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50 phrases by Eric Berne about life

50 phrases by Eric Berne about life

April 5, 2024

Eric Berne was a Canadian psychiatrist and psychologist especially known for having created Transactional Analysis. This author, disciple of Paul Federn (one of the disciples of Freud), generated a model based on the social thing in which he considered that the communication with the social environment can be the source and at the same time solution of the diverse mental problems.

Taking the transaction as a basic unit of social relationship , the author integrated psychoanalytic and humanistic and even behavioral concepts, focusing his perspective on the present and personal growth, elaborating concepts such as the ego states called Child, Adult and Father and also establishing a theory regarding the scripts or roles we interpret.

In order to understand your thoughts better, I offer you a series of 50 phrases by Eric Berne .

  • Related article: "The 55 best sentences about Psychology ... and its meaning"

50 interesting quotes from Eric Berne

Below you can see about fifty phrases from the creator of the Transactional Analysis, without any particular order.

1. The moment a child worries about whether it is a jay or is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing

The moment in which we start analyzing things instead of living them supposes a loss of natural spontaneity and makes it difficult for us to be able to enjoy ourselves.

2. Children understand people much better than trained elders who study human behavior

The innocence and spontaneity of a child makes it possible to guess and understand how others are and are not being subjected to as much interpretation as adults

3. Games are a compromise between intimacy and keeping intimacy away

The ability to have intimacy with others is fundamental and one of the objectives of transactional analysis. For Berne, the game supposes the capacity to be oneself and to approach the other in a partial way when the intimacy of the game in question is circumscribed.

4. No man is a hero to his wife's psychiatrist

We all have a negative side that others, and especially those who know us the most, can appreciate. We all hurt someone with our acts or the absence of these at some time.

5. Each person designs his own life, freedom gives him power to carry out his designs, and power gives freedom to interfere in the designs of others

In this sentence Berne He talks to us about freedom and how it can be interfered with through interaction with others.

6. People are born princes and princesses until the process of civilization turns them into toads

The education and the restriction of the conduct that we carry out as we are being educated provoke the reduction of the spontaneity and the repression of the authenticity, being more difficult to reach relationships of authentic intimacy.

7. It is our responsibility to take off that frog's skin and continue being princes and princesses.

In this sentence linked to the previous one it is established that we are the ones who must strive to recover our spontaneity and our instinctive part in an active way.

8. I'm fine, you're fine

This phrase is for Berne the ideal position that allows the human being to establish healthy relationships with their peers

9. A healthy person says "yes", "no" and "bravo!". An unhealthy person says "yes, but", "no, but" and "no bravo"

The loss of illusion, self-consciousness, spontaneity and intimacy makes people doubt their statements and what they want.

10. Being aware requires that we live in the here and now, and not in nothing, the past or the future

This phrase impels us to live our life in the present, without obsessing with what was already or what could become.

11. When the intuitive disposition is strong, it brings with it a feeling of certainty that is difficult to shake

Intuitive people often capture details that other people would overlook without an objective reason for doing so. In general, those who intuit something often think that they have a high chance of being right.

12. Refusing to follow unconscious parental commands can cause the witch mother or the ogre father to appear on the scene, and in the worst case both, to reproach him for the audacity he has had in disobeying them

Berne tells us the effect on the Father I of the breach of his designs on the part of the child Yo.

13. The loser does not know what he will do if he loses, but talks about what he will do if he wins, and whoever wins does not talk about what he will do if he wins, although he knows what he will do if he loses

This phrase serves to reflect on expectations and our ability not to anticipate possible successes.

14. For the patient's Child, being good means doing what his parents told him to do in early childhood.Being good can go from not causing problems to being a genocide, because in both cases the paternal order is followed. And as long as the Child of the patient follows his Paternal directives, he will maintain the protection and affection of his Father

The Child, our internal part more spontaneous and free, as he grows up, tends to limit his activity according to what the Father I considers (what the reference figures have instilled in him).

15. If Jeder studies his facial expressions in the mirror, he will soon see what he is doing to make people react as he does, and then he will be in a position to change things if he wants to.

Knowing how we relate and what we express to others is fundamental in order to introduce changes in our way of relating.

16. The Child in the person is potentially able to contribute to his personality exactly as a happy and real child is able to contribute to family life

The instinctive and spontaneous part of our being leads us to pursue our desires and dreams and to be happy.

