It Takes Two to Play Games

It Takes Two to Play Games

Why Do We Play Games?

Just as we need two people to agree to tango so too it takes two people to subconsciously agree to play the psychological games we all play.

However, they don’t realize how exactly the game is being played, or how it all started, but usually the payoff for both sides is negative and it comes fast.

The whole process of playing games comes from an earlier stage of one’s development during childhood. Most of the time games happen automatically, like a habit that the brain has in creating realities that we believe and live in.

Watching other people’s behaviours in early childhood is the core of the games being played later on. They appear as “messages” with an unknown origin, which indeed are memories and moments which the brain has “domesticated” and turned into script beliefs.

To achieve this, for example, a Martyr or an Aggressor petitions another’s Helpless position while the Helpless petitions the other’s Aggressor or Martyr position. Aggressors and Martyrs can also petition the opposite in their partner but this is not the most common route for them. (See our other articles on game playing for the details of these game positions.)

Games Played in Our Imagination

Eyes see what they want to see. Ears here what they want to hear. It is like a game with associations or the childhood game of ‘Chinese Whispers’.

There comes the moment when the message intended to be delivered in the first place has turned to a completely new one at the end. Why? Mishearing the message could be one reason. Not understanding the words could be another. But maybe the biggest is that people simply imagine what they hear and then repeat that.

The same thing happens when you ask a number of people, members of the same family, to describe one and the same event. Everybody has their own version of what happened and would add or miss details that for you would be hard to imagine that person having even been at the same place as you.

Each of the siblings actually did experience exactly the same events, but at different ages with different intellectual and experiential capacities for recall, the sense it made for everybody is different due to the script beliefs each person had at the time.

Games Played with a Partner

Subconsciously people are looking for someone to play their games with.

Sometimes these games are flipped and turned around, called different names and formed in different shapes. They are being played personally or by couples which could have quite different outcome.

The drama comes from really not knowing exactly where the game may take you. Consequently, the payoffs may also be different depending on each person’s underlying belief, the script belief, that they are seeking validation for.

It turns out at the end of the day though that all games end in lose/lose because, although each player gets confirmation of some old belief, they have actually gained nothing positive and the players carry on with their ineffective ways of being.

The game is confirmation that all is going well, or at least predictably, and indicates, by having the other person confirming it, that things are as they should be.

Responding to a game from the Winner’s Triangle, and remaining fixed to that position, will eventually extinguish it and allow for growth in one and hopefully both individuals.

To the wonder of you,




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