I advocate playing as a way to improve your emotional intelligence.  Read this: play means fun for all and not  one upmanship ploys.

Double binds, a power game

Eric Bernes’s popular book Games People Play, made game playing the stuff of popular psychology.  However, long before Berne’s book, my brothers did the “Heads I win, tails you lose ” bit with me.

The psychologists call this a double bind and for a while blamed parents for creating  mental illness by playing double bind games.  And yes, being trapped all the time in what my mother called “A damned if you do and damned if you don’t” situation can make you feel a bit crazed.  However, double binds alone do not create mental illness; and in fact those living with a person with mental illness can be  trapped in double binds created  by the person with mental illness.

All people like to win; winning feels good at least for the winner. Can you win and still be among the emotionally intelligent? Yes, just keep kindness working a bit harder than the need to win.


All relationships are built on balancing acts.  Who is going to control what?  Who needs who more? Who loves who more?  Who does more?  The best advice for a healthy balance in a marriage comes from John Gottmans’ Five to One Rule. For every minute spent in a negative interaction five minutes of positive interactions kept the marriage stable.  Works well for every relationship.

Conflict,  power gaming,  and will struggles are not problematic in any relationship as long as   more times of peace, fun gaming, and caring compromises exist.

This post was inspired by a Daily Word Prompt Trick Question  A Pulitzer-winning reporter is writing an in-depth piece – about you. What are the three questions you really hope she doesn’t ask you? “I don’t want any trick questions, thats all I have to say about this prompt.”

Thank you for all you do and if you find this post worthy send it on to someone else.



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  1. Pingback: Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies. | chey being

  2. Pingback: What are the three questions you wouldn’t want a Pulitzer-winning reporter to ask? | Annie's Blog

  3. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Trick Questions – I was being interviewed? | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

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