Psychological Self-Help

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Don't make it.
Try and try again!
It's OK to just do the best
you can.
Don't think and feel what
you want; 
think and feel what I
want you to.
Please others, not
It's OK to consider and
respect yourself.
Don't feel.
Be strong!
It's OK to be emotional and
need others.
It is these sorts of primitive messages, plus other aspects of how
we are dealt with (respected, valued, spoiled, neglected, resented),
that determine how we feel about ourselves and others, and which
produce a script for our lives. It is scary to think that we may be
compelled to live out our lives in accordance with a five-year-old's
interpretation of confused and subtle messages from our parents'
irrational inner child. Many people seeking self-understanding reject
this notion and disagree with Berne's (1973) book on scripts. Many of
us don't like the idea that unconscious forces, like a script, are
directing our lives. Liking or disliking something has little to do with its
truth, however. 
Your "child's" view of life as being positive or negative is related to
your script being for a "winner" or a "loser." Our life script not only
unconsciously controls the role we play but it also manipulates others
into playing the roles needed for our script. For example, if your script
depicts others as disliking you, you may act in irritating ways that
insure a negative reaction from others. Yet, all we see is that "people
don't like me." It may seem to us as though we are planning and living
our lives rationally as adults but perhaps we aren't. If you experience
the same kind of things happening over and over again with different
kinds of people, suppose they all show little interest in being friendly,
you should start looking for an underlying script. In any case, being
aware of possible unconscious scripts should be helpful. 
The best way to understand life scripts is through case
illustrations. Sooty Sarah in chapter 5 and Stella in chapter 15
illustrate a "I'm a lonely, sickly, no-good person" script. They acquired
the script in different ways, however. Berne described six common
kinds of scripts based on one's orientation to time: (see if you think in
any of these ways) 
A "before" orientation would involve focusing on the near
future, e.g. "Before I get married, I'm going to do a lot of hell
raisin" or "Before I get fired, I'm gonna take this company for
all I can." 
An "after" orientation focuses on distant events, e.g. "After I
finish college, things will be a lot better" or "After we get
married, I'll get serious about holding a job" or "After I get a
raise, I'll relax with the family more and slow down." 
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