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Takes Two

Concepts in Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis

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In a couple, do people grow to look the same over time? Or are they actually taking on two different roles and then look the part?

A couple sits in the car next to me, one with some air of lightness, a smile quick to light-up the face, a sense of ease.  The other is withdrawn, perhaps even somber or fully intent and searching for every chance to make the world a serious place.

Does it just seem that way, that between two people, at a given time, one is much more relaxed and jovial than the other?  Yet it can be seen so often, this pronounced difference in two mates, so distinct and undeniable. But a theory readily finds its own evidence; proof is easy when based on arbitrary and inherently subjective judgments.

Eric Berne

Eric Berne

It’s at least plausible, from a simple and quite likely simplistic principle, that opposites attract, and that once attracted start moving to opposite sides of many psychological dimensions. Transactional Analysis, as popularized by Eric Berne’s Games People Play, formally describes the Parent – Child dynamic, and also Prosecutor – Victim one.

Have you seen this in the world around you, in your friends and neighbors? Let me know.


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