17. Whether you are successful or unsuccessful, the script is a way to structure the time between the first "Hello" in the mother's breast and the last "Goodbye" in the grave

The roles and scripts that we acquire throughout our lives structure our behavior and what we live throughout our life cycle.

18. The most brutal psychological blow that a human being can receive is the proof that his good mother cheated him

The disappointment with respect to who or what we idolize and value supposes a deep pain and suffering when the expectations and the illusion in it are broken.

19. It is incredible to think, at the beginning, that the destiny of man, all his nobility and all his degradation, is decided by a child of no more than six years, and generally three

Who we are as an adult is determined and / or influenced in large part by what we live in the early stages of our lives, especially during early childhood.

20. Script deaths are usually signaled by the smile or mood of the scaffold. The man who dies with a smile on his face or a joke on his lips is dying the death that asks for his script, and the smile or the joke says: "Well, mother, now I am following your instructions. I hope you're happy "

This phrase refers to the monitoring of behavior patterns established not by oneself but for what education dictates , which in large measure lead to the repression of our instincts and desires.

21. A dedicated fetishist usually does not turn out to be a very good husband, unless he gives exactly the right woman

This phrase tells us about the search for idealized characteristics and the poor adaptation between these and reality.

22. We think that we relate to others ... but in reality we are playing

Linking with others is complex, and we generally limit ourselves to expressing only a part of our privacy without being entirely authentic.

23. Human life is the process of spending time until the arrival of death, or of Santa Claus

In this sentence, Berne makes reference to the fact that we can live life in an organized way and according to the restrictions and repressions imposed from the outside, or to live life in an authentic and free way.

24. Love is given from Child to Child: a Child even more primitive than that of intimacy, since the child of intimacy sees things as they are, in all their pristine beauty, while the Child of Love adds them something and gives shine to things with an invisible halo for all but the lover

Berne talks about love as something that is given from authenticity and intimacy (our inner Child), as well as that love makes the illusion and joy add to the real vision of things.

  • Maybe you're interested: "The 4 types of love: what different kinds of love are there?"

25. Scripts are artificial systems that limit spontaneous and creative human aspirations, in the same way that games are artificial structures that limit spontaneous and creative intimacy

This phrase reflects what implies for the author the existence of scripts and even games as limiting the authenticity of being.

26. The arguments are meant to last a lifetime. They are based on childhood decisions and constantly reinforced parental programming

This phrase prompts us to reflect on the basis of our arguments

27. Reinforcement can take the form of daily contact, as in men who work for their father, or women who call their mother every morning to chat, or can apply less frequently and more subtlety, but with the same force , through an occasional deal

In this fragment linked to the previous sentence we can see how Berne considered the existence and importance of a basic social reinforcement at the time of explaining and directing our behavior.

28. Parental programming is not the "fault" of the parents since they do not pass on to the children the programming received from their parents, as it is not "the fault" of the physical aspect of their children since they do nothing but pass on the genes they received from their ancestors.But brain chemicals are easier to change than those that determine physical appearance

For Berne communication and the type of transaction between parents and children can be modified to make it more adaptive and transmit and generate a better programming in the offspring than the one that originated us. Children's experiences can generate a specific psychic structure , but this is not determined solely by these experiences.

29. When the script decrees that the patient should never get well, but the therapist manages to destroy this curse. This requires enormous power and skill on your part. The full trust of the patient's Child must be gained, since the success depends on the Child having more confidence in him than in the father of origin who dictated the script

In this sentence the author expresses that the therapist must be able to contact the child, with the primary and authentic part of the patient, if he / she intends to help modify the structure of the self.

30. In most cases the witch father plans the length of Jeder's life and the manner of his death, and he, by his own decision, unless there are internal or external commotions, will carry out the paternal decree

In this sentence Berne reflects that it is easy to get carried away by the configuration of personality and behavior that society carries out, ignoring its own authenticity.

31. A script merely means that someone told the person what he had to do a long time ago, and she decided to do it

The author establishes the script as a transaction in which the role of a person is configured, this being the result of the transmission of points of view, information, expectations and other aspects.

32. Each person decides in his early childhood how he will live and how he will die, and that plan, which he carries on his head wherever he goes, we call it a script

In keeping with the previous sentence, in this case it is added that the transactions that end up generating our scripts are produce essentially in early childhood .

  • Related article: "The 6 stages of childhood (physical and psychic development)"

33. Screenplays are only possible because people do not know what they are doing to themselves and to others. In fact, knowing what one is doing is the opposite of following a script

The author reflects the role of self-knowledge in determining whether or not we do what we want to do.

