Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships by Eric Berne

by | Oct 16, 2018 | Naked Review


Review: How can we gain a greater understanding of our fellow humans? Why do people do what they do, say what they say, think what they think?

This book is a blast from the past – the original version being a best seller in the mid 60s. The Games People Play was hot on the heels of Dr Berne’s initial theory re Transactional Analysis and this is fully explained in the book. The book also contains descriptions of the individual games people play and how it’s possible to be game free.

Berne maintains that we all play games all the time : marital games, sexual games, power games and competitive games with partners, colleagues and friends. Recognise any of these popular pastimes – ‘If it weren’t for you!’, ‘Look How Hard I’ve Tried’, ‘See What You’ve Made Me Do’, ‘Let’s You and Him Fight’ and ‘Now I’ve Got You, You Son of a Bitch!’

The secret ploys and unconscious manipulations that rule our lives are exposed and attention is also given to how seriously and hard we play. The theory seems a little dated in parts and has some gender stereotyping but it is a great read particularly re Transactional analysis.

This book will alert you to at least a couple of games you will be playing and will make you think about the effect that is having upon yourself and the person you are playing against. Anyone for a quick game of ‘Why Don’t You – Yes But…….’

Highly recommended.

Author: Eric Berne

PUBLISHED: December 1964 by Penguin Books and reissued in 2010

Note – this post contains some affiliate links so if you purchase this book I receive a small percentage of the sale. My reviews are always open & honest.
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