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Adults Who Act Like Children or Parents
When people get "Triggered" you may have a crossed conversational transaction.
Whenever we are conversing with others we're coming from a standpoint of our inner child (C), adult self (A), or in a form of a parent (P). In a perfect world, we'd be interacting as “adult” with other “adults” or in a kindly parental way with children (or even someone who is feeling vulnerable like a child at the moment). It's also okay to have fun like a child with another adult (going dancing or playing a game together).
Each mental state has pros and cons. It's okay to be like a loving parent to someone in need, but the opposite mode is acting like a strict parent punishing a child. Having fun like a child is useful at times, but acting like a spoiled child and throwing tantrums is not.
I don't want to get into the nitty-gritty of the two books in the images below, Games People Play by Eric Berne, MD and I'm OK, You're OK by Thomas Harris MD. They're much more in-depth. You can read up on it if you wish. Those are affiliate links to their books if you want to support the substack.
But I wanted to talk about our conversations in the political sphere these days. Too often you will try to have an adult conversation with someone, and you'll just get a logical fallacy back (strawman or ad hominem for example). "Why won't those people discuss things logically on the facts like adults?" you might think.
Crossed Conversational Transactions
In those moments you're experiencing a crossed (conversational) transaction with them. You thought you were entering into an adult conversation.
However, the subject that you brought up has “triggered” an unhealed emotional wound in the other person. That other person then can label you as the “persecutor” in the drama triangle. They don't want to take personal responsibility for why they got emotionally triggered, so it's easier to project and shift the blame onto you.
They may take on the savior role (parental role) wanting to punish you the “persecutor” (in their mind). Or they may take on the victim role (child role) and throw a temper tantrum. When they take on the parental role, they want you to be the child they're punishing, and when they take on the child role, they want you to be the parent they're pissed at.
Notice they don't want you to be an adult. That's why this is a crossed (conversational) transaction. You were trying to have an adult-adult conversation. They don't see you that way.
A quote from Games People Play (pictured for context), "In such cases the Adult problems about drinking or cuff links must be suspended until the vectors can be realigned. This may take anywhere from several months in the drinking example to a few seconds in the case of the cuff links. Either the agent must become Parental as a compliment to the respondent's suddenly activated Child, or the respondent's Adult must be reactivated as a complement to the agent's Adult.
If the maid rebels during a discussion of dishwashing, the Adult-Adult conversation about dishes is finished; there can only ensue either a Child-Parent discourse, or a discussion of a different Adult subject, namely her continued employment."
I theorize this is going on everywhere on a large scale. For one thing, the school teachers who want to teach children about gender and CRT against the students' parents' wishes. The teachers have a job (to teach what parents want to be taught), and they're acting like spoiled children when the parents get upset with this. Like the example of the maid rebelling during dishwashing and being fired, the parents should be firing the teachers who won’t teach what they want. Some of this enforcing of boundaries reaction is happening in some states.
I wrote an article about how we need to enforce our boundaries:
What's going on right now is that a lot of people are acting like spoiled children and they are situating adults into the position of having to take on the parent role (become an enforcer of boundaries). Some are enforcing their boundaries, while others are acting more like strict parents trying to punish children, or acting childish themselves.
If you understand this, I bet you will see it in every interaction. It's honestly everywhere. But I wanted to write a quick post about it, so you can see when someone is playing games like this. It's okay to walk away when someone is acting like a child or trying to act like a strict parent.
The more you recognize this, the less you will get pulled into the drama.
Check out the images I've attached and you can research those books for more information on the topic.
Do you have some examples of this in your own life you'd like to share? Feel free to comment below. I'd be interested in hearing from you and seeing if this made sense to you all.
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