34. Each individual is pushed by his script to repeat over and over again the same patterns of behavior, however much he regrets the consequences

The role and role that we take leads to behave always in a certain way.

35. The forces of human destiny are four and very fearsome: the demonic paternal programming, aided by the inner voice that the ancients called "Daemon"; the constructive paternal programming, aided by the vital impulse that they called "Phusis" a long time ago; the external forces, which we still call "Destiny" and the independent aspirations, for which the ancients had no human name, since for them they were privileges mainly of gods and kings

Interesting phrase that shows the different forces that help us to configure the psyche.

36. All your decisions are made by four or five people inside your head, and although you may not listen to them if you are too proud to hear them, they will be there next time if you bother to listen to them. Screen analysts learn to amplify and identify these voices

The self is influenced by different ways of seeing the world and living it, which Berne identified as characters. These characters suggest ways of acting in the world.

37. When children planned their lives they often followed the argument of a favorite story. The real surprise was that these plans persisted for twenty, forty or eighty years, and that in the long run they generally prevailed over common sense

This phrase reflects that we live our life according to what we identify ourselves with, acting accordingly.

38. The main themes of the life scripts are the same as those found in fairy tales: love, hate, gratitude and revenge

These four aspects are the main elements on which the scripts that we take throughout our lives are based.

39. In the event that the patient's Child is rebellious, it may be strong enough to withstand the cruel and disproportionate attacks of its critical Parents, but sooner or later these attacks will take effect and achieve their objective.

The instinctive part, spontaneous and with capacity for intimacy of each person can be resistant, but generally tends to end up being controlled and restricted by the values ​​and points of view we have captured during childhood.

40. The destiny of each human being is decided by what is inside his head when confronted by what is outside it

The existence and resolution of conflicts between the Yo Yo and what comes from outside is what shapes our destiny.

41. Men tend to be attracted by the things that their family stressed, particularly their mother. Indeed, the basic rule of fetishes is that a man's fetish is the same as that of his mother's Child

This phrase tells us about the transmission by the family of aspects to be fixed or to be attracted to.

42. Mrs. Blanco complained that her husband severely limited her social activities, so she had never learned to dance. Due to alterations in her attitude resulting from psychiatric treatment, her husband began to feel less sure of himself and to be more forgiving. Then Mrs. Blanco was able to expand the range of her activities. She enrolled in dance classes and discovered, dismayed, that she felt a great fear of the dance floors and had to abandon this project. This unfortunate adventure, along with other similar ones, brought to light important aspects of the structure of their marriage. From among her numerous suitors she chose as her husband a dominant man. He was then in a position to complain that he could do everything "if it were not for him". Many of her friends also had dominant husbands, and when they met in the mornings for coffee, they spent a lot of time playing "If it were not for him"

This fragment expresses the idea that sometimes we choose to interact with people who allow us to self-justify why the Yo Yo is not heard by the person.

43. Hobbies and games are substitutes for the real experience of real intimacy

The author sees the game as something that replaces the experience of real intimacy, cutting off part of the individual's own spontaneity.

44. Hunger is the need to touch and be touched, to be recognized by society and only appeased with caresses

In this sentence Berne speaks of the need to be recognized and accepted by the environment , including our most significant people.

45. I know that when people talk, they exchange something with each other, and that's why they talk to each other. The fundamental question is: why do some people talk to each other?

In this sentence we can see what the transaction means for Berne

46. ​​In most cases, when we mention interaction, it implies that there is no action at all. People who really do things do not use words like interaction. Transaction means: "At least I have already taken a step forward"

In this sentence we see the difference between interaction, more passive, and transaction as active communication.

47. The eternal problem of the human being is how to structure his waking hours

The human being tends to structure the world according to the concepts and precepts that it acquires throughout life, being the structuring of its time one of its main concerns.

48. The achievement of autonomy is manifested by the discovery or recovery of three capacities: consciousness, spontaneity and intimacy

In this sentence, the author expresses the basic capacities that shape autonomy.

49. The solitary individual can structure time in two ways: through activity and fantasy

Activity and fantasy are for Berne different ways in which human beings can structure their time.

50. Instead of encouraging people to live bravely in an old world, it is possible to make them live happily in a brave new world

This phrase leads us to reflect on the fact that we do not really have to adjust to established models, but that we must modify the world and contribute new things in order to enrich our lives and the lives of others.

8 Stages of Development by Erik Erikson (April 2024).

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