Eric Berne published his book Games People Play the year I was born – 1961. In his book, he tried to clearly define the different types of games that we are prone to playing with each other. This brief video covers the first one he identified: Why Don’t You..? Yes, But…
Perhaps you know someone where they complain about something, and you then suggest a solution and they then say “Yes but…”.This interaction continues until eventually you feel frustrated and bewildered; at that point you have been caught in a game.
The key point about games is what Berne called ‘superficially rational’ – the person seems to have a genuine problem, but the hidden truth is they don’t want your help to fix it, they simply want your attention. The reason for this is as they can’t find a way of getting attention in a positive way, they have learnt ways to gain that attention negatively.
So how do you stop playing these ‘games’? As Berne put it in his usual succinct way, “The only way to stop playing a game is to stop playing.”
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