cashed in for many pay offs, like a good sulk, a run-away-from-home,
a fight, an affair, a lost weekend on the town, etc.
The "kick me" game is self-defeating, similar to a "gallows
transaction" in which a person manages to get his/her friends to laugh
and give other forms of attention when he/she makes mistakes, drinks
too much, shoplifts, drives dangerously, cheats on a boy/girlfriend or
on an exam, etc. In this way, the misguided friends help lead the
person to the gallows of self-defeat and misery.
The set up: "the reason I'm not a fantastic track star is because I
have a wooden leg." "I dropped out of school because my parents
were poor and from the wrong part of town." "I wasn't promoted
because I wasn't in the right social circles."
The ulterior motives: to have an excuse for one's actions, to deny
responsibility for one's own life, to get sympathy.
The pay offs: "surely you wouldn't expect much from me,
considering that I have this handicap--a wooden leg, the wrong
parents, the wrong friends, the wrong size, the wrong sex, the wrong
age, the wrong race, etc."
There are many reasons why people drink or use drugs: to forget
problems, to reduce inhibitions and get courage or power, to have an
excuse for doing things one wouldn't ordinarily do, to have social
interaction, to get some sexual satisfaction (overt or subtle;
heterosexual or homosexual), to hurt the family, and to satisfy
The TA interpretation of alcoholism is that the drinker needs to
suffer, to feel awful during the hangover, to be criticized, to degrade
him/herself. I think it's more complicated than that.
The exaggerated friendliness of a used car salesman, a politician,
or a striving administrator probably does little harm because the self-
serving purposes are obvious. The greatest harm occurs when the
game player starts to believe he/she really is superior and deserving of
privileges because of income, status, education, looks or whatever.
Some brief examples: