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Games People Play: The basic handbook of transactional analysis. [Paperback]

Eric Berne M.D.
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.00
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Book Description

Aug. 27 1996
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.

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Review

“An important book . . . a brilliant, amusing, and clear catalogue of the psychological theatricals that human beings play over and over again.”
–KURT VONNEGUT, Life magazine

From the Back Cover

“An important book . . . a brilliant, amusing, and clear catalogue of the psychological theatricals that human beings play over and over again.”
–KURT VONNEGUT, Life magazine

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Impractical Oct. 6 2003
Format:Paperback
I hate giving bad reviews because I somehow feel unqualified. But, I bought this book because of all the good reviews, and I feel I've waisted my money. I must admit, I did enjoy the section on Structured Analysis. It is an interesting theory.
First of all, this book was written in the 70's, so the writing style is old. Secondly, the book is too mathematical, which made me wonder whether the author was talking about robots. Finally, the "games" outlined are very vague and impractical. I believe this book is only useful for therapists. But, here in the real world, it isn't useful.
Overall, I do not recommend this book (Unless you are studying psychology, and then I would recommend: "Scripts People Live", by Claude Steiner, instead). If you are looking for a practical book (and modern) that deals with people and their games, then I would recommend: "Emotional Vampires: Dealing with People Who Drian You Dry", by Albert Bernstein.
I give this book 2 stars for the section on Structured Analysis.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Book! Jan. 23 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Many times in my life, I was placed in social situations that left me feeling so depleted afterwards and I could not exactly grasp why this was happening. When I read this book, I started to understand how many people play these games that end up making me feel used and hopeless. After a year or so, I also began realizing that I play some of these games myself. I realized that although they work as temporary coping devices, they become obstacles to my personal development in the long run. This is when I really decided to change my life. I began living with a new awareness of the behaviors of not only others but my own as well! It has worked wonders and if I could explain this process, I would like to share it with everyone! But since I am not so good at explaining these things, I will suggest a book that explains this very well. It is called "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" by Toru Sato and it explains all of these things in such a great way! Read this book by Berne! Read the book by Sato! It will be the best gift you give to yourself!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but a bit too technical April 7 2014
By Orchid
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I started reading this and its taking me forever to finish. It is too technical. I think a bit more context in the examples would have been better. Yet interesting, if you can remember the information.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but simple and it doesn't flow Dec 18 2003
Format:Paperback
Far be it from me to comment on the validity of such a well-researched and ground breaking psychological phenomenon as transactional analysis, but for me I felt that this book was a little too neat and tidy. I found this a fascinating subject and one which I hoepd would provide me with some insight with regards to understanding others and indeed myself. I wanted to appreciate the complexity and motivations of inter-personal relationships. This book did provide such insight, however I found boxing people into one of the limited number of chapters or games Berne describes really invalidates the huge 'grey area' of human behavioural instincts which a book less then 200 pages long cannot hope of encapsulating. To his credit, Berne does indicate early on that this is really a sequel to his earlier work and should be understood within that context. I did not read his earlier work and perhaps my opinion of the book is less then qualified as a result.
Certainly if you're looking for an interesting but incomplete insight into the 'way people are' (or perhaps rather 'the way people can be') then this is definitely one to read. If you are after a more comprehensive account of behavioural research in psychology thus far, look for something else. I should also add that the book doesn't seem to read well. It's a little disjointed and takes some getting used to the writing style.
In short, recommended for the casual observer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Gold! Aug. 29 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Wow! What an interesting book! This book shows us that there is much more going on in any human interaction than the exchange of information. It show us the hidden meaning and purpose behind all types of interactions and how we all participate in those hidden "games" without being aware of it. For better or for worse, this book will totally change how you see the world. A newer book called "The Ever-transcending Spirit" by Toru Sato provides a excellent account of why we play these games and how it relates to our development as human beings. Sato puts all of this in a larger context and enables us to see the light as well. Excellent book! All I can say is, both books are pure gold.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Basic Must-Haves April 21 2003
By AliMcJ
Format:Paperback
A genius of a book that is a wonderful introduction to psychology and vivid explanation of psychological games people play with each other, mild to neurotic to psychotic, giving practical roadmaps for countering the games -- i.e. manipulative behaviors people learn to play in relationships. Along with "Scripts People Live," you have a practical psychology reference shelf to return to again and again. Highly readable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible reading April 17 2003
Format:Paperback
After I read the book I'm Ok, You're Ok, a friend gave me the book Games People Play which interested me because Thomas Harris made reference notes to Berne's book. Just as I had hoped, this book provided wonderful information about the psychological "games" people play with each other, why they do them, and the consequences that come from playing them. A fantastic read for the student learning psychology or psychiatry, even for the layman who wants to strengthen his mind in psychological matters to maintain relationships on a social and personal level. This book challenges the reader to analyze the daily transactions we take for granted and understand what really goes on behind the curtains of everyday conversation.
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