Book Reviews of some priceless books..!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Games People Play...!


"Games People Play" is just the kind of book I wanted to read since ages - it seems to answer a dozen of questions I've always wanted answer for !If you have encountered situations where your best friend behaves in an Incomprehensible (mystical) Manner, appreciation comes unexpected corners, your children/loved ones challenge your beliefs, people around you tag you as "one-of-a-kind", you wonder Why strange things are happening?- all I would say is "Welcome to the Real World", read this amazing book and enjoy your stay in this world composed of interesting people :)


The groundbreaking book by Eric Berne is a brilliant composition of psychological theatricals that human beings play during the course of their ever changing lives. The author (a famous psychiatrist) observes behavior patterns between human beings quite closely and terms them as "Games" that are powered by intense human emotions, feelings and motives. The book is detailed with classifying and discussing a variety of games people play on a continual basis in their lives. He classifies such games into seven categories - Life, Marital, Party, Sexual, Underworld, Consulting Room, and Good and describes their structures, the roles of those involved, respective anticipated payoffs and smart ways to recognize and move beyond any game. I seriously marvel at author's observation of vivid human behaviours and interactions and they sure strike a chord somewhere. For example, the author presents people as beings driven by stimulus hunger (e.g. the need for strokes or quick appreciations) which is understood in case of infants who always need stroking and moral boost but the same is shaped into need for special recognition by family and society as one gets older. The author further iterates that adults have a hunger not only for stimulus and recognition but also for structure of their waking hours which is why most of us want our work@office to be challenging and structured.

In the latter half of the book, the author focusses on the three ego states - Parent (exteropsychic), Adult (psychic) & Child (archaeopsychic). He declares that the key to structural analysis and an understanding of game play is the concept of deciphering the ego state person you are interacting with is present in. Contrary to the general perception that one matures with age (Infant to Adult)- author says that all of us toggle between the said ego states every now and then depending upon coherent set of feelings and behavior patterns of people participating in a game - all interrelated.

Numerous examples illustrated by author like usual battles between couples, parents-children, boss-subordinate and boy-girl make the book quite an interesting read. Though in extremely difficult and emotional inreations I prefer (staying quiet and) NOT being judgemental (Thanks for the Tip Dad !) and it sure helps !! My take away from the book is the advice author gives towards the end of the book - "As with any game, it comes to an abrupt end when one player decides (mostlyunconsciously) to stop playing !" Sounds simple - isn't it...well try it out for yourself and let us know :)

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