Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Games People Play

Rate this book
We think we’re relating to other people–but actually we’re all playing games.

Forty years ago, Games People Play revolutionized our understanding of what really goes on during our most basic social interactions. More than five million copies later, Dr. Eric Berne’s classic is as astonishing–and revealing–as it was on the day it was first published. This anniversary edition features a new introduction by Dr. James R. Allen, president of the International Transactional Analysis Association, and Kurt Vonnegut’s brilliant Life magazine review from 1965.
We play games all the time–sexual games, marital games, power games with our bosses, and competitive games with our friends. Detailing status contests like “Martini” (I know a better way), to lethal couples combat like “If It Weren’t For You” and “Uproar,” to flirtation favorites like “The Stocking Game” and “Let’s You and Him Fight,” Dr. Berne exposes the secret ploys and unconscious maneuvers that rule our intimate lives.
Explosive when it first appeared, Games People Play is now widely recognized as the most original and influential popular psychology book of our time. It’s as powerful and eye-opening as ever.

83 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 1964

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Eric Berne

68 books583 followers
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 attended Montreal's McGill University, graduating in 1931 and earning his M.D., C.M. in 1935.While at McGill he wrote for several student newspapers using pseudonyms. He followed graduation with a residency in psychiatry at Yale University, where he studied psychoanalysis under Paul Federn.

In 1943 he changed his legal name to Eric Berne.He continued to use pseudonyms, such as Cyprian St. Cyr ("Cyprian Sincere"), for whimsical articles in the Transactional Analysis Bulletin.

Berne's training was interrupted by World War II and his service in the Army Medical Corps, where he was promoted to the rank of Major. After working at Bushnell Army Hospital in Ogden, Utah, he was discharged in 1945.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
10,582 (29%)
4 stars
11,411 (31%)
3 stars
9,606 (26%)
2 stars
3,121 (8%)
1 star
1,195 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,600 reviews
Profile Image for Holly.
9 reviews45 followers
September 18, 2007
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...
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
October 5, 2021
Games People play: the psychology of human relationships, 1966, Eric Berne, Esmail Fassih (translator)

Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships is a bestselling 1964 book by psychiatrist Eric Berne. In the first half of the book, Berne introduces transactional analysis as a way of interpreting social interactions.

He describes three roles or ego states, known as the Parent, the Adult, and the Child, and postulates that many negative behaviors can be traced to switching or confusion of these roles. He discusses procedures, rituals, and pastimes in social behavior, in light of this method of analysis. For example, a boss who talks to his staff as a controlling 'parent' will often engender self-abased obedience, tantrums, or other childlike responses from his employees.

The second half of the book catalogs a series of "mind games" in which people interact through a patterned and predictable series of "transactions" which are superficially plausible (that is, they may appear normal to bystanders or even to the people involved), but which actually conceal motivations, include private significance to the parties involved, and lead to a well-defined predictable outcome, usually counterproductive.

The book uses casual, often humorous phrases such as "See What You Made Me Do," "Why Don't You — Yes But," and "Ain't It Awful" as a way of briefly describing each game. In reality, the "winner" of a mind game is the person that returns to the Adult ego-state first.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه مارس سال 2002میلادی

عنوان: بازی ها: روانشناسی روابط انسانی؛ نویسنده: اریک برن؛ برگردان اسماعیل فصیح؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، ذهن آویز، چاپ نخست 1366، در242ص، نمودار، نمایه، کتابنامه، چاپ بیستم پاییز 1393؛ شابک 9789647390736؛ موضوع روانشنلسی روابط انسانی، روابط بین اشخاص، روابط اجتماعی از نویسندگان کانادا - سده 20م

برگردان کتابی از «اریک برن»، در باره ی «روانشناسی روابط انسانی» است؛ انسان به عنوان یک موجود اجتماعی، پیچیدگی‌های رفتاری بسیاری دارد، انسان‌ها وابسته به «جغرافیا»، «ژنتیک»، «نوع تربیت»، و چندین و چند پارامتر دیگر، رفتارهای متفاوتی را، در برابر عوامل گوناگون در پیش می‌گیرند، و به شرایط اجتماعی گوناگون، عکس العمل‌های دیگرگونه نشان می‌دهند؛ انسان امروز بسیار اجتماعی است، و دایره‌ ی روابطش از محدوده‌ ی «خانواده»، «نزدیکان»، و حتی «محل زندگی»، بسیار فراتر رفته است؛ روابط انسانی امروز، کاربردهایی در «سیاست«، «اقتصاد»، «فرهنگ»، و دیگر «مسائل کلان جامعه» دارد، انسان امروز، برای داشتن روابط سالم و پویا؛ احتیاج دارد، به درک صحیحی، از خودش برسد، تا سپس بتواند، دیگر انسان‌ها را نیز، بهتر درک کند، و مسیری برای ایجاد روابط سالم، و کارآمد بسازد؛ «اریک برن» نظریه ی «تحلیل رفتار متقابل» را ارائه داده اند، که می‌توان این نظریه را داشتن کلید روابط انسانی سالم دانست؛ اگر علاقمند هستید به زبانی ساده و گویا، و به دور از پیچیدگی‌های ویژه ی اصطلاحات روانشناسی، درباره‌ ی این مسئله، بیشتر بدانید، و راه حل‌های مناسب، و کاملی برای بهبود روابطتان، پیدا کنید،؛ کتاب «بازی‌ها» روانشناسی روابط انسانی، اثر «اریک برن» راهنمای بسیار خوبی برای شمایان خواهد بود

