Six Ways to structure Time

The six ways are: Withdrawal, Ritual, Pastime, Activities, Games and Rackets, Intimacy.

These six ways are classified so, in accordance with the stroke strength with which they are generated. Berne has classified them in the above order exactly for this reason. Thus Intimacy and Games are the kinds with more intense strokes to them than the four earlier classifications of time structuring,

while withdrawal has no strokes to it and ritual has only very low strokes.

A Ritual is regarded as the low risk, non-involving social interaction, generally for exchanging pleasantries on a daily basis. A Ritual is more often expected, traditional, tried model of stroke and may come about as a gesture, mannerism or personal interaction in a routine manner. Rituals also may be very brief and simple. This can be well explained and often encountered on daily basis. For instance, when two people meet for the first time in a day, they tend to greet each other with a routine 'hello', 'hi', or 'Good Morning' in formal occasions or just a shake hand, warm hug or an air-kiss depending on with whom they are interacting.

This is much of a predictable routine and either party to the transaction does not have any other expectation of strokes from the other.  It is just ok if it goes off in a routine or like clockwork. However, a little change in the way the stroke is delivered can create multiple reactions on the part of the other party to the transaction.

For example, if a person did not offer a shake hand or a hello, which he normally does, then the other person may presume that he might be busy or may be acting high handed.  If on the other hand, more strokes are exchanged than routine, then ulterior or hidden motives may be suspected. If two people meet after a long time, the strokes may pile up as a backlog and the routine may continue for a while.

Rituals often lead to stereotype behaviors on the part of the persons exchanging strokes. In fact ritual is the origin for stereotype behaviors since withdrawal is a stage where no or far fewer strokes are exchanged.