Relationships and “games”. Why keep on playing?

What game are you playing in your relationship? How can hypnotherapy help you to change?

Each school of therapy has its strengths, its uses and its weaknesses. Transactional Analysis certainly has its weaknesses but where it excels is in assisting people to analyse the relationships they seek, establish and maintain. 

How many times do we find ourselves slipping into a certain pattern when interacting with others? Person 1 does x. Person 2 responds with y. Person 1 counteracts with z. Fast forward a few days and the two meet again. The same pattern re-emerges. Time and time again the same routine re-establishes itself. It’s almost as if the two people gain something from their destructive relationship. 

Relationships fall into habits. What are the habits you display in your relationships?

games in relationshipsPeople do gain from the strategies they use within their relationships. It’s called a “game” and the term was coined by Eric Berne back in the 1960s. As an example, consider the victim / rescuer game. Person A pretends to be helpless and weak. Person B plays the hero. Person A finds something she just “can’t do” on her own.

She calls for help. Person B knows full well that person A could do it by herself but chooses to act as the hero and helps out anyway. Person A gains attention, sympathy and a completed task. Person B gains gratitude and the satisfaction of having helped someone out. This is a simple explanation of what transactional analysis therapists call a “game. “

In a similar example person A has a problem. Person B offers advice which she knows that person A will never follow. Still, person A receives the attention and person B feels good that she was able to act as the adult who offers wise advice. The problem goes away in time but a new one arises and the situation repeats itself ad nauseam. 

Both sides of this game feel as if they gain from the transaction and yet both trap themselves within an unproductive relationship. Neither truly win as the person receiving advice infantilises themselves whilst the giver of advice is drained and exploited. 

The danger is that one day, person B changes and realises that she is being taken for a ride. She feels as if person A has been taking advantage of her good nature, stops helping and feels resentful. Person A feels abandoned and feels resentful. The friendship collapses and both people feel bitter.

What games do you play?

contact resolved hypnotherapyDo you ever find yourself acting out a certain role within a relationship, as if you’re following a script? Do you ever find yourself making the same mistakes, again and again, in finding unsuitable partners? Do you always play the “victim” or “rescuer?” Are you the “adult” in your marriage? If so, the chances are that you’re playing one of these “games” and the sad truth is that nobody ever, ultimately, wins.

Are you the one who rushes to help friends in trouble and yet finds nobody willing to help you when it comes to your turn of being in need of support? Perhaps you’ve come to realise that you’re the one acting as the child in your relationships and that the other person benefits so much, from having you as their project, that they thwart and stifle your attempts to become stronger and independent.

The game only ever stops when someone realises that it’s unwinnable and puts the board away. You can do it, now. Psychotherapy and hypnotherapy, combined, can help you establish healthier patterns of behaviour. Together we can take a look at why you slipped into a certain role and begin to find an alternative way of relating to others. 

You have all the strength you need to win the game. You simply need to stop playing. Contact me, here, to find out how.

Best wishes

Paul's signature for hypnotherapy Reading