SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Game Time Folks

We play games.
Thanks to the path breaking book authored by Dr.Eric Berne by the same name “Games People Play”, all of us, or at least most of us have some awareness of this.
The blame game is one
The victim game another.
The martyr game is another.
The high judge is another.

So now that you have started thinking on these lines. I am sure you are telling yourself,
“No way, I don’t play any game”.
Or you could be saying “Ok I blame at times, but I am not a victim”
Or you could be saying “Hey every one plays games”

Oh Yes, we play games. And no matter what, these games run (and ruin) our lives and our thoughts.

It is only that we don’t or can’t recognize the games that we play.

Ok, so this is what happened.

My daughter is in her preteens! She is the sweetest, mildest and most tolerant soul in the world. But she has her pet peeves and triggers (don’t we all?!). That’s where the father and daughter clash (I have different clashes with her!!).

He openly mocks her, and pulls her leg, and teases her for her different irksome behaviors. That ranges from not eating her lunch fast enough, not wearing enough clothes (so typically male, if you ask me), answering back…..

She tried telling him (doesn’t seem to work), because her telling him always ends in whining or crying (hers), and his continued unabashed mocking/ teasing.
She tried telling me. I am stuck trying to remain balanced between the two. Sometimes telling one to back off, and sometimes telling the other.
(No help at all, she decided.)

Well its Game time folks.

And she hit where it would needle dad the most. Pointing out he is eating too much, or asking him to leave some for the others, or asking him why he needs to eat so much!!

This is tough for me to write, as you can see and I can see how nasty and low, and mean this is becoming. What seems like a low down, mean behaviour is nothing but the game this young one has learnt to play, because….because she does not know any other way to handle this.

Many times I refrain from interfering with these father and daughter dialogues or repartees. Yet this time I did.
I have freshly returned for my sessions with the Landmark Forum, and one of the basic exercises we do, (which I believe I knew what with my psychology background, but I never used or applied it effectively in my life) is to see how and what games we, as people play with each other.
And here it was; a wonderful display. A fantastic game of criticizing and being criticized going on between 2 really nice people.

My point here is that we don’t even know we are playing games. When this escalates I know it will lead to a lot of bitterness, and anger. The only way to snip this is to make them see the game they are playing, and ask them to Stop!

If you would really like to read up about Eric Berne and his work which lead to the development of Transactional Analysis, then click on the link below.