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Games People Play

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  13,891 ratings  ·  332 reviews
We think we're relating to other people. Actually we're all playing games. Forty years ago, Games People Play revolutionized understanding of what really goes on during basic social interactions. More than five million copies later, Dr Eric Berne's classic is as astonishing & revealing as it was on the day it was first published.
We play games all the time: sexual gam
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Mass Market Paperback, 162 pages
Published December 1964 by Penguin (first published January 1st 1964)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Holly
i'm currently reading the 1960-something edition of this book although there is a 1996 edition. it really doesn't matter. i feel like i've found the holy grail. i know y'all's games bitches! that means ima gonna win! fuck yea! eat my metaphoric, insinuating, quadruple entendre shorts!

...no really, i'm learning some heavy shit about human relationships...
Manny
In this book, Berne argues that a lot of the behaviour you see around you every day can best be understood as different kinds of "games". A game is a pattern of behaviour usually involving two or perhaps three people. There is a series of interactions, followed by an emotional payoff.

One of the things I found most interesting is that the classification has two dimensions. First, there's the game itself. Second, there's the question of how seriously you're playing: he divides this into First Degr
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Seth
smart. Falls into the category of books that give you the secret reason for why things happen the way they do.
Mandi
I’m glad I read it, but it wasn’t ultimately everything that I wanted it to be.

The theory at the beginning was absolutely fascinating and, even though the books itself is from the 1960’s, it has significant value for being the start of the field of transactional psychology.

However, the description of the games themselves was where I found the book lacking. Mostly, this is where I also felt the impact of the book being so dated. Some of his descriptions of games were based on stereotypical gend
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Beth
Oct 12, 2007 Beth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who likes to understand social interaction
how to recognize patterns of behavior and
motivation inin relationships and conversations -
puts a name on various ambiguous manipulation methods
Ali
Apr 14, 2007 Ali rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Highly recommended
I've read this book two times, this is the third book written by Prof. Eric Berne, which I've read up to now, and I believe this is the best one. It's hard to explain how much i've learned from this book, I think I should read the book once more to learn some new things.
This book shows you the "Games" which are behind the human's relationships, it believes that a great number of human's relations are a kind of "Game" indeed. But at the end of the book, Prof. Eric Berne explains that the highest
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Sarah
Basically, you're manipulating everyone and everyone you know is manipulating you!

Admittedly, this book is flawed. Because the author is primarily concerned with interpersonal games, he tends to put every possible scenario within that context. Some of his ideas are now dated, bordering on offensive. Nevertheless, I found the book to be all kinds of enlightening and tremendously useful. I recommend it under the assumption that wise readers will be able to sort the good from the bad.
Shelley
Several years ago, I was sitting in an undergraduate education class listening to a professor lecture on a few boldface definitions we read in our textbook the night before. “Withitness (with-it-ness),” she explained as though she were carefully defining the term Myelin Sheath, “is the skill of knowing exactly what is going on in your classroom at all times.” I cringed at that moment, feeling a tinge of embarrassment for my future profession that was always straining so hard to be taken seriousl ...more
flannery
I don't know if this is a reliable textbook for day to day human interaction. This might be better retitled "Familiar Film Noir Tropes" or "Perceived and Imagined Slights from Women I've Never Met" or "Interpersonal Dilemmas in the Sunday Funnies." When was the last time you found yourself embroiled in the classic "Now I've Got You, You Son of a Bitch" or "Let's Pull a Fast One on Joey"? Can you solve the riddle of "The Frigid Woman"? This book is mildly amusing but there are too many grievous o ...more
Tony duncan
May 06, 2008 Tony duncan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone who isn't perfect
This a an excellent readable and practical explanation of destructive social interactions, He breaks down common patterns (this is from the 60's so there are variations now) and shows easy ways to identify games that people are acting out , and what it looks like to live game-free

Berne is funny and insightful. It is a shame that so few people I know really are willing to look deeply at these kinds of issues. Sort of like feminism I find an attitude of "we're past that", but then i see all the pr
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James Rye


I found the general concept an interesting metaphor (rather than a scientifically proven social reality). However, I struggled to finish the book. It felt like a series of scribbled notes thrown together - a set of index cards with brief information on 'games'. I needed further explanation and an attempt to engage me rather than having a series of ideas thrown before me.
Meg
This book is a fascinating psychological journey into the minds of everyday people (including, and probably ESPECIALLY, your own). Berne's list of psychological "games" we all play with each other is fascinating, as is what you learn about yourself by analyzing which games you tend to revisit regularly.

One little warning: When you learn to recognize these games, you will be forced to eliminate at least 95% of the B.S. in your life and frequently find yourself disgusted by 100% of the B.S. in eve
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Lily Pilly
"Games people play" is a great tool in understanding how and why we interact/respond the way we do to eachother. Transactional Analysis is certainly useful to know....From time to time, I like to read this book to remind myself about these "games" we play...
This book among many books that I re-read from time to time, because I like the content and the language....my "hungry" mind likes doing this sort of activities.

