Life Script Development I

So, from what State are you from?

And where do you live now? One of the key tenets of Transactional Analysis is that every person develops a life script at a very early age, and though this script is written subconsciously, it is heavily influenced by parents and other significant authority figures.

But parents and authority figures are not the only factor in life script development.

These powerful voices work in coordination with the cognitive abilities of the child, the limited life experience, and the existential or life position the child senses they possess. This existential or life position a child senses at even an early age is their perception of whether or not they are lovable or unlovable, acceptable or unacceptable, and whether or not they will "win" or "lose" in life. This existential position is often referred to as the perception by the individual of being "OK", or "not OK".

Proponents like Dr. Thomas Harris and Eric Berne have referred to this existential positioning as the, "OK Corral". This identity corral has four pens or quadrants in it. The first quadrant is called, "I"m not OK, you're OK". The second is, "I'm OK, you're OK". The third is "I'm not OK, you're not OK", and the fourth, "I'm OK, you're not OK". The influence of the four states of life position is far reaching, and has a powerful impact on life script development.

It is immediately striking and heartbreaking how harsh we can be in the judgments of ourselves and others. But such is the fragility and vulnerability of the human condition that we so crave "strokes" of affirmation and validation that we often pursue them at the expense of a negative estimation of others.

One of the core concepts that need to be seen in life or existential position theory is that it seeks to explain how the individual defines themselves in relationship to others and the world. Does the individual have value and merit in relationship to themselves and others? Who am I in relationship to others? What do others think of me? What will they do to me or with me?