One-Up-Man-Ship II

This life position, I'm OK You're not OK, is the perfect pitfall that allows one to excuse his own mistakes or shortcomings while being critical of

the shortcomings of the others and focusing on the need for them to improve. This life position inflates the ego and whenever on display indicates that ego has come in to play.

Jim Davis termed this position as 'You are to Blame' in terms of the Blame matrix that he explains based on the life positions.

Berne, in his Games People Play, details the games played by people in real life taking on various life positions and puts forward anagrams to indicate the games and their meanings.

The people taking the 'I'm OK You're not OK' life position play the 'Now I've Got You, You Son of a Bitch' termed as NIGYSOB. This is usually called 'Gotcha' game. In this game the NIGYSOB player expresses the contempt and hostility towards the other partner in the transaction. This expression comes out as a sudden burst in daily life, as a fit of rage over a slight mistake perceived to be made by the other partner. This is usually observed between couples and office workers. This is a camouflaged justification for the failure to control one's emotions and abusive behavior and often comes out as a projection of the disowned and hated aspects of the self.

Karpman has added another dimension to the ego state, life position and games combo with the proposition of his famous Karpman Triangle. He assumes that people take up three roles in all games viz., the Persecutor, the Rescuer and the Victim - and is represented by an inverted triangle. People have a favorite position from where they start off the games. The role of the Persecutor is taken up by those choosing the I'm OK You're not OK life position. They tend to transact from the Critical Parent ego state and keep criticizing the others i.e. the Victim role-takers. The Rescuer has an explicit agenda of helping others in a perceived role of being the benefactor.

The Persecutor does not consider that the other person is able to think and act in his own interest or on his own behalf. Thus the Persecutor tends to victimize the other person by belittling, criticizing or punishing him. This tendency of one-up-man-ship marks out the persecutor in a transaction.

(continued from part I)


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