Eric Berne

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The tragedy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss.
Thomas Carlyle
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Eric Berne (1910-05-101970-07-15) was an American psychiatrist and writer; he was best known as the creator of Transactional analysis, and as the author of Games People Play: the Psychology of Human Relations (1964).


  • A healthy person goes "Yes," "No," and "Whoopee!" An unhealthy person goes "Yes, but," "No, but," and "No whoopee."
  • A loser doesn't know what he'll do if he loses, but talks about what he'll do if he wins, and a winner doesn't talk about what he'll do if he wins, but knows what he'll do if he loses.
  • A whole page of learned polysyllables may not convey as much as the statement that a certain woman is a bitch, or that a certain man is a jerk.
  • Each person designs his own life, freedom gives him the power to carry out his own designs, and power gives the freedom to interfere with the designs of others.
  • Forty's kind of like New Year's. It's an age to think about what you've done up till now, and what you ought to do in the future.
  • Games are a compromise between intimacy and keeping intimacy away.
  • No man is a hero to his wife's psychiatrist.
  • The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing.
  • The only time human beings are sane is the 10 minutes after intercourse.

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