "child" role. There are other possible patterns, but they ultimately devolve to either an adult-adult or a parent-child

Some variations of interest are the power-hungry parent who oppresses the child, the pushover parent who gets pushed around by the child, the overprotective parent who makes the child spoiled and useless, etc. Also the mischievous child, the attention seeking, the disciplined/oppressed child, etc. The terminology sounds stupid (and in my mother tongue it sounded even more stupid, but this is what the book writer uses), so I am gonna clarify here that it has absolutely nothing to do with parenting, it is all adult interactions

The various communication games people play and are mentioned in the book also end up as examples to an unhealthy, parent-child interaction

I have always believed that most interactions have one party who is more dominant and one party who is more submissive. I mean even asking for directions on the street, one person usually takes a more passive stance and the other takes a more assertive, even if the difference is very slight

Has anyone read the book? And if so you want to discuss about it with me, cause I haven't read it but I am super interested in this.

Also what do you think about the patterns, the neutral/healthy interaction and the unhealthy, power-struggle, "parent-child" interaction? (parent child might seem an uncorrect name to describe an unhealthy interaction, but really even the best parents are by defacto authority figures to their children, even if they don't purposely try to, I mean even I am. So the interaction will always have an unhealthy, power-struggle shadow in it)

Another thing I wanna discuss is, does anyone think that these patterns can also describe some thought processes? Ex, your internal dialogues, or decision making process, or something. this is basically what interests me the most, so if you wanna focus on this, even better

Forum interactions probably have a lot of this patterns too, though most here seem to only be interested in the "mischievous child" role

Also I am trying to make a serious discussion here, so don't derail the ###$ out of my thread ( <-- classic parent role, btw)

and last note, if anyone has read the book, does it have any other patterns of interaction than the two I mentioned? If so, which ones? My buddy didn't remember any others but it seems kind of lacking, if that's all. I mean I can oversimplify all interactions to these two basic modes, but it feels like way too much oversimplification and somewhat missing the point of many communication patterns
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Re: Games people play

Postby naps » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:43 pm

I've heard that there is a dominant/submissive role in every kind of relationship or exchange. One of the key indicators is body language.

There has to be. The universe is too big and random. Few things are exactly parallel.

Also that no matter how you carry or see yourself, and regardless of your social status, people almost never take the dominant or submissive (parent/child) role 100% of the time. Often it's involuntary or subconscious. I wonder if manipulating your behavior regarding the parent/child role to achieve a certain affect is possible.

You might want to mention that this thread isn't about how your parents raised you, so it doesn't evolve into a "mommy ignored me/daddy beat me" thread.. These forums are full of people who don't like to read and who have a lot of baggage from their upbringing.
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Re: Games people play

Postby Eight » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:19 am

It isn't so much about dominant/submissive. It's more about ego states and we all have all 3 - parent, adult, child.

In every exchange with another person, we come from one or more ego states - we vacillate between all three. It's simple but really helpful to learn about this system and recognize, in yourself, whether you are coming from your parent state, your adult state, or your child state, and likewise from which ego-state the other person is coming. There are "Complementary transactions" where the ego states of each person in an exchange complement one another -- There are also "Crossed transactions", where for example one is coming from an Adult ego but the other responds from the Child ego, and those are the basis for lots of miscommunications and disturbed relationships.

There's a lot about this on the internet. Google:

    Dr. Eric Berne, the psychiatrist who developed the system's model

    Transactional Analysis or T.A. - the system

    Games People Play - his book
    What Do You Say After You Say Hello - his subsequent book
    Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy - another Berne book

    Dr. Thomas Harris studied under Dr. Berne and became expert in T.A. and wrote a good book that describes the system well: I'm OK - You're OK

The books should all be at your libraries. They aren't new. Most are from the late 60's if I remember correctly.
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Re: Games people play

Postby justonemoreperson » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:11 am

xSid wrote:I have always believed that most interactions have one party who is more dominant and one party who is more submissive. I mean even asking for directions on the street, one person usually takes a more passive stance and the other takes a more assertive, even if the difference is very slight


This is true, both in one-on-one interactions and in groups. There's always a dominant person and, if there's not, then the group seeks to identify one. If you watch a group without a dominant person, the conversation is often awkward and stunted. It seems to be something that we need for social interaction.

We've always been social animals, much like dogs, and I think this is how we best interact; when there's a adopted hierarchy.

I do think it's more complex than simply parent-child though. There are many roles that people find more comfortable and naturally fall into. Belbin described them as:

Plant
Resource Investigator
Coordinator
Shaper
Monitor Evaluator
Teamworker
Implementer
Completer Finisher
Specialist

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_Role_Inventories

It's an interesting way of looking at interactions. I have the test somewhere. If I can dig it out I might post it up; it would be interesting to see which roles people tend to fit into here.
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Re: Games people play

Postby Autumn218 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:27 am

what.
is there anyway to ask for directions while being the dominant? i think you can be domintan while asking for directions.
it is interesting but a lot of this i do by intuition ,thinking about it so analytical confuses me.
(it almost feels like suppression that i always have to pay attention to how i express myself like i already pay too much attention more than others and i want to stop caring)
how do you live obsessing constatly about who is the dominant and who is the submissive,it feels annoying to me to live like this.

i like eight's comment that are ego states and not about dominace.
i want to be the child of a protective and loving parent. but i feel i have to be the adult or that i have to be the parent
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Re: Games people play

Postby justonemoreperson » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:38 am

Autumn218 wrote:it is interesting but a lot of this i do by intuition ,thinking about it so analytical confuses me.