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 29/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 12/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 29 books13.7k followers
October 28, 2010
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 Degree, Second Degree and Third Degree. First Degree is just playing for fun. Second Degree means people's feelings can be badly hurt. Third Degree means that the game ends up "in the courts, the hospital or the morgue."

So let me give you an example. There's this game he calls RAPO (one of the most appealing aspects of the book is the witty labels he's made up for the different games). First Degree RAPO is a game you can see being played at almost any party. The first person, most often a woman, flirts with the second person, most often a man, until he expresses some concrete sexual interest. Then she frowns and moves on, leaving him feeling like a bit of a jerk. Her payoff is satisfaction that she's managed to discomfit him and reassurance that she has sexual power, but it's basically harmless.

In Second Degree RAPO, the first party leads the second party on until, again, he's made some kind of advances. Then she gets openly indignant. Maybe she tells him loudly to keep his hands off her, or she phones her friends and says that he's such a lecherous creep. Second Degree RAPO is a pretty nasty game, because it is of course impossible for third parties to know whether the accusations are true or not. Maybe the guy is just a lecherous creep.

In Third Degree RAPO, the first party may get as far as having consensual sex with the second party. She then calls the police and formally accuses him of rape. Third Degree RAPO is, fortunately, not that common. It's clear that it can easily destroy people's lives.

I thought it was insightful to point out that all of these are essentially the same thing: the difference is quantitative, not qualitative. I don't buy his analysis completely. But if he doesn't succeed in alerting you to a least a couple of games you're playing without realising it, then I really envy your ability to understand yourself and the things that motivate you.

Author 4 books35 followers
August 4, 2014
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."
Profile Image for Fergus, Quondam Happy Face.
971 reviews17.6k followers
May 5, 2023
The Games People Play in this woebegone world - especially as performed by those with life-and-death powers over us - rendered me and my workplace friend Muriel pusillanimous.

Are you "nervous in the service?" My good friend Muriel - back in the "Don't know if I'm punched, bored or reamed " 1980's when we were lowly desk-mates - coined that phrase.

We certainly were.

I was a loser like her - but had no idea senior management was keeping close tabs on me, with an eye to career acceleration. I didn't see that they were playing Games People Play with me too.

I thought their alternating glares 'n grins were polite but distanced disciplinary management tools.

But there was MUCH more to it than that. INFINITELY more. And I had always avoided power, as a curse - an incentive to sketchy behaviour! As I say I was pusillanimous, not being a player.

So my aversity to sketchiness led me in the end to the Christian Faith.

Berne started out by positing that we can act Childishly in a relationship, Pater- or Maternalistically - or we act as an Adult. In the first mode we are judged, second - we are judgmental, and third, even-tempered.

Here is where Transactional Analysis tried to Transcend Freud. Gone are our transactional quagmires if we're 'adult' about them.

Presto - in one flash of the magic wand we're forgiven. Even-tempered and happy.

But Freud said we should Still Feel Guilty, like me and Muriel. Until we accept our nothingness. Freud is right. At least that's a step towards faith. And a step that will hound us ALL into the Afterlife!

Berne is right ONLY in a superficial sense. But only that. Otherwise, he is a little dumb...

Life is deep. T.S. Eliot warns us to "gently dip" (into the subject) - "but not too deep." Otherwise, you'll find yourself enmired - like the explorers who set out for the New World - in a Sargasso Sea of self-doubts.

THIS IS NO JOKE. Be careful what you take away from what, in the end, you will see to have been too many leading questions in this book. Don't go there.

Instead, savour, as you skim this book, its "aha!" Moments. There are some.

Many of us, like me and Muriel, have known what it is to fall between the cracks. We find ourselves " left-handed, lost." We are RIGHT, I'm afraid. We are all, say our churches, guilty.

We KNOW we're not OK, Because the World is Not OK.

God forgives. The world? Never, for those who feel fallen. The world judges them. Depressive folks will tell you Berne's a crock. He just puts a shiny, pop veneer on an old, tired world.