:)
Sandra
Had to choose between Game People Play and Reviving Ophelia for Personal Growth class when I was at MSJC (2002-2006). I choose Games People Play and I'm so glad I read this back then. What a great psychology book. You have relationships with people, but do you know if it is parent to adult, or parent to child or child to child? This book will give you examples of what a adult to adult relationship will look like as well as the others. The second half of the book goes into the games that we play ...more
Erik Graff
Dec 02, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: TA fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: psychology
This was a bestseller in the sixties, getting a lot of play in the media and in popular culture. I read it in the Park Ridge Public Library during the year I was dropped out of Grinnell College while facing draft resistance charges. I'd gotten two jobs at Forest Hospital, a proprietary psychiatric facility located in Des Plaines, and thought I should bone up on psychology. Except for a course in Educational Psychology and some reading of Freud, Jung and Rollo May I really had never studied much ...more
David Roberts
The book I read to research this post was Games People Play by Eric Berne which is an excellent book which I bought from kindle. This book is probably the definitive text on transactional analysis, a form of psychotherapy centred on various roles people play in different situations. If you read this book you are certain to recognize roles you play. Although the book has games in the title it refers to roles and they aren't necessarily bad although some are. They are ways people have of coping wi ...more
Candace Dempsey
Games People Play has a good chapter about dealing with alcoholics, but Berne's ideas (and I do mean ideas) about women and homosexuals are disgusting and sexist. This book was published in the 1960s and it shows. Scary to think modern psychologists might actually use it as a text or that college students would have to listen to Berne's ugly ideas about women and gays. Nowadays we use research, not "ideas."
Cristian Strat
Berne presents the theory of transaction analysis (all communication that happens between individuals is actually a transaction between the Parent, Adult and Child ego states) and then goes on to expose and analyze a series of mind games that people play with each other, consciously or not. Mind games are superficially plausible interactions between people that conceal private significance to the parties involved. (What may appear to be a plausible conversation between two adults might carry an ...more
Arash Kamangir
گويا اين كتاب به فارسي ترجمه شده. دري بود به دنيايي كه براي من ناشناخته است. اين جور بهتره: از وجود و اندازه هاي چنين دنيايي خبر روشني نداشتم.
Roberto
This book describes what is now known as transactional analysis, a psychological approach where a lot of relations between people are seen and catalogued as ´games´, which are situations where the conscious communication says something but the unconscious says another. Some or all of the participants gets some ´reward´ as confirmation of inner beliefs, interaction with other people, protection from inner fears, recognition, etc, etc.

Besides the unfamiliar description I just gave, Eric Berne, fou
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Aditi
GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

Games People Play, the book speaks of the Psychology of human relationships. It introduces the theory of Transactional Analysis. The author, Eric Berne, suggests that all the communication that happens between individuals is actually a transaction between the ego states.

An ego states as he defines is “simply the combination of a person’s feeling and his behavioural patterns” and any transaction or communication between individuals takes place through the communication these ego
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RT Wolf

Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships is a 1964 bestselling book by psychiatrist Eric Berne. Since its publication it has sold more than five million copies. The book describes both functional & dysfunctional social interactions. In the 1st half, he introduces Transactional Analysis as a way of interpreting social interactions. He describes three roles or ego states known as the Child, the Parent & the Adult & postulates that many negative behaviors can be traced t

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Nicholas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clive Thompson
Aptly subtitled "The Psychology Of Human Relationships." This is a book that I read a while ago and a lot of it has stuck with me. First published in 1964, the writer assumes you have no grounding in psychology and takes you gently through the various ego states that we speak to each other on - Child, Adult and Parent, and then describes the "Games" that we subconciously play with each other.

A real eye opener and a great way to avoid argument and conflict. Of course it is a lot easier to spot th
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Jyotika Varmani
This book is surely a classic. It is very relevant. Eric Berne was a champion of human relationships which is evident in his work. Through every game that he described, I could see the people and relations in my own life. Though critics might see it as pessimistic, I think it puts across the bare reality. It is a must read. Written with simplicity for the layman, and a therapist's treasure. Transactional Analysis is underrated.
Megan Ross
Feb 18, 2013 Megan Ross rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ms. durbin
Recommended to Megan by: stephanie ross
"Games people play is a psychology book that sees conversations as games, and the style written in this book, exposition, it is very effective. Eric Berne, the author of this book, purpose is to explain all of the psychological games we are playing and how it affects our minds. The theme of this book was "Self Help" as it was explaining and analyzing this topic that would be very helpful to the reader so that he or she can handle his self or her self better in these psychological games. I think ...more
maria
This is by far and away the most helpful book--or information--I've ever encountered on understanding people, their motivations and myself.
TarasProkopyuk
Всем наверняка знакомы слова "Вся наша жизнь - игра". Но как правило мы очень редко осознаем как много же этих игровых моментов на самом деле происходят в повседневной жизни. Да и наверное не нужно очень уж усердствовать и всех их пытаться уловить и поймать, поскольку вашего времени практически больше ни на что не останется.

Автор создал очень хороший труд, и прекрасно описал то, что в нашей жизни то и делает, что постоянно пролетает неосознанно.

Но если всё таки мы изредка научимся фокусироваться
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Graham
I find the idea in this book (people are seeking psycho-social 'strokes' much like we would desire physical strokes as a child, in order to flourish, and we use strategies of pastimes and games (party, psychiatric, relationship, sexual, etc.) in order to obtain these strokes. We play these 'games' from the position of our internal Child, Adult, or Parent, and each game can be played in different ways by these different aspects of ourselves.
Originally, I got a lot out of reading this - looking a
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Andrew Knighton
Provides an interesting insight into the way that people interact, and some of the psychological games we play with each other. It's particularly interesting to see the way that Berne separates out subconscious and conscious motives, and the ways that a single interaction can work differently on different levels. Some of the games felt uncomfortably familiar and distinctly true.

While the book still seems insightful and relevant, at least to someone like me who isn't deeply informed about psychia
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong Number of Pages? 2 16 May 29, 2014 12:53PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Combine 3 22 Oct 01, 2013 04:27AM  
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Eric Berne was a Canadian-born psychiatrist best known as the creator of transactional analysis. Eric was born on May 10, 1910 as Eric Lennard Bernstein in Montreal, Canada.He and his sister Grace, who was five years younger than Eric, were the children of a physician and a writer, David and Sara Gordon Bernstein.David Bernstein died in 1921, and the children were raised by their mother.

Bernstein
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