To better understand this issue, we have to know what are ego states. In a normal human being, anyone, any nationality, language, or culture, there are always three ego states. Parent, Adult and Child. Parents refer to persons who are in charge of giving nourishment and education. We also recommend the study of Transactional Analysis and also Games People Play, both written by Eric Berne.
Is the set of feelings, thinking and behaviour that we have copied from our parents and significant others. As we grow up, we take in these aspects from our parents and caretakers. This is called introjection and it is just as if we take in whole an image of the care giver. The information we exchange with others in this ego state, is usually subjective and based on our beliefs and acquired concepts. It is not necessarily the truth, but our truth. In this state of ego, we usually express opinions rather than facts.
Is about direct responses to the here and now. From Adult, we deal with things that are going on in the present in ways that are not unhealthily influenced by our past. The Adult ego state is about being spontaneous and aware with the capacity for intimacy – we are able to see people as they are, rather than what we project onto them. We can ask for information rather than stay scared or make assumptions. Taking the best from the past and using it appropriately in the present is an integration of the positive aspects of both our Parent and Child ego states. This is usually called the Integrating Adult. This means that we are constantly updating ourselves through our everyday experiences and using this to inform us. In this structural model, the Integrating Adult ego state circle is placed in the middle to show how it needs to orchestrate between the Parent and the Child ego states. There is no room for guesswork, only for hard data, data from reality. In this state of ego, we usually talk about facts.
is the set of behaviours, thoughts and feelings which are replayed from our past. Perhaps our boss calls us into his or her office, we immediately get a churning in our stomach and wonder what we have done wrong. If this were explored we might remember the time the head teacher called us in to tell us off. The Child ego state holds positive memories too. We might go into someone’s house and smell a lovely smell and remember our grandmother’s house when we were little, and all the same warm feelings we had then may come flooding back. Is this ego state we invariably learn to manipulate and blackmail the other in favor of our own survival or to get what they want (little professor). This ego state is usually where we talk about ideas, is where we express our creative essence.
There is not a fixed state of ego. Our ego state varies all the time between one and another of the states shown here, but obviously there is a predominant state, depending on the person. There are people who are predominantly in the state ‘little professor’ (blackmail, manipulation), while others are predominantly in the ego state ‘rebel adapted child‘ (rebels without a cause). Some people are always in a state of ego ‘submissive adapted child‘ (the meek, the hangers-on). Thankfully there are people whose state of predominant ego is ‘free child‘. They are cheerful and spontaneous. There are also those who are predominantly in the state of ego ‘critical parent‘ (trolls, those who like to give moral lessons in the other, the boring … Here are also overbearing, domineering, controlling). And there are also those that are predominantly in the state of ego ‘nurturing parent‘ (usually women, always putting hot rags here and there, but also the ‘suckers’, always helping the undeserving and being cheated). As might be expected, there are those who are on ego state ‘adult’ most of the time (the nerds). Are always very realistic, and do not relax nor unwinding, speak only of numbers.
So, dear reader, as you can see, a normal healthy person fluctuates evenly between all ego states, and uses the most appropriate ego state to the convenience of the moment. These are people who know what to say, when to say and how to say. These are people who know how to recognize in the other people the states of their own ego and therefore know how to address each of them and transmit information, always pleasant, safe, ‘adult‘ and balanced. As for the drawbacks, (ah, the drawbacks …) they speak what should not talk, when should not talk and in such a way they should not talk, creating unnecessary friction, injuring and hurting others, always making the victims, manipulating and preaching moral lessons. They are people unbalanced, sick, troubled. In any group, they are those who start disagreements that turn into aggression and finally end up in serious offenses of either party.
In a complementary transaction, the response must go back from the receiving ego state to the sending ego state. For example, a person may initiate a transaction directed towards one ego state of the respondent. The respondent’s ego state detects the stimuli, and then that particular ego state (meaning the ego state to which the stimuli was directed) produces a response. According to Dr. Berne, these transactions are healthy and represent normal human interactions. As Berne says in Games People Play “communication will proceed as long as transactions are complementary.”
ALL COMPLEMENTARY TRANSACTIONS ARE HEALTHY AND CONSTRUCTIVE. PEOPLE INVOLVED ALWAYS WIN AND THERE WILL ALWAYS BE EMOTIONAL AND INTELLECTUAL GROWTH FOR BOTH.
