I'm not OK. You're not OK. Understanding the Negative Philosophy

Transactional analysis or TA is a theory of psychology and psychoanalysis. Transactional analysis is an integrative theory as it has the elements of humanist, cognitive, and psychoanalytic approaches. Transactional analysis theory was offered by Eric Berne who is a Canadian-born psychiatrist. Berne offered the theory in the late 1950s.

Phenomenon behind Transactional Analysis

There are a number of concepts and phenomenon involved in Transactional Analysis e.g. life positions, life scripts etc. Following is a brief introduction of life position and a detailed description of one of the four primary life positions.

In Transactional analysis theory, life position means a general stance about life. Life position is an unconscious feeling about life, about ourselves and about people around us, as opposed to a conscious philosophical opinion.

According to TA theorists, life positions define and shape every transaction that an individual carries out. Originally, four life positions were proposed by TA theorists. One of these four life positions is known as futile position or “I’m not OK. You’re not OK.”

“I’m not OK. You’re not OK” is the worst life position as this is a position in which people give up all together and lose all hope. They think that they are not good enough to achieve something and the other person is also not good and can’t give him what they want.

The person starts believing in a negative philosophy and remains in a state of thorough despair and hopelessness.  In “I’m not OK. You’re not OK” position, people become critical of others and become easily irritable and unfriendly. Their attitude becomes bitter and cold.

They are found angry most of the time and such people become very impatient about other people’s mistakes. These people can also become indifferent to other people but they do complain when they feel necessary.


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