This book is about the psychological or ego games that people play with each other, both in private and in their social relationships. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to get out of ego games, without conflict, when others intend to play them at your expense? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to recognize an ego game from the start, so that you might either redirect the interaction in a health way or avoid being locked into a stressful and unproductive ego game? Wouldn’t it be great to learn ways of relating that don’t involve ego games, even though we are all conditioned and trained to play psychological games?
Once you understand the structure and style of ego games, you will find them clear and simple enough to see in everyday life. You will discover the basic roles, moves, and motives in psychological games. You will become aware of how to play ego games so everyone wins, how to get out of ego games, and how to avoid playing ego games. Don’t you want to become more aware of when you are in an ego game? Don’t you want to see the motives of others who engage you in ego games? Don’t you want to learn how to avoid entering or starting an ego game? Instead of wondering what just happened in an uncomfortable interaction, you can learn to analyze the ego game and better prepare for it the next time it rears its ugly head.
This book will stimulate, enlighten, and challenge you to live ego-game free. Discover how to identify ego games before they suck you in, why people play ego games, who plays ego games, and when they play them. It’s not just the people you love, hate, or know who play these ego games—you’ll find that you do, too. And you’ll learn how to free yourself of your favorite ego games in order to be more effective and authentic in your relationships and career.
While exposing the foolish ego games of another person brings pride, there is also shame in exposing your own ego games. Part of the aim of this book is to get you beyond the pride and shame that result from playing ego games. This book also presents another style—defined as “Cooperation”—as a way to relate without ego games. This book includes some materials from a counselor-training workshop previously presented by this author.