Everyone does this by intuition. It's usually examined when there's a constructive purpose for the group (for example, when it's in a work environment.)

The problem is that naturally, we tend to focus on the dominant person and this is counter-productive in a work environment, where quieter people tend to be ignored in group conversations.

Previously, people had been encouraged to be more assertive; to be more of the dominant person in group interaction, but it's not natural for many and it didn't work. You can't have a room of top dogs.

So, Belbin came up with this idea of role identification to try to identify the different types of group behaviour; pointing out their strengths and weaknesses.

It's surprisingly effective.
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Re: Games people play

Postby Autumn218 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:49 am

Practically i understand the usefulness but emotionally it feels bad to be restricted to a role for some reason i am not completely aware right now.
i am kind of diplomatic in work enviroments by intuition or defense ,or try to be even if it bothers me
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Re: Games people play

Postby Autumn218 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:04 am

i also wonder about power struggle in relationships but i think is different with ego states.
because i parent and a child can have a constant power struggle but also a different parent and child can have a more loving relationship.
or the second means you are the adult then and not the parent ?
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Re: Games people play

Postby Tanoujin » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:32 am

hey xsid, maybe you better *read* the book before starting to dicuss it. It is an easy and funny read. My compliment to Eight, who covered the topic better than I could, even after going through a Transaction Analysis which worked out very nicely.
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Re: Games people play

Postby xSid » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:52 am

naps wrote:Also that no matter how you carry or see yourself, and regardless of your social status, people almost never take the dominant or submissive (parent/child) role 100% of the time. Often it's involuntary or subconscious. I wonder if manipulating your behavior regarding the parent/child role to achieve a certain affect is possible


Yeah, it is not how you generally carry yourself. It is how you handle every separate interaction. eight said a bit about it. Sometimes you might start from a position of "adult = healthy" but the other person responds from a position of a child (unhealthy), and this will usually devolve to you taking a "parent (also unhealthy) role. Or contrary, you can start as a parent, the other respond to you as adult and making you either also adjust your position to an adult one, or insist of keeping the interaction in "game" levels and react as a child

Re: parenting, yeah I knew many would think this and wont read the op. It's a shame that the book uses so stupid terminology, cause the concept definitively seems interesting

Eight wrote:In every exchange with another person, we come from one or more ego states - we vacillate between all three. It's simple but really helpful to learn about this system and recognize, in yourself, whether you are coming from your parent state, your adult state, or your child state, and likewise from which ego-state the other person is coming. There are "Complementary transactions" where the ego states of each person in an exchange complement one another -- There are also "Crossed transactions", where for example one is coming from an Adult ego but the other responds from the Child ego, and those are the basis for lots of miscommunications and disturbed relationships.


Ok that is definitively interesting, thanks for the additional input. It makes me realize that I have no idea what we mean by "ego". It's how you express your personality within an interaction with others, correct? Not necessarily how you identify yourself within, your own head/self/mind

Thanks for the book info. actually I didn't think to ask my buddy if he read the book translated, or in english. Then again he and you are doing a good job of explaining what that's all about

Also I think I might use these interaction patterns with my own self sometimes. I have been trying to be more conscious in my internal dialogue and I think I sometimes can see parts of myself taking various roles while trying to think things through

justonemoreperson wrote:Plant
Resource Investigator
Coordinator
Shaper
Monitor Evaluator
Teamworker
Implementer
Completer Finisher
Specialist

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_Role_Inventories

It's an interesting way of looking at interactions. I have the test somewhere. If I can dig it out I might post it up; it would be interesting to see which roles people tend to fit into here.


This is super interesting. It can probably be extrapolated to normal (not work-related) interactions, since in any group setting, even if it's only idle chat, people probably tend to take up various group roles that should resemble somewhat the team roles

On a side note, I cannot conceptualize how I would fit in a work team setting. I probably haven't worked in complex enough teams that need that many roles. I can see myself a bit as a "plant" without many ideas, or as a not-too analytical "monitor evaluator. I guess I am more of a doer and a problem-solver who however causes quite a few problems too with his solutions

-- Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:53 am --

Autumn218 wrote:i also wonder about power struggle in relationships but i think is different with ego states.
because i parent and a child can have a constant power struggle but also a different parent and child can have a more loving relationship.
or the second means you are the adult then and not the parent ?


Just completely remove actual parenting and family from the equation. "Parent" in this context simply means someone who comes from a position of "I know better, so these are the rules" and "child" comes from a position of reacting to the rules, either by obeying, or rebelling, or anything in between. It is used in a purely power-games concept, at least as I understand it.

Tanoujin wrote:hey xsid, maybe you better *read* the book before starting to dicuss it. It is an easy and funny read. My compliment to Eight, who covered the topic better than I could, even after going through a Transaction Analysis which worked out very nicely.


lol yeah, probably. But I am not much or a reader. I am more of a discuss-(ionist)? talker? conversationalist? and my comprehension style is more interaction based

Btw seems you took the parent role here xd And I cannot decide if I took the adult, or child role with my response
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