Saturday, 24 October 2015

Mind Games People Play

In a week of rushing and deadlines, I've not had a lot of time to think nor prepare for this blog (on the theme of Games People Play) so please excuse a brief excursion into the realms of Transactional Analysis and the resurrection (or should that be resuscitation?) of something that's the best part of forty years old, written when I was both an English teacher, an occasional smoker and a fledgling poet.

'Games People Play: the Psychology of Human Relationships' was a best-selling treatise (5 million copies sold) written in 1964 by Eric Berne, a Canadian-born psychiatrist and the man credited with formulating Transactional Analysis and coining the concept of mind games. TA is one of the most popular threads of modern psychological theory. T-groups were very fashionable in the '70s as we all earnestly searched after knowing ourselves; (I can't believe I just wrote that, but it was true). Eric Berne postulated that there are 3 ego-states: Parent, Child, Adult - and we are each a combination of the 3 in varying degrees.

Parent is the 'taught' mode: angry or impatient body-language, finger-pointing, patronising, critical, judgmental and posturing
Child is the 'felt' mode: emotionally expressive, impulsive, teasing, given to extremes, deferential, approval-seeking
Adult is the 'thought' mode: attentive, interested, non-threatened and non-threatening, comparative and reasoned
I am told (and like to believe) that I am largely Adult with a healthy streak of Child. I don't like playing mind games. You may beg to differ.
In analysing interpersonal transactions, Berne believed that only 7% of the import is in the actual words used; 38% is paralingual - in the way the words are said; 55% is visual (facial and bodily expressions). Please bear those percentages in mind when you read my poem....



let's get some sleep now - a poem for joni
post-coital pall malls
glow
in the night
from your face
in the cigarettes' light
i interpret loneliness
you say
"we're so near and yet so far"
and how i react to that
knowing it for a fact
is to hold you close
more eloquent than words
you say
"i've lived too many fakes
to lay pretence on you"
i smile
for i know this to be true
not touching souls
we stub symbolic in the dark
and kiss entwined
in a fumbling happiness

Thanks for reading. Have a good week, S ;-)
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1 comments:

Anonymous said...

"a fumbling happiness" is very good.