This I-state of relations consists of thoughts, feelings and actions that are remains of my childhood. As in the Parent ego-state these remains affect our communication in the present. The Transaction Analysis Model distinguishes between two Child ego-states: The Free Child (FC) and the Adapted Child (AC).

The Free Child is characterized by openness, spontaneity and boldness, while the Adapted Child demonstrates actions in relationