Games People Play (The Psychology of Human Relationships)
Eric Berne M. D.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is one of the Bibles of the Transactional Analysis school of social psychology/psychiatry. The other "Bible" is I'm OK -- You're OK by Thomas A. Harris, M.D.
Before reading Games People Play, it is a good idea to read I'm OK - You're OK. There are two reasons why. First, I'm OK is a general introduction to Transactional Analysis whereas Games People Play deals with a narrow aspect of the subject. Second, I'm OK is written in an easier style than the present book. In fact, if I hadn't already studied I'M OK, I might not have understood Games People Play.
The author of Games People Play was the founder of the TA school. The author of the other book was his follower. Transactional Analysis was popular during the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, it has lost some of that popularity in America, although it still seems to be going strong in Australia. The society founded by Dr. Berne still exists in this country, today.
So, I'm a therapist and supposed to know transactional analysis well, but I wanted to refresh my understanding. What better way than to go to Eric Berne's original work right? Wrong. The way he writes this, it's like reading a Hoyle's book of rules for card games but they are people games. Sound interesting? Well, the theory is awesome but the way this book is written, I have a hard time wading through it. Yes, it's a small enough book and I'm certainly a psychology fan, but if you want to learn about transactional analysis, there are some books that provide a more digestible format than this one.
This "bible" of transactional analysis can be incredibly helpful to those who are dealing with people who play damaging games all day every day. It's slightly outdated, and some of the things it calls "games" we now call "illness", but it still is overwhelmingly useful (even revolutionary) for those who want to take control of their life and personal interactions.
It describes abusive games people play like "Let's pull a fast one on Jimmy" or "Broken leg" and tells you exactly how to end your role in them. If you have to deal with people who always make excuses, can't be trusted, constantly criticize you, etc, this is the book to read.
The only thing you need to be aware of, and it's important, is that ending "games", or even just your role in games others keep trying to make you play, can destroy relationships in the short term (and sometimes in the long term). If you have someone really toxic in your life who...
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