The games we play

10 Sep 2020

In the 1960’s there was a book called ‘The Games People Play’ by Eric Berne and I think it was published until the mid-1980s.

It was about transactional analysis but I want look at the games we play, mind games, emotional games, psychological games that we play in relationships and families and with other people in general.

People say: he or she play games all the time and they were never real. My parents played mind games and it affected my life. My brother or sister played mind games that affected our relationship. Some people that admit they may have played the victim game as a way of coping and getting attention. There is a long list of games people play but I want to mention a few and would like you to think of games that are played in your family or work or among you friends.

Blame game - This is a game the whole family can play. Every player blames the other for making s mess of their life. No rules, no boundaries. Often played at Christmas or birthdays and funerals.

Guilt-Tripping - The aim of this game is to make someone feel guilty unless they do what you want them to do. There is an on old light bulb joke - “how many parents does it take to change a light bulb?” None, don’t worry I will sit here in the dark while you go out and have fun”

Only joking - This is where a person says something that upsets or hurts another and then says “I was only joking; you are so sensitive, or you are so gullible.”

Then the person says you were not really hurt were you and the other person is now both angry and confused.


It is not my fault, if we believe that we are honest we might play games to make the other person acknowledge that we were never at fault. I am sure some us may have played this game or know people that have. Even if we are not accused, we may claim It was not our fault!!

Playing the victim - I know have played this game and maybe some other Moodscopers can relate too. It can be played in different ways. Some players take no responsibility, some are controlling, some have grudges, some are critical, some have trouble being assertive, some feel powerless, and some may not have limits. Of course, there are many more reasons to Play the victim.


What games do you or others you know play or have played the past?

I will own up to Play the Victim, blame game - it was not my fault and have been accuse of guilt tripping.

Feel free to add any games that you know about, as I left the list small so people can add their own.


A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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