Relationships between people are a never-ending topic that inspires not only filmmakers and writers, but scientists as well. Speaking of scientists, a special place is held by Eric Berne and his book “Games People Play”, which developed a cult in psychology after its publication.
The author describes popular “games” that adults play and gives advice on how to recognize and stop them before they affect the relationship. We have collected the most popular games played at weddings. To make it easier to understand, the author describes a fictitious family couple: Mr. and Mrs. White.
“It’s All Because Of You.”
Mrs. White often complains that she has not accomplished much in her life due to her husband, a tyrant who prevents her from doing anything, even taking dance lessons.
Interestingly, when Mr. White allowed his wife to attend dance classes, it was discovered that she was very afraid to dance. There is probably the same type of Mrs. Whites among your friends and acquaintances.
The game ‘It’s all because of you’ is just a way to justify your fear, laziness, or other reasons that did not allow this woman to take dance lessons or anything else. Furthermore, the guilt she imposed on her husband enabled Mrs. White to receive gifts and other encouragement from him.
What to do?
This game continues as long as the ban exists. The moment a partner says to his wife, ‘Go ahead, instead of forbidding her to come near her friends, for example, everything will fall into place. And her friends are more likely to be very busy and she doesn’t want to go anywhere.
Imagine that Mrs. White invited her husband to see a movie and he agreed. They start to get dressed and suddenly she declares that she needs to fix something. Shocked, Mr. White responds abruptly: “Our finances are strained, I’m working so hard, there is only one of me.”
Mrs. White is offended and tells her husband to go to the movies just because he is in a bad mood. He follows her advice but doesn’t go to the movies, instead he goes to a bar with his friends.
And Mrs. White remains in a corner where she herself was driving, but with an advantage: the opportunity to reprimand her husband for leaving her alone.
What to do?
Both partners can leave this game. It is easier for Mrs. White to do this because she knows that her husband’s harshness is a normal reaction to an improper statement about reparation. And he works hard, and his behavior is an attempt to draw attention to that. All you have to do is play with him, agree that he has worked too hard, and stop talking about the repairs to have a better time.
Mr. White can also prevent all of this. He knows that his wife’s rudeness should not be taken seriously. What she really wants is for her husband to hug her and ask her not to be offended. He should have played along with her and they could have happily gone to the movies.
This game is generally played in public. Mr. White tells a story or a simple sentence that puts his wife in an unappealing light and, in the end, adds, “Am I right, dear?” And the more offensive the story, the harsher the word “sweetheart” sounds.
As a result, the goal is achieved: the wife becomes contaminated, but the last sentence does not allow her to respond with a bad attitude. Mrs. White begins to get angry, but she has no objective reason to get angry, because her husband pretends to be a gentleman, and irrational anger will add another negative point to the group’s perception of her.
What to do?
Here Eric Berne suggests 3 options. The first is the most difficult: talking to your partner and allowing him to tell these kinds of stories, but in the end, ask him not to use a boyfriend.
The second option is to answer the question “Am I right, dear?” ‘Yes, darling.’ emotionless. The third (better to use it very rarely) is to tell the same kind of story about the couple without their permission and end with the phrase “Am I right, dear?”
“See What You Made Me Do.”
After locking himself in the bathroom, Mr. White is completely focused on painting pipes. At this point, his wife appears with the question, “Do you love me?” The question may be different, for example, “Shall we have lunch?”, “Shall we go for a walk?” Having been distracted by his wife, he drops the inkwell right on his leg, and here, with the phrase: “Look what you made me do,” a scandal ensues.
What to do?
In fact, Mr. White’s carelessness is due to his own anger, because he, like many of us, does not like to be disturbed at this time. You may also get upset that you are quite tired of working with paint. In any case, to stop this game, Mrs. White should leave her husband alone with his paints.
The most typical game for most families, according to Eric Berne, is the first: “It’s all because of you.” Do you agree with him or do you think other games appear with the same frequency as the first one? Share your opinion in the comments!