However, not all transactions between humans are healthy or normal. In those cases, the transaction is classified as a crossed transaction. In a crossed transaction, an ego state different than the ego state which received the stimuli is the one that responds. An example is as follows: Agent’s Adult: “Do you know where my cuff links are?” (note that this stimuli is directed at the Respondents Adult). Respondent’s Child: “You always blame me for everything!” This is one the classic crossed transactions that occurs in marriage. Instead of the Respondent’s Adult responding with “I think they’re on the desk”, it is the Respondent’s Child that responds back. Crossed transactions are a frequent source of pain between people – parents and children, husband and wife, boss and employee, teacher and student, and so forth. The person who initiates the transaction, expecting a certain response, doesn’t get it – The individual is “crossed up” and often feels discounted and misunderstood.
In any group of persons, either be it face to face or be it on-line, in a social network, in a blog or in any site, there will always be the trolls. They always behave as troublemakers, they log in those sites or enter a conversation only to bother others who are already talking about any issue. First they disqualify their interlocutors, constraining them and putting them in the condition ‘nervous, altered, unbalanced‘, soon after they disqualify the other participants of the group or conversation, placing them as ‘uneducated, stupid‘, coarse . This is the modus operandi of the TROLL, and also the arrogant, overbearing, domineering and controlling persons. Expression that best defines this type of transaction: “moral lesson“. In fact, “they preach moral lessons dressed only in his underpants!“
ALL CROSSED TRANSACTIONS ARE EMBARRASSING AND HUMILIATING AND ALWAYS GENERATE CONFLICT, HURTS, RESENTMENT AND SUBSEQUENT GETTING AWAY FROM EACH OTHER. PEOPLE INVOLVED ALWAYS LOSE INTELECTUALLY AND EMOTIONALLY.
Ulterior transactions are the most complex…They differ from complementary and crossed transactions in that they always involve two or more ego states. Only one Ego State controls the body… but another Ego State is operating in the background and can sometimes be seen in what NLP calls a state of Simultaneous Incongruence… One Ego State may control the verbal and the other may be seen or heard in the non-verbals. When an ulterior message is sent, it’s disguised under a socially acceptable transaction… It’s as if the activated Ego State poses as another Ego State to disguise the transaction in some way. If a car salesman says with a leer to his customer, “This is our finest sports car…but maybe too racy for you,” he is sending a message that can be heard by either the customer’s adult or child ego state. If the customer’s Adult hears, the response may be… “yes, you’re right, considering the requirements of my job.” If the customer’s Child hears, the response may be “I’ll take it. It’s just what I want.” In either case, its manipulation crafted by more than one ego state of the salesman to get a preferred response from the customer… in this case it was the Adult who may have been consulted by an ego state called the Little Professor.
ALL ULTERIOR TRANSACTIONS ARE DISHONEST. THEY ALWAYS CONTAIN HIDDEN INTENTIONS AND ARE USED BY COWARD PEOPLE WHO DO NOT ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT THEY COMMUNICATE. THEY ARE THE BIG DISEASE OF HUMANITY. THEY ARE THE MAIN CAUSE OF FRICTION, DISAGREEMENTS, MISUNDERSTANDINGS AND CONFLICTS OF ANY KIND.
In the case of crossed transactions, the best defense is even contempt, is to give back as a response. If, during a conversation, the caller answer you in a ‘crossed‘ way, from that moment on the conversation will no longer have rationality. Forget it. Abandon the discussion. Specially if it is an on-line conversation. And speaking of ‘crossed’, my mother, despite never having studied psychology, neither transactional analysis or psychological games, was endowed with an uncommon wisdom. She always knew when one of us (the children) answered crossed and obviously she immediately applied a corrective. And that is exactly what failed to be applied to people who make use of cross transactions: a mother or a father who apply a concealer them at the right time. So, they grow up thinking that can do everything and that others should fear them. Become arrogant, overbearing, controlling and domineering. And when imposing fear does not work, call for manipulation through emotional blackmail. In a deep level, they’re bastards, unloved and needy. Desperately need attention and the only way they find to get it is playing the role of ‘troublemakers‘ the block.
In the case of ulterior transactions, defending is much simpler. Just answer the SOCIAL question. If someone asks you the time, just answer: “It is 9:15 (example)”. It turns out that coward and provocative people will never be satisfied with the social response (correct) and will trigger again: “How do you like to do dumb, huh?” So, you say quietly: “You asked me for the time and I responded. Would you like to ask anything more? Please be clear. Presto! The coward has no more reason to continue annoying, he was unmasked! If someone tells you that he is in troubles or financial difficulties, just ask him promptly: “What can I do for you? ” Or then, “What, exactly do you need?” If someone offers you some money, ask pointedly: “What will I have to pay for this money?” No spare margin for misunderstanding. I sincerely hope have helped to colleagues, readers and everyone who has access to this reading.