In the first half of the book,
The second half of the book catalogues a series of "mind games" in which people interact through a patterned and predictable series of "transactions" which are superficially plausible (that is, they may appear normal to bystanders or even to the people involved), but which actually conceal motivations, include private significance to the parties involved, and lead to a well-defined predictable outcome, usually counterproductive. The book uses casual, often humorous phrases such as "See What You Made Me Do," "Why Don't You — Yes But," and "Ain't It Awful" as a way of briefly describing each game. In reality, the "winner" of a mind game is the person that returns to the Adult ego-state first.
In the game entitled "Now I've Got You, You Son of a Bitch," one who discovers that another has made a minor mistake in a matter involving them both holds the entire matter hostage to the minor mistake. The example is where a plumber makes a mistake on a $300 job by underestimating the price of a $3 part as $1, so the plumber sends a bill for $302, the correct price. The customer won't pay the entire original $300 unless and until the plumber absorbs the $2 error instead of just paying the (undisputed part of the) bill of $300.
Not all interactions or transactions are part of a game. Specifically, if both parties in a one-on-one conversation remain in an Adult-to-Adult ego-state, it is unlikely that a game is being played.
Before reading Games People Play, it is a good idea to read I'm OK - You're OK. There are two reasons why. First, I'm OK is a general introduction to Transactional Analysis whereas Games People Play deals with a narrow aspect of the subject. Second, I'm OK is written in an easier style than the present book. In fact, if I hadn't already studied I'M OK, I might not have understood Games People Play.
The author of Games People Play was the founder of the TA school. The author of the other book was his follower. Transactional Analysis was popular during the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, it has lost some of that popularity in
Before investing in a copy of the book, you might want to check Wikipedia which has an excellent article about Tranactional Analysis. Games, the subject of this book, are special behaviors that people use to accomplish ulterior designs. For example, the game called "If it Weren't for You I'd...." helps people feel better about NOT doing things they are really afraid to do.
I believe this book and the