- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (July 6, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060724277
- ISBN-13: 978-0060724276
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (265 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I'm OK--You're OK Paperback – July 6, 2004
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About the Author
The late Thomas Harris was a Navy psychiatrist and a professor at the University of Arkansas. He practiced psychiatry in Sacramento, California and directed the Transactional Analysis Association.
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Top Customer Reviews
It may seem a little confusing at first, but if you stick with it, a new way of thinking about conversations emerges. The Parent - Adult -Child axis is still incredibly helpful in understanding our own behavior and that of others, and in providing a language with which to find a way of understanding.
The 3 roles are:
Parent- The admonitions and rules that a child heard from his parents and witnessed in what they did; the recording of external events. The no's, the don't's, the praise, the criticism. The author includes some common phrases I'm sure many people have heard from their parents such as "You're judged by the company you keep," "Clean your plate," "You can never trust a man/woman," and so on. This is the authority figure within each person, this is the part that tells others what they're doing wrong and doles out criticism or guidance, and when we beat ourselves up for doing something wrong or not doing enough this is the role we take on; that of the Parent.
Child- The feelings a person feels when he is experiences various interactions with other human beings, mostly his parents; the recording of internal events. Because very young children are unable to converse, most of their early recordings are feelings. Dr. Harris writes "The predominant by-product of the frustrating, civilizing process is negative feelings. On the basis of these feelings the little person early concludes, "I'm not OK" (p. 28). He goes on to say "Frequently we find ourselves in situations where we...find ourselves in a corner. These hook the "hook the Child," and cause a replay of the original feelings of frustration, rejection, or abandonment. When anger dominates his reason, we say his Child is in command" (p. 30). The Child also contains positive qualities including creativity.
Adult- The ability to view reality objectively and make decisions based on those objective facts. "Adult data accumulates as a result of the child's ability to find out for himself what is different about life from the "taught concept" of life in his Parent and the "felt concept" of life in his Child. The Adult develops a "thought concept" of life based on data gathering and data processing" (pg. 31).
What happens when people in different psychological roles interact? What happens when a person's Child interacts with another person's Parent? Read this book to find out. Dr. Harris uses other terminology such as "strokes" (recognition or validation) and the various ways people go about attaining those strokes. A passage which caught my attention noted how Child-Child transactions rarely last very long. The author notes how the hippie movement faded because by cutting off the source of disapproval (Parent) the hippies also cut off their source of valid praise. "Boy to girl: "Of course I love you. I love everybody!" (p. 78). If everybody is special, strokes no longer mean anything.
He also elaborates on what he views as the 4 ego states a person can hold about himself and the other people:
-I'm Not OK, You're OK
-I'm OK, You're Not OK,
-I'm Not OK, You're Not OK,
-I'm OK, You're OK.
This was not necessarily a challenging read, though it caused me to think about how I interact with others, how the behavior of other people causes me to sometimes think irrationally ("hooking my Child"), and it's given me another way to view other human beings. Highly recommended.
I'm Not OK, You're OK 2. I'm Not OK, You're Not OK 3. I'm OK, You're Not OK 4. I'm OK, You're OK
I remember from my Social Worker class that the Transactional Analysis is the concept of the Parent, Adult, and Child ( P-A-C) ego states that are compose every one of our personalities.
The Parent ego state contains all the information we accept as true that we have gathered from authority figures including our parents.
The Adult ego state is the collection of all information that we have proven to ourselves as being true using our personal logic.
The Child ego state is our natural good and bad side of feelings - love, anger, greed, empathy
To understand yourself or others this is the book to read it will at least give you a break down on possible situations, feelings either your own or somebody's else.