The only solution, for the game player, seems to be for your
"adult" to become aware of what your unconscious parts, usually the
"adaptive child" or occasionally the "critical parent," are doing via
games. How does the "adult" gain control over the gamy interactions?
It does so by (1) learning the games and the pay offs, (2) learning the
situations in which you play games, and (3) consciously deciding that
it, the "adult," will stop the manipulation and refuse to permit the sick
pay offs to occur.
When we recognize a game-playing situation (try to detect the
beginning of the set up), we can avoid it or have a pleasant,
constructive, caring, straight, genuine, and intimate interaction,
instead of playing a game. When we recognize a tendency to put down
others, we can practice empathic responding (chapter 13) or try to
strengthen our understanding and tolerance (chapters 7 & 14). If we
tend to put down ourselves, we can instead build our self-esteem
(chapter 14). Take pride in your new-found insight and conscious
control. Say to your "child," "I caught you playing games again, didn't
I?" or "I (the adult) love you (the child) and I need you, but let's see if
we can't find a better way to get the "strokes" we both need."
If someone is running a game on you, refuse to go along.
Examples: if he/she is playing "Yes, but," refuse to solve his/her
problems for him/her. If he/she is putting you down, as in "NIGYSOB"
or "If it weren't for you," you can simply refuse to take the blame and
get away from the game player. Remember, the game-player may get
mad if you do not play his/her game, especially if you start "analyzing"
his/her behavior. Be sure to reward his/her being genuine. Also,
remember he/she isn't conscious of his/her game playing. But that
doesn't mean you have to "put up with it."
Every (person) is a good (person) in a bad world--as he/she him/herself knows.
Other self-deceptions: Excuses and self-handicapping
As "games" illustrate, it is vitally important that we humans learn
to face the truth and avoid fooling ourselves and others. Yet, there
seems to be powerful basic human needs to "look good," to appear
competent, to be right, and to be in control. This is referred to as
impression management (Schlenker, 1982). We all (almost) put "our
best foot forward" or "show our best side," although at times it seems
to our advantage to appear weak and troubled. Lerner's (1993) new
book, The Dance of Deception, describes many ways of avoiding the
truth and their consequences.