Muriel could relax a bit, once she had a fresh coffee from the office vending machine, by regaling me with her woebegone explorations with her Jewish analyst, Moses.

Moses was a serious therapist who persisted in trying to see her mental blockages. Alas - all Muriel and I took away from our therapists was the sheer angst of self-doubt. Do you see now why we were nervous in the service?

Life was no fun in Stress City - an apt handle for our jobs in the supply section. And no, we were not OK. The world had judged us.

Folks, people DO play games with you.

Many around us, like T.S. Eliot's "young man carbuncular" are ""assured of certain certanties."

Be careful.

Muriel was my confidante, and only chuckled with me, not at me. For she was a Believer. And she and her friend Robert renewed my faith for me.

So, through her good graces, I became an MCF member - a Christian group that met weekly for bible study and prayer.

And for Muriel and me, that seed of faith grew into an immense oak -

That sheltered us in the end from life's storms -

And, in our old age has given us shade from the Blazing Sun of Judgement.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
1,214 reviews105 followers
January 19, 2015
This was apparently a very big thing when it was published in the 70s, and I can see why. It’s a very interesting way of viewing the world. Unfortunately, like many psychology theories, it takes what is a clever conceit that explains some odd aspects of human interaction and then tries to apply it to everything regardless of whether it fits or not. Add in some very seventies thought processes (which are rather out of favor at the moment but the author probably thought of as universal without realizing how much was a product of the time), and you end up with a rather dated, if still interesting, book.

The thesis is that whenever you see people engaged in repetitive interactions that appear to be negative, they’re probably getting something out of it subconsciously. So while someone in a controlling relationship complains about how much their partner limits them, they secretly both enjoy having something to complain about and are actually afraid of the thing they’re being forbidden—the reason they chose this partner in the first place is to have an excuse not to have to do the forbidden thing.

The book then goes on to identify a few dozen of these “games”. Most of them are very familiar, and it’s a fruitful way of examining interactions. In applicable cases, it not only provides some reasonable explanations for behaviors that seem inexplicable on the surface, getting to the root of the game offers a way to actually break the pattern. If you’re game playing to feed a deep desire, trying to curtail the surface behavior without addressing the root of the desire will not be particularly effective.

However, I think most modern psychologists would say that a number of the games identified have more root causes than this text makes out. The attempt to extrapolate the theory to apply to all behavior oversimplifies things. Just as bad, a number of the observations are deeply sexist, racist, and/or homophobic—very much products of the time. Furthermore, there’s an attempt to apply a Freudian framework that I’m pretty sure has been mostly discredited by the scientific community in the intervening decades. (Every problem does not need to be classified as phallic, oral, or anal. Really.)

So it’s an interesting work with some still-applicable ideas. Just don’t try to apply them too hard.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,918 reviews69.3k followers
April 8, 2023
The games referred to aren't actual games.

They're the things we do, without realizing why we're doing them, that fills a need in our lives. It may not be a healthy need but it's a need that we think we...need?
You know what I mean.
Transactional Analysis is something Berne came up with to describe this behavior in the 1950s, and it's still in use.


The basic gist is that your interactions and conversations all have a deeper psychological meaning.
A lot of the mumbo-jumbo (when you behave as the Parent, the Child, the Adult) seems like utter horseshit to me. However, I think it's only fair to admit that it's probably valid. It's just that I think it sounds dumb when you say stuff like that out loud.
But I'm trying to grow as a person, goddammit.
What I'm trying to convey is that your mileage may vary with some of the things presented in this book, depending on how touchy-feely you are.


Now, some of it is so old-fashioned that I did the lol thing. Frigid women and perverted homosexuals...dear god. But there were chords of things that I have seen in my own life experiences that made me go WHOA! - I know that person or have had that conversation.


I didn't expect to take much away from a psychology book written in 1964, but I did actually find a few nuggets of wisdom and a teeny bit of insight.
And that's really all I hope for with books like these.
Recommended. Ish.
Profile Image for Mandi.
105 reviews2 followers
November 18, 2011
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 gender behavior of that time, but would not be accurate now, nor would his analysis. However, I think that a lot could still be learned even from those games if he had gone into further analysis, but he didn’t. He names the game, goes through a brief write-up, but doesn’t really delve in. What I wanted was to get the description of the game, see an example provided by an analysis, then see an example of the antithesis with similar analysis. Only once does he provide an example of an antithesis.

Possibly this analysis that was missing for me could be found in other supplemental psychological texts or in a class discussion in which this book was assigned. However, for someone who is reading on their own for only their own personal benefit, it was lacking. Still, this is the historical beginning from which transactional theory arose and, learning about transactional theory for the first time, it was an incredible read.
Profile Image for Farnoosh Farahbakht.
63 reviews314 followers
December 17, 2015
با خوندن این کتاب متوجه شدم که چقدر توی زندگی به بازی گرفته شدم و خودآگاه یا نا خودآگاه دیگران رو بازی دادم!!
در این کتاب "اریک برن" فرضیه ای به نام "حالات من" در خصوص حالت های روانی فرد رو مطرح می کنه که شامل "والد"،"بالغ" و "کودک" است و بعد نظریه بازی ها رو بر اساس همین حالات معرفی میکنه که هر شخص با کدوم حالت خودش وارد این بازی ها میشه.بازی رشته ای حرکت است با دام و کلک که تا رسیدن به نتیجه پیش می رود و در آن حتما برد مطرح است.
در بخش دوم کتاب نویسنده به بازی های معمول بین آدم ها می پردازه که جالب ترین بخش کتاب هست و این بازی ها رو به بخش های مختلف دسته بندی می کنه مثل "بازی های زندگی" یا "بازی های ازدواج" و ... برای این بازی ها اسامی جالبی رو انتخاب کرده مثل "اگر به خاطر تو نبود" ، "حالا گیرت آوردم پدر سگ" و "چرا فلان کار رانمی کنی - آره، اما" و .... خوندن این کتاب تجربه بسیار جالبی بود مخصوصا این که برای هر بازی یک "آنتی تز" نیز ارایه داده بود که البته همیشه هم بدون عواقب نخواهد بود و چون بازی را به هم زده ایم باید منتظر عکس العمل سخت طرف مقابل بود! قسمت هایی از کتاب کمی تخصصی بود و فکر می کنم برای متخصصین بیشتر قابل فهم است.
Profile Image for James Rye.
94 reviews8 followers
October 5, 2012

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.
Profile Image for Sara Kamjou.
597 reviews296 followers
March 21, 2018
کتاب بازی‌ها نوشته‌ی اریک برن با استفاده از نظریه‌ی تحلیل رفتار متقابل (TA) به توضیح نحوه‌ی وقت‌گذرانی و به ویژه بازی‌هایی می‌پردازه که در زندگی روزمره تو ارتباطاتمون به صورت ناخودآگاه استفاده می‌کنیم. بازی‌ها یک کتاب تخصصی روانشناسیه که برای خوندنش باید حتما از نظریه‌ی تحلیل رفتار متقابل آگاهی داشته باشیم.
تو این کتاب، بازی‌ها با اسم‌های خلاقانه‌ای توضیح داده می‌شن ولی نوع توضیحات و دسته‌بندی‌ها مبهم هستن. مثلا در حال توضیح یک بازی که تیتر مربوط به اونه، از بازی‌هایی اسم برده می‌شه که قبلش تو کتاب اسمی ازش نیومده و یا وسط یه بازی به توضیح در مورد بازی‌های دیگه پرداخته شده که گیج کننده می‌شه چون نمی‌شه تو ذهن به خوبی طبقه‌بندیش کرد.
نکته‌ای که در مورد این کتاب خیلی مهمه اینه که این بازی‌ها یه احتمال هستن و نه یه قطعیت. به ویژه خوانندگان غیر روانشناس باید اینو بدونن که هر کس به این نحوی که تو کتاب توضیح داده شده رفتار کنه لزوما در حال بازی کردن نیست و مواظب باشیم به کسی برچسب نزنیم.
به نظر من مزیت این کتاب بیش از هر چیزی در ایجاد شناخت و آگاهی از رفتار خودمون هست که ببینیم اگر در حال بازی هستیم نسبت بهش بینش پیدا کنیم و در تلاش باشیم هوشیارانه‌تر زندگی کنیم و ارتباطاتمون رو واقعی‌تر بسازیم.
Profile Image for Fereshteh.
250 reviews569 followers
January 23, 2016
اریک برن بنیان گذار "تحلیل تبادلی" با این کتاب به صورت مختصر به مباحث همین موضوع پرداخته: " حالات نفسانی" که به سه دسته ی والد، بالغ و کودک تقسیم می شوند ،"تبادل" و انواع اون از گونه های مکمل، متقاطع و نهفته و در نهایت تعریف "بازی ها" و انواعش. با توجه به اسم کتاب انتظار میره مبحث سوم مبسوط تر باشه و بیشتر بهش پرداخته شده باشه که در مقایسه با دو مبحث اول، همین طور هم هست ولی باز هم طبق تصورات و انتظاراتم نبود

با توجه به آشنایی مختصری که با مبحث اول و دوم داشتم بیشتر برای آشنایی با مبحث دوم به خوندن این کتاب رو آوردم. تصورم بر این بود که برن به تک تک بازی هایی که تا اون زمان یافت شده بود با یه توضیح تئوری وار و توصیف و تفسیرش بر اساس حالات نفسانی ، یکی دو تا مثال و در نهایت آنتی تز بازی مورد بحث ، بازی ها رو معرفی کنه ولی گاها یه بازی تنها به ذکر فقط و فقط یک مثال ختم می شد

