psychology of relationships: psychological games
Applying the concept of games
seem to creep into people's relationships quite easily. Once you have read
the chapter on games, think about your own
relationship: do you recognize a pattern between the two of you that is
happening again and again?
Do you both end up feeling
bad in some way at the end of it?
Does it feel like it simply
stays the same and you aren't learning anything from an argument?
is the case, think about the sequence of roles you are both going through.
Who starts off as Victim/Rescuer/Persecutor and which roles do you both
end up with afterwards?
Remember that both of you will be contributing
something to keeping the game going and the best way not to get into one
is to stay authentic, or in Adult mode.
Also, you both need to learn to own the positive qualities
of each role (see section on games).
Needless to say, psychological games are not much of a fun way to spend
your time with your loved one.
They might be dramatic and exciting at some points, but they are also very
destructive and have a tendency to escalate. If you like the intensity of
arguments and break-ups try going for passionate sex instead.
That would be a much more healthy way to feel intense about your partner!
Games will continuously undermine your sense of safety and peace in a
relationship. They might also constitute a low level of bickering and
unhappiness between the two of you.
about how you can be more authentic, in a way that is open and honest with
There's some way you can feel more connected and so be able
to meet your needs for attention and feeling loved and recognized in a
[ Home ] [ Relaxation and autogenic training ] [ Relationship Hunger And You ] [ Applying the concept of life script ] [ Relational needs and you ] [ Discover your life script ] [ Applying the concept of symbiosis ] [ Applying the concept of games ] [ TA (transactional analysis) and time structuring ] [ The stroke economy ] [ The stroke profile ] [ Applying the concepts of strokes ] [ Affirmations ]
Why go for negative attention, if you can have positive
attention? However, as you play fewer games with your partner, you may
feel a little bit deprived of emotional stimulation for a while (also see
the section on strokes).
As you give up the quest
for negative attention you may feel the vacuum that gets created before
the two of you learn to interact intensely in a positive way.
If that is the case, keep
going and keep asking for good attention from your partner. It's ok to ask
for attention, physical contact, recognition, and so on! We all need it.
A last word about arguing.
Arguments are not
necessarily psychological games. At some point in any relationship you
will need to get down to the bottom of all of the things you don't agree
on and about which you'll need to compromise.
If you're both passionate
about your points of view you may argue. That's a good process. You keep
pushing your side whilst the other person is doing the same. At some point
it will get easier and you will rub along better, even if you may always
disagree on a specific point.
The way I judge the
usefulness of an argument isn't whether I have won or even whether we end
up agreeing at the end of it, but whether I have learned something new
about myself or my partner in the process.
When I have a sense that I
have learned something new, then I feel it was worth it, because I
understand more about where the other person is coming from.
Next time round we may
argue about the same issue, but from a different starting point. I believe
that arguing is an inevitable part of building an honest and respectful
relationship (see more on arguing and rules of engagement).
Games on the other hand are
repetitive and never get you anywhere.
If you feel at the end of
an argument or a falling-out that you have been doing the same thing over
and over again and you are never learning anything new from it, you are
probably engaging in a game.
In that case, check out
what's happening between the two of you and find some better ways to
interact with each other.
Finally, if the games in your relationship are very entrenched and you
still want to work at it consider getting some couples' therapy.
An outside point of view might dramatically improve your rate and ability
to change as a couple.
By the way, consider going for couples' therapy while you are still doing
sort of ok with each other, not just as a last resort, when it's actually
already too late.
you're in a relationship where you feel threatened by the level of
emotional intensity of the games you get into or the possibility of
emotional or physical damage, which could be the outcome of a game, please
Your first responsibility is your own safety and, if you
have them, your children's safety.
Physical and emotional violence,
whether part of a psychological game or not, can never be acceptable in
any relationship. Some relationships can't be fixed, because the
commitment for personal change isn't there on both sides.
you can leave, and that you will be able to find happiness with
someone else. If you don't trust your own abilities to create the life you
want to live, get help. You don't have to do this on your own.
Especially where fear if intimacy is involved - you
really can get help. Check out
www.fearofintimacy.org and ensure that your intimate relationships are
as good as they can be.