Games People Play: The basic handbook of transactional analysis. Paperback – Aug 27 1996
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“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 Inside Flap
Dr. Eric Berne, as the originator of transactional analysis, has attained recognition for developing one of the most innovative approaches to modern psychotherapy. Discover how many of these "secret games" you play everyday of your life: Iwfy (If it weren't for you); Sweetheart; Threadbare; Harried; Alcoholic, and many more. A groundbreaking book that bores deep into the heart of all our relationships, GAMES PEOPLE PLAY is a classic that should be read again and again.
From the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I had spent a couple of years chasing a drug-loving girl with a heart of gold. I was enchanted by the night-life some of our acquaintances were exposing me to. The darker sides of town are really quite interesting if you view them from within, but my corporate lifestyle, as well as my general avoidance of drugs, had effectively closed me out of this lifestyle after my experimental college days. Thanks to this book, I saw the game I was playing; "Patsy" to a bunch of druggies and alchies.
"Games" has been helpful in my quest for a real Adult-Adult relationship. Even in business, I find myself striving for Adult-Adult relationships. Knowing the games, it makes it easier to spot them and react to them. It also helps me see where others are coming from.
The book itself wasn't earth shattering for me (Peck's "Road Less Traveled" was), but it was one of the more thought-provoking pop-psychology books I have ever read. I like the fact that it doesn't simply rehash Freudian or Jungian psychology, but builds a new quite useful framework to look at relationships. My problem with the book is that it is too short. I wanted more depth. Because of this, I was wavering between four and five stars, so the four star rating is really a 4.5.
But two more subtle pleasures (which the other reviewers here have not yet mentioned) are the doctor's wry WIT-plus real WISDOM.
His thesis is uncompromising. Dr. Berne shows we play "games" taught us by our warped childhood, or the world and culture. Rock-bottom: "Because there is so little opportunity for intimacy in daily life, and because some forms of intimacy (especially if intense) are psychologically impossible for most people, the bulk of the time in serious social life is taken up with playing games. Hence games are both necessary and desirable, and the only problem at issue is whether the games played by an individual offer the best yield for him." Specifically, Berne says we should discard bad psychological games (based on invalid old life-scripts from the past), in favor of the better social games. (And indeed, the games seem giddily-toxic, especially "Look How Hard I've Tried," "See What You Made Me Do," and "I'm Only Trying To Help You")
So alas, for the intimacy-fearful MANY people, the goal-in-life is to cure the "sick" games, and then just play the non-pathological ones. But, for a FEW fortunates, the open-calm-easy-natural responsiveness of truer psychological maturity IS possible. Berne names it "autonomy." It comprises awareness, spontaneity, and intimacy.
Okay. Skim or skip the theoretical Part ONE. But savor the 106 games in the story-time Part TWO.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Fun to read! Enjoyed every bit of it.
There are instance in the book which you can directly relate to.
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. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Orchid
I am still in the process of reading this "textbook"! I find the content good but it is not an easy read.Published 23 months ago by C. Cabral
Why should this book be included in a list for "aspiring Shakespearian actors"? As one who is a professional actor (Shakespearian and otherwise), acting coach and one... Read morePublished on July 13 2004
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... Read morePublished on Dec 18 2003 by Matt Black
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. Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2003
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... Read morePublished on April 21 2003 by AliMcJ
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. Read morePublished on April 17 2003 by Tim Preston
This is one of the best books on relationships. After you read this, you will understand what is really going on in human interaction. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2003
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