برن در تمایز "بازی" از "عمل " گفته: عمل یک تبادل ساده یا رشته ای از تبادل های تعهد شده است که به منظوری خاص انجام می گیرد. اگر شخصی از شخص دیگر تقاضای تایید کند و درخواستش برآورده شود یک عمل انجام گرفته است. اگر شخصی از شخص دیگر تقاضای تایید کند و درخواستش برآورده شود و سپس آن تایید بر ضد تاییدکننده به کار گرفته شود یک بازی انجام شده است. بازی در ظاهر بسیار شبیه عمل است اما تنها بعد از برد است که مشخص می شود این اعمال در واقع رشته ای ترفند بوده اند نه درخواست های صادقانه

بازی ها همه بد نیستند . برن یک فصل رو به بازی های خوب اختصاص داده ولی در مجموع برای بازی ها سه درجه قائل شده. درجه یک جلوی عموم قابل اجراست. درجه دو صدمه غیر قابل جبران وارد نمی کنه ولی طرفین ترجیح میدن جلوی انظار اجرا نشه و درجه سوم علاجی نداره و عاقبت به بیمارستان و دادگاه یا سردخانه ختم میشه

برن برای تک تک بازی ها نامی خلاقانه انتخاب کرده و چندین بار قبل از شروع و توضیح مبحث به این نام ها برای مثال هاش اشاره می کنه. ولی عملا با این مثال ها ، خواننده ی هنوز ناآشنا با اون بازی رو سردرگم می کنه. این طور هم که از ریویوی بعضی از فرنگی ها دستگیرم شد پرداختن به موضوع "همجنس خواهی" در رابطه با بازی انحراف در روابط جنسی و همچنین نقش زنان در بعضی از مثال هاش از بسیاری از بازی ها خیلی به مذاقشون خوش نیومده. البته کتاب جدید نیست و مثال ها و موضوعاتش به سال 1960 برمی گرده

نتیجه این که با وجود چندان مفید نبودن کتاب، مبحث همچنان برام جذابه. این که بدونیم کل عمرمون یا داریم بقیه رو بازی می دیم یا خودمون طرف بازی هستیم جالبه. از اون جهت که شاید حواسمون رو جمع کنیم تکرارش رو کمتر کنیم و مانع از ایجادشون بشیم. اگه با این کتاب به خواسته م نرسیدم خب! کتاب های دیگه ای هستن
Author 6 books96 followers
September 14, 2019
I find this book impossible to rate.

On one hand, it some had very insightful models about human behavior. For example, there is the notion of "strokes" - a metaphor for any social interaction in which one person acknowledges the existence of another. As the book defines them:

‘Stroking’ may be used as a general term for intimate physical contact; in practice it may take various forms. [...] By an extension of meaning, ‘stroking’ may be employed colloquially to denote any act implying recognition of another’s presence. Hence a stroke may be used as the fundamental unit of social action.

In the book's model, social rituals such as saying hello and asking "how are you" are reciprocal trades of strokes. Both of the people in question give each other some number of strokes, while maintaining an intuitive calculation of exactly how many strokes they owe each other, depending on the nature of their relationship and the time from their last encounter. And if e.g. I say "Hi" to someone and they don't greet me back, I might be offended - because I have given them one stroke, but they haven't reciprocated by giving me a stroke in return.

The titular "games" are defined as social transactions with some ulterior motive and a payoff. For example, if A and B are going to a movie together and A gets offended over something that B said, B might reply with "if you are in one of your bad moods, then I will not go with you, and you might as well go alone". This has an ulterior motive, since B does not really want to go home; the purpose of the statement is to get A to placate B. A may now play along, in which case B wins; or A might refuse to play by pretending not to understand the motive behind B's statement, saying something like "in that case I will go alone, then".

