Transactional Analysis, the OK Corral and the Blame Game

transa6I love transactional analysis. It taught me in a matter of hours what was going on in my mind. I found it in 1977 and have used it 38+ years. I want to introduce the OK Corral today from a great site named Business Balls. Thomas Harris wrote I’m Ok, You’re OK. From his concepts. Franklin Ernst designed the OK Corral.

From Business Balls:

Berne talked about the life positions as existential positions, one of which we are more likely to go to under stress. This is significantly different to the concept Ernst uses, i.e. that we move around them all during the day. Whilst there is some truth in this we could agree with Berne that there will be one major position we go into under stress, with perhaps another position underneath this one. These positions can change as we develop and grow. The difference between Berne and Ernst is important.

Chris Davidson (1999) writes about the three dimensional model of Okayness. All of the previous diagrams talk as if there were only one other person in the equation, when in reality there are often more. For example, the behaviour of young people in gangs may say that they believe they are okay and perhaps other gangs in their neighbourhood are okay, but an individual or gang from another neighbourhood are not okay. We often do this at work as well. We find other people who we like and then we gossip and put other people down. We are therefore saying that we believe we are okay but those others are awful (underneath this there may be a belief that we are not okay either but we feel better by putting someone else down). In this way the two dimensional model of okayness i.e. that there are only two people involved, becomes three dimensional model where there can be three or more involved.

There is also the way in which we view life itself. If we consider that there is something wrong with us, and that others are not to be trusted and are not OK either, then the world would be a scary place and we are likely to experience life as tough and believe we will only be all right if we keep alert and on the look out for danger and difficulties.

ALSO from Business Balls:

“The Transactional Analysis ‘Okay Corral’ can be linked to ‘blame’, for which Jim Davis TSTA developed this simple and helpful model. Commonly when emotions are triggered people adopt one of three attitudes relating to blame, which each correlate to a position on the Okay Corral:

  • I’m to blame (You are okay and I’m not okay – ‘helpless’)
  • You are to blame (I’m okay and you are not okay – ‘angry’)
  • We are both to blame (I’m not okay and you are not okay – ‘hopeless’)

None of these is a healthy position.

Instead the healthy position is, and the mindset should be: “It’s no-one’s fault, blame isn’t the issue – what matters is how we go forward and sort things out.” (I’m okay and you are okay – ‘happy’)”

(With acknowledgements to Jim Davis TSTA)

Photo credit.

One thought on “Transactional Analysis, the OK Corral and the Blame Game

  1. Pingback: A Negative Emotion Lasts 1-2 Minutes: Learn How to Let It Go | Emotional Sobriety: Friends & Lovers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s