I first read Eric Berne’s “Games People Play” after a recommendation a few years back. While the book, unfortunately, provides a taxonomy of types (something that I think I have already made clear elsewhere on this blog that I am against in principal), it provides a good groundwork in transactional analysis to discuss the manifestation of “games” in relationships. But while it discusses (and taxonomises) the patterns of manifestation, it does not really address the core motives of these games.


The games people play in their relationships with others is not the core intention of these games, rather it is the external manifestation of something that has an alternative internal objective. I would suggest that the main internal objective of these games is to divert attention of negative, shameful, or faulty aspects of the self, away from both internal and external revelation. In other words to hide or disguise negative traits of the self so as to avoid revealing them both to ourselves and, by default, to others. The core motivation for these games, along with the core negative traits, are of an autonomous nature and we try to deny to ourselves their autonomy in order to maintain the “ego’s” illusion of self authorship and our own presumption of oneness that would be challenged by becoming aware of our divided nature. The way we are biologically and neurologically organised is more akin to a hierarchical executive collective and there exists within all collective hierarchies, dissenting and rebellious elements. Just as there are dissenting and rebellious aspects of ourselves, that, in “mental disorders”, appear, at times, and due to certain stimuli and a lack “self control”, to overcome and sabotage the self in a destructive manner and may seek destruction of the self and/or destruction of others either as small scale hurtful acts, or self harm. In extreme cases these destructive acts may take the form of terrorism, serial killings, or, I suggest, the recent activities of Anders Brevik.


As an aside, if you want to know my opinion on Anders Brevik; sane or insane, you’d have to assume I believe in a rigid defined line between sanity and insanity. I believe no such line exists other than as a figment of our imagination and the wishful thinking of those of us that would prefer to view themselves as sane.


“Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you” Carl Gustav Jung