So far, so good, and there is quite a bit of insightful analysis of some games. Unfortunately however, there is also lots of 1960s sexism, homophobia, and outright bizarre Freudian theory. Some of the described games resonate intuitively - and reading the description of some, I realize that I've either played them myself, or been the target of others. At the same time, other games sound way too specific, and the motives ascribed to the players more like the product of the author's biases than a realistic description. The attitudes implicit in many of the described games - such as the suggestion that a game played by some women is to intentionally seduce men so that the women can then falsely claim to have been raped - are bothersome enough that I don't feel like I can give this book a positive rating.
Profile Image for Mandana Shadi.
29 reviews21 followers
March 8, 2021
" هدف اریک برن از نوشتن این کتاب دادن اطلاعات بیشتر در تعریف و تحلیل بازی ها ( روانشناسی روابط انسانی ) است که به طور خلاصه در مبحث تحلیل رفتار های متقابل مطرح شده است و خواننده با مطالعه آن می‌آموزد که چگونه خواسته ها و نیازهای خود را به طور مستقیم بیان کند ، بی آنکه از طرد شدگی ، تمسخر دیگران و نادیده گرفته شدن بترسد .... "
Profile Image for Meg Sherman.
169 reviews426 followers
March 18, 2010
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 everyone else's. That being said, if you're on a quest for honest communication, this book is indispensable.
Profile Image for Mekhala Bhatt.
45 reviews69 followers
April 22, 2018
My absolute darling of a father has been badgering me to read this book since I was a kid.(strange request to make to a seven year old, but oh well, strange family). But now I see what all the fuss was about.This book is quite the "A-ha, I see your such and such play, and I raise you this seemingly innocuous play". Dare I say it's a bit of enlightened fun when you can even scratch the surface of deciphering something so complex as Human Relationships.

On a psychological-interactive playfield Berne's book is invaluable, it really equips us to call people out on their pattern of behaviour or at least learn how to handle a variety of people if one so wishes to play along.

I guess the introspective takeaway from Berne's book is that when people don't want to be emotionally vulnerable or truly intimate they fall into playing roles, this mask is convenient, lazy and predictable.It's also easier to get caught in a pattern of deceiving yourself, and in a way believing you are what role you play.Which is tragic because one is so scared of unmasking that they would never realise whether their actions and feelings are "real" or just part of the "act" they have taken up as a default.
Profile Image for Bren fall in love with the sea..
1,574 reviews272 followers
March 22, 2023
“Awareness requires living in the here and now, and not in the elsewhere, the past or the future.”
― Eric Berne, Games People Play

Here's the thing about this book.

I come from a family of Psychologists, social workers, ETC. I have read many books on this subject from human relationships, to dysfunctional people to transactional Analysis and human behavior, maladaptive behavior , personality disorders. I love some of these books, hate others, are in between on most.

This remains one of the few I could not complete.

Not because it is not good. It is. Not because it isn't educational. Believe me it is.

But it is also incredibly complicated. Many real life examples are used which normally I love but for such a short book, there was so much information crammed in, I simply could not understand much of it. Vert complicated writing and not in a format I could really follow.

I felt so bad not liking this! It is one of my dad's favorites but then again he is a Doctor (psychologist....although I guess many a Republican would say that doesn't count) but he actually understood my dilemma. The writing was simply to much for me.

I do recommend it . I have not had this issue in my other reads of this genre. This is the only one and I'd been looking forward to reading it. The only reason I gave up was, not because the writing is not good but because it so crammed with facts to the point my brain started to ache. I do feel bad about not finishing t his one as it does offer alot in terms of the negotiating the ins and outs of toxic or unhealthy relationships. Maybe a better fit for others who have an easier time with this type of writing.
Profile Image for Seth.
24 reviews4 followers
August 22, 2007
smart. Falls into the category of books that give you the secret reason for why things happen the way they do.
Profile Image for Sarah.
534 reviews
October 16, 2010
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.
Profile Image for Alireza.
170 reviews1 follower
April 26, 2016
بخونید تا بفهمید:
اول با بقیه چه رفتاری را در پیش گرفته اید
دوم، بقیه با شما چه رفتاری می کنند
Profile Image for Behdad Ahmadi.
Author 2 books55 followers
February 11, 2015
از کتاب هایی که خوندنش بر هرکدام از ابنیاء بشر واجب تاکیدی ست.
تمام زندگی انسان رو دسته بندی می کنه، و یکی از زیر-زیر-بخش هاش رو که تبادل های مضاعف یا بازی های اجتماعی نام داره، شرح میده.

برن توضیح میده که انسان سه وجهه شخصیتی داره. کودک، که تمام رفتار های خلاقانه و قانون شکن و ساده ازش منشا میشه. والد، که جنبه شخصیتیه که نصیحت می کنه، بزرگسالانه ست و درواقع اثریه که والدین ما توی ما به جا گذاشتن و ما هم اون رو به بچه هامون منتقل می کنیم. و بالاخره بالغ، که جنبه کاملا منطقی و تاثیرناپذیر از احساساته.

تبادل های مضاعف، یا بازی های اجتماعی، تبادل هایی هستن که یک ظاهر دارن و یک باطن. در ظاهر، شاید به نظر برسه دو نفر دارن با وجهه بالغشون با هم صحبت و تعامل می کنن. اما با بررسی روانشناختی مشخص میشه این تبادل بالغ-بالغ نیست، بلکه کودک-والده. این روابط بازی نام دارن.

این کتاب تعداد زیادی از بازی ها رو معرفی و بررسی می کنه و براشون روش مقابله یا آنتی تز ارائه میده.

