A transactional analysis of truth

Individuals A and B had known one another for over fifty years, at one time being best friends.

After not seeing one another for thirty or more years they had a face-to-face reunion.

Everything seemed to go well.

They discussed old times and what had happened in their lives in the meantime. Both seemed to enjoy the visit.

About one month after the visit however A telephoned B on his/her cellphone and told him/her Bush I was one of the best presidents the US ever had, kind, gentle, and civil, and was very sad about his having died.

Individual B said s/he disagreed, saying Bush I was a lying two-faced hypocrite, a war criminal, a toady for the establishment, and one of the prime conspirators assassinating JFK.

After twenty or minutes of heated discussion B told A s/he could not believe A was saying what s/he said, telling A s/he knew A was an intelligent person, but was worried if they kept this up they could destroy their relationship.

A continued to make her/his case from a one-up Parent position; B also continued to make his/her case blow by blow. B said again the best thing to do was end their telephone conversation now before they destroyed their friendship.

A continued trying to convince B of the truth.

B finally exploded, “Goddamn it A I’ve had enough of this shit.”

A then said, “Well, now that you have insulted me, I might as well hang up.”

The two have not spoken to one another again.

Here is a transactional analysis of the case:

Both A and B in their face-to-face visit realized they differed politically but had the good sense to say nothing about it so as not to destroy their visit. Unfortunately their differences grated on A after the visit, causing him/her to telephone B to straighten the situation out. A had been older and dominant in their earlier lives and wanted to reestablish the previous psychological structure, to again become one-up and more OK than B psychologically.

B having grown up would have none of it wanting to be I’m OK—You’re OK in the relationship.

A started the episode from the Parent Persecutor Game position socially and from the Child Rescuer position psychologically. B responded from the Adult position. A ended up persecuting B for insulting her/his character from a Child Victim position, insinuating B caused A to suffer by being so harsh and callous with his/her explosive language.

This TA Game is known as SCHLEMAZAL. A broke the relationship by making the telephone call and saying what s/he said, psychologically attacking B, causing a loss for B, but ended the Game accusing B of immorally insulting her/his character by saying what s/he said using the language and tone s/he used, switching to a woeful hurt Child Victim position, having lost more in the Game than B.

For more on truth and psychological Games read my book, Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.

Following is the Internet article that inspired this article.

SOURCE: “Manufacturing Truth,” by C. J. Hopkins, The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection, A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media.

Richard John Stapleton is an emeritus professor of business policy, ethics and entrepreneurship who writes on business and politics at www.effectivelearning.net and on Facebook.

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