From the moment we are born we are taught to play games, no not video games, board games or hide and seek but real life games. Games are played by every one of us as social interaction with others by our parents and caregivers. These games come in the form of beliefs, rituals, procedures and pastimes, which also determine responses to situations and opportunities.

Although much time and energy is devoted by parents and caregivers to the physical welfare of children ” they tend to overlook the question of games, which form the basic structure for emotional dynamics of each family and which the children learn through significant experiences in everyday living…” Eric Berne M.D, Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships.

Eric’s theory of transactional analysis also describes the main players of these games that we are taught to play from such an early age – Parent, Adult, Child and all parts of our operational ego state, responsible for our responses in life dependent on what games we have learnt from our parents. Given any situation you can find yourself responding from your parent self, adult self, child self or numerous other parts… the responses of others are also determined by their own games they have learnt to play in life.

My mother had always suffered from minor health complaints, a game she’d learnt to play early in life with her family in order to get the attention she craved.  At a young age I remember also playing the same game I had been taught by my mother until one day… aged 7, I wanted to stay home, not go to school and get some undivided attention from my mother so I feigned illness, a pain in my side. I was taken to the doctors where he announced that I had a kidney infection and that I wasn’t allowed any dairy produce for 3 weeks! It was 2 weeks before Christmas and this was a catastrophy in my mind as Christmas meant lots of my favourite chocolate and cakes all full of dairy! The game had back fired, I wasn’t enjoying playing it anymore so I stopped. The game was broken and so too the pattern that I could have kept for the rest of my life… unaware that I was playing it!

What games are you playing in your life that you have not been aware of and have been taught to you by your parents and caregivers from a young age?


We even determine the friends we have dependent on the games we play in life. For example ‘let’s gossip and bitch about others’ is a game that many people play (me included at one time in my life although now I try my best not to play anymore). If a player decides to stop playing the game or a new comer to the game doesn’t like that particular game of ‘let’s gossip and bitch about others’ then the remaining players soon lose interest and stop inviting them to play, leaving them to go and find a game they do want to play with new players.

All the games people play have a pay off, a reason for playing, whether you are consciously aware of it or not, it is there. Many people are not consciously aware of the games they play and their pay off is kept in their sub-conscious awaiting awareness… so that question again…

What games are you playing in your life that you have not been aware of and have been taught to you by your parents and caregivers from a young age?

Have fun answering,

Much love and light,

Belinda. x