با خوندنش، میتونید با رویه تاریک و خودخواهتون آشنا بشید و بفهمید شما چیزی که خودتون فکر می کنید نیستید. دلیل خیلی از رفتار های خود و اطرافیانتون رو درک می کنید و زندگیتون بی شک یک درجه ی بزرگ ارتقا پیدا می کنه.

شدیدن توصیه میشه.
Profile Image for Mothwing.
849 reviews18 followers
March 3, 2020
DNF at 70%

This book is not only heavily reliant on Freudian and Jungian paradigms (and thus hermeneutics rather than evidence-based psychology) but also displays a stunning amount of sexist bias. Not for me, though the premise is fascinating.
Profile Image for Joshua R. Taylor.
156 reviews3 followers
July 1, 2018
From the start it felt like the model of human relationships Berne describes in this book had so much potential. I think to some extent people already intuitively know that we play social games with each other, quite often without noticing. This book rigorously formalises these games and explores how they're often used to fulfil some need or lack of intimacy. The school of psychotherapy spawned by Berne, transaction analysis, appears to have many practical mental tools and models of thinking for people and therapists alike.

This book however was a bore. There isn't any other way of getting around it. The theory was briefly outlined at the start and bits at the end, almost like reading some lecture notes. In-between some common 'games people play' were listed and categorised by their context. At the start these games were interesting but they eventually became monotonous and difficult to stay with. It's such a shame and it's frustrating to me as a reader because the topic feels like it has so much potential.

There's also the other issue of the book being written for the social and societal context of 1960s USA. This makes all of the gender-specific games hopelessly inapplicable to modern gender roles and many of them definitely step into the boundaries of being needlessly sexist. Alongside this there are also some...interesting (read stupid) ideas about the motivations behind homosexual men.

Lastly, it dawned on me around halfway through the book to ask "how much of this has been empirically verified?" It's fine to state these formal mental models that appear to fit in well with our lives, but who's to say that it doesn't just give an illusion of a good fit? The book, being an introduction to the field of transaction analysis, was likely published before any such studies could take place. But until I get some idea of how much of the book's theory has been at least loosely replicated by psychologists (if this can be done at all) I shall have to regard its theory and models with a healthy dose of scepticism.
Profile Image for cypt.
515 reviews647 followers
March 15, 2019
Ir labai patiko, ir nervavo, ir mąsčiau, kad tai turėtų būti required reading. Taigi žvaigždutės ir pridėtos, ir nuimtos per kančias.

Knyga - transakcinės (santykių) psichoanalizės / psichologijos vadovėlis; ji pirmiausia parašyta specialistams/ėms, ir tai justi: daug kas visai neaiškinama, tik probėgšmiais mestelima, o tau jau galva džiūna nuo info ir nebesupranti, ar čia buvo esminė pastaba, ar ne. Ir priešingai: daug dėmesio skiriama tam, kaip aprašyti atvejį, kokia galima jo raida ir sprendimo būdai. Taip pat: skaičiau seną leidimą ("Vagos" psichologijos knygų serijos); nežinau, ar naujas geresnis, bet seno vertimo klaidos buvo net su tušinuku vietomis pataisytos ankstesnių skaitytojų. Gal ir tas galėjo prisidėt prie įspūdžio, kad daug kas nukąsta, užmesta, išvardyta kaip konspektuose.

Bet labai patiko du dalykai.
Vienas - tai, dėl ko skaičiau; žaidimo kaip soc. ir psichologinės sąveikos samprata ir įvairių žaidimų aprašymas, pastabos, kokie vaidmenys dalyvauja vienam ar kitam žaidime - santykyje tarp žmonių. Pvz, net išsižiojus skaičiau apie žaidimą "Alkoholikas" - kodėl, kokiu tikslu jis žaidžiamas, kiek žaidėjų turi dalyvauti, ką čia veikia "gelbėtojas" (kuri/s būtinai privalo būti ir t. t.). Tas aprašytas labai išsamiai; daugeliui kitų žaidimų vietos skiriama mažiau arba jie tiesiog paminimi: štai šitą žaidžia moterys tada ir tada.
Labai gera dalis: kiekvieno žaidimo aprašymo gale trumpi škicai, kokiai baimei ar apskritai psichologiniam turiniui paslėpti / realizuoti ar pan. yra žaidžiamas tas žaidimas. Pvz, vieni susiję su kalte ir jos atsikratymu, kiti - su artumo baime, treti - su noru kontroliuoti.
Visi tie dalykai skirtingi, ir tą pravartu prisimint, nes buitiniam psichologizavime (kai kairėn dešinėn diagnozuoji sau ar kitiems A, B ir C) viskas dažniausiai subendrinama į kažkokius labai abstrakčius teiginius: žmonės siekia galios, žmonės ginasi. Žodžiu, jei skaitai šitą knygą su tikslu geriau suprasti pasaulį, bet pirmiau - save, bus daug naudos. O juk tas ir yra psichologinės literatūros malonumas+dalia.

Antras dalykas - visai nesitikėjau, gal banalu, bet kažkaip nebuvau apie tai pagalvojus. Tai pati pamatinė knygos prielaida - kam žmonės žaidžia tuos žaidimus. O žaidžia tam, kad sustruktūruotų laiką - kad jis įgytų prasmę, nes be to tai - arba beprasmis laukimas, kas bus nuo gimimo iki mirties, arba kažkoks mistinis (gąsdinantis) sąlytis su pasauliu, buvimas "čia ir dabar". Šito posūkio nesitikėjau, atrodė keista, gal perdėm njueidžiška. Bet bandymas struktūruoti laiką, tai, kad iš esmės mes daugeliu santykių ir bendravimų tik norim kažkuo susiįdominti gyvenimą - apie tą nebuvau pagalvojus. Apie soc. interakcijas ir manipuliacijas visada galvodavau labiau kaip apie išlikimo dalyką - kad griebiesi to iš bėdos. Bet gal ir ne.

Galiausiai numušiau žvaigždučių už tai, kokia tai vis dėlto beviltiškai pasenusi knyga - diskurso atžvilgiu. Moteris Berne'as aprašinėja vos ne kaip Freudas - visos manipuliatorės, visos nesaugios; kai kur specifikuoja: vienus žaidimus žaidžia "pagyvenusios moterys airės", kitus paauglės, trečius dar kitokios. Tas pats ir tautiniu pagrindu: va 4-ojo dešimtmečio pabėgėliai iš Vokietijos turi daug baimių ir dažnai iškrenta iš terapijos. Labadiena? Kai tokį dalyką perskaitai, vis pagalvoji - o gal ir ta žaidimų analizė yra nubraižyta va taip, ant 5 stereotipų ir su 0 dėmesio žmogaus backgroundui. Tokia struktūralistinė, teorinė. Įdomi, kaip ir teisinga, bet - gal tik dar viena schema, kurios gražiai atrodo, bet išmąstytos logiškai, ne išdirbtos per įvairiapusį bendravimą su žmonėm.
Profile Image for Nickolas the Kid.
306 reviews70 followers
April 22, 2017
Ποτέ δεν φανταζόμουν ότι οι άνθρωποι παίζουν τόσα πολλά παιχνίδια μεταξύ τους...

Για λοιπές λεπτομέρειες ανατρέξτε στο σχόλιο της Έλλης!!
Profile Image for bird.
21 reviews
May 12, 2022
I finished it, but at what cost
Profile Image for Fahim.
232 reviews108 followers
January 15, 2019
آنچه که از خواندن این کتاب به دست می آید این است که متوجه می شویم خیلی از پیچیدگی هایی که در روابط انسانی وجود دارد، چه در سطح خانواده یا در جوامع بزرگتر ، موضوعاتی ناشناخته نیستند! کنشها و واکنشها اغلب از فرمولهای شناخته شده ای پیروی می کنند که در این کتاب تحت عنوان بازیها از این فرمولها پرده برداری شده!
بازیها هم می توانند سازنده باشند ، هم ویرانگر ولی در این کتاب بیشتر به بازیهای ویرانگر پرداخته شده.
برای هر بازی یک (تز :بیان مساله) و یک آنتی تز :حل مساله) ارائه شده ، به همراه توضیحات مختصری از کنشها و واکنشهای بازیگران که فهم مطلب را اندکی ساده تر می کند.
کتاب می توانست جذابتر و همه پسندتر باشد اگر ترجمه ی روانتری می داشت و اگر تحلیل نهایی هر بازی ، به صورت رمزگونه و خیلی مختصر ارائه نمی شد...
Profile Image for Ardon Pillay.
141 reviews18 followers
April 29, 2020
Not a book I particularly enjoyed reading.

For one thing, the author uses a lot of strange terms throughout the book without ever properly defining them. I found myself constantly looking back to try and see if I missed something.

The writing style is also very jarring and generally hard to follow.

Another issue is that the main subject of this book, transactional analysis, is apparently a somewhat outdated model of human interactions, something I only found out about halfway through the book.

Overall, this book isn’t really a very reliable guide to analysing social interactions and human behaviours, which was what I was hoping it would be.
899 reviews27 followers
March 4, 2015
The basic idea behind this book -- that human interactions often follow patterns, and many of these patterns can be described in the manner of games and understood better if analyzed as such -- is fundamentally sound, and a really useful paradigm. The book contains a lot of victim-blaming and creepy gender constructions, which detract from the overall message. But I found the basic concepts to be valuable, and would be really interested to read more contemporary, less misogynistic perspectives on this topic.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,600 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.