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Common Games


Explanations > Behaviors > Games > Common Games

The games | So what?


In our interactions with people around us, we often fall into common patterns of behavior, or games, that we play and re-play.

The games

The descriptions here are very brief and there are of course many more. In practice, many games can go on at the same time and can be intertwined and complex. See the references for more detail...


Game Description Real benefit
Stop me if you can Damaging activity, for example using drugs. Gets attention, avoids responsibility
Blemish Finding fault with others. Being as picky as necessary Distracts attention from self
Clever me Boasting about what you have done Get attention, sympathy, admiration
Courtroom Describe 'logically' how I am right and others are wrong Get support, sympathy and absolution
If it weren't for you Blaming others for your non-achievements Absolution of guilt
I'm only trying to help Offering help then complaining when it is not accepted Controlling others
Let's you and him fight Get others to fight for you Control of others, share of blame, friendship
Look how hard I've tried Put in lots of effort that intentionally does not succeed. Absolves oneself from responsibility.
Now I've got you (you son of a bitch) Vents rage on someone and blames them for it Displaces anger. Absolves responsibility
Poor me Display self as unlucky and helpless Sympathy and support
See what you made me do Blaming others for one's own problems Absolution of responsibility, instilling guilt
Honestly Making empty promises Getting one's way in the short-term
Uproar Violent argument with deliberate pressing of hot buttons Sustain attention, venting and displacing anger
Yes but... Providing objections to refuse help Maintenance of attention and control
Wooden leg Acquire a handicap, real or imagined and ham it up Sympathy, avoidance of responsibility

So what?

See the games understand what's going on. Either play out the script or break it.

See also

Status Game


Eric Berne, (1964), Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships, Balantine Books

Thomas Harris (1996), I'm OK-You're OK, Avon books

Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward (1971), Born to Win: Transactional Analysis with Gestalt Experiments, Da Capo Press Inc


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