Social Rituals*

The simplest forms of social activity are procedures and rituals. Some of these are universal and some local, but all of them have to be learned.
Let's You and Him Fight

This may be a manoeuvre, a ritual or a game. In each case the psychology is essentially feminine. Because of its dramatic qualities, LYAHF is the basis of much of the world’s literature, both good and bad.

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Look How Hard I've Tried

In its common clinical form this is a three-handed game played by a married couple with a psychiatrist.

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Now I've Got You, You Son of a Bitch

This can be seen in classic form in poker games. White gets an unbeatable hand, such as four aces. At this point, if he is a NIGYSOB player, he is more interested in the fact that Black is completely at his mercy than he is in good poker or making money.

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Peasant

The prototype peasant is the arthritic Bulgarian villager who sells her only cow to raise money to go to the university clinic in Sofia. There the professor examines her and finds her case so interesting that he presents her in a clinical demonstration to the medical students. He outlines not only the pathology, symptoms and diagnosis, but also the treatment. This procedure fills her with awe.

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Perversion

Heterosexual perversions such as fetishism, sadism and masochism are symptomatic of a confused Child and are treated accordingly. Their transactional aspects, however, as manifested in actual sexual situations, can be dealt with by means of game analysis.

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Psychiatry

Psychiatry as a procedure must be distinguished from ‘Psychiatry’ as a game.

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Rapo

This is a game played between a man and a woman which might more politely be called, in the milder forms at least, ‘Kiss Off’ or ‘Indignation’. It may be played with varying degrees of intensity.

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Schlemiel

The term ‘schlemiel’ does not refer to the hero of Chamisso’s novel, who was a man without a shadow, but to a popular Yiddish word allied to the German and Dutch words for cunning. The Schlemiel’s victim, who is something like the ‘Good-Natured Fellow’ of Paul de Kock, is colloquially called the Schlemazl.

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See What You Made Me Do

In its classical form this is a marital game, and in fact is a ‘three-star marriage buster’, but it may also be played between parents and children and in working life.

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Stupid

In its milder form, the thesis of ‘Stupid’ is, ‘I laugh with you at my own clumsiness and stupidity.’ Seriously disturbed people, however, may play it in a sullen way which says, ‘I am stupid, that’s the way I am, so do me something.’ Both forms are played from a depressive position.

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The Social Rituals are taken from the book 'Games People Play' written by Dr. Eric Berne. They are the foundation for the Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy school of Psychiatry Dr. Berne pioneered.

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