Sorry.Â Â Â This is another post which probably only my Cantonese readers would be interested.
I am re-reading the book â€˜Games People Playâ€™ by Eric Berne on Transaction Analysis.Â Â Â It is very helpful in identifying unconscious processing on interpersonal or group level which actually undermines the stated objectives.Â Â Â Â But I am here discussing the concepts. There are a lot of material online e.g. Tom Butler Bowdon’s blog explains the concepts quite concisely.
Instead I want to reflect on the games’ names. There is some magic in how Berne named each gameÂ Â Â For example, he called the first game in the book â€˜If It Werenâ€™t For You IWFYâ€™.Â Â Â (I highlight briefly at this article end what he meant by ‘Game’ and this particular one IWFY)Â Â Â Â Â Â The use of such colloquial language helps capture not only the meaning of the game but also the general sensation one would have when we say or hear such language.Â Â Â And there is some fun in it!Â Â Â
But such colloquial language by nature resonates well only to the native speakers.Â Â (And I believe there are local games particular to different cultures / social groups.) ThisÂ prompts me to have some fun in coming up names in my mother tongue â€“ Cantonese on a few games as follows.Â Â Â What else will you think of which carries the sensation even better?
NIGYSOBÂ â€“ â€˜Now Iâ€™ve got you, you son of a bitchâ€™ – Somehow allowing others to take advantage on self on trivial matters , andÂ feeling justified in venting almost unlimited rage against the person.Â Â Â Actually has been looking for similar injustices, received them with delight and exploited them with the same vigour.
>> There is a popular Cantonese saying for that – â€˜ä½ ä»Šæ¬¡ä»²å””æ»,Â å¥‘å¼Ÿ!â€™Â
SWYMDÂ â€“ â€˜See what you made me doâ€™ – Somehow allowing self to make a small misfortunate / mistake as a result of an interruption in order to give him a lever for ejecting the intruder.
>> Again, this popular one – â€˜ç‡ä½ æžæˆæˆ‘å’â€™ is probably the equivalent.
WAHMÂ â€“ â€˜Why does this always happen to meâ€™ – Repeatedly getting oneself into misfortune or choosing to see the misfortunate aspect.Â Â Â Trying to win the contest of misfortune.
>> How about â€˜é»žè§£æˆæ—¥éƒ½ä¿‚æˆ‘â€™? Or even a more contemporary one â€˜æˆ‘æ£ä¸€ä¿‚åœ°ç„é»‘ä»”çŽ‹â€™?
IWFYÂ â€“ â€˜If it werenâ€™t for youâ€™ – Somehow got self into a constraining situation in order to avoid confronting fear outside those constraintsâ€¦. and enjoy the potential compensation by complaining to the one who imposes those constraints.
>> I think of this one – â€˜å¦‚æžœå””ä¿‚ç‚ºå’—ä½ â€™. Unfortunately, this line is what some parents say to the kids often in order to influence with guilt. Oh, and there is sometimes a more aggressive version – â€˜å¦‚æžœå””ä¿‚ç‚ºxå’—ä½ â€™
(Game â€“ Berne defines it as â€˜an ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined, predictable outcomeâ€™.Â Â Â Basically, we engage into unconscious patterns of behavioral interaction with others in order to achieve some hidden gains.Â Â For example, in IWFY, a woman complains regularly how her husband restricts her activities e.g. starting a career.Â Â Â Actually, she gains by not having to face the anxiety in finding a job, and she can complain about the restrictions which makes her spouse feel uneasy and gives her all sorts of advantages. Of course, men do this as well.)