Games People Play

When we talk about games that people play, our mind automatically registers physical sport or board play for leisure or on a professional basis.

“Games played by people” is a bestseller, sold more than 5 million copies worldwide. The book, written by psychiatrist Eric Byrne, is a comprehensive work on functional and dysfunctional social interactions between people. In his work, Byrne presented the theory of “transact analysis”, which describes the three main states of ego in all people: the child, the adult and the parent. He found that many negative personality traits were the result of misunderstood or shifted roles. Thus, Byrne defined the “game” as a set of body language, miki and voice interactions between people who follow a predictable set of patterns, often leading to counterproductive results. After all, only one person gets the “payout.”

His theory revealed the dynamics of human relations, an extremely complex topic, and now this book is recognized worldwide as the most influential and original book on the psychology of the modern age. It’s a revelation for “psychological theatrical performances that people play over and over again” in their relationships with others. The enormous influence he made attracted many followers, and some others used it to publish other works shedding more light on human relationships. Many readers have found that the book promotes a much better and deeper understanding of their own motives in their social interactions. Millions of people, especially married couples, claim to have followed Bern’s methods to unravel and better understand the mysteries of human relationships.

Decades after bern’s theory of transact analysis, psychologists and human behavior analysts have called it a fully cognitive-behavioral approach and an extremely effective way of combating the notion of ‘me and others’, among other psychodynamic problems. It is now clear that the life games that Bern is talking about are “the tools that man uses in his quest for energy independence.”

The modern understanding of Bern’s theory is revealed even to a layman who is involved in the machinations of others manipulating and guiding people to meet their own selfish needs. Today, when we see that human relationships are collapsing everywhere, it only underscores the fragility of human social interactions and the price we pay for the selfish way of using others to achieve our own goals. This is one of the most important things to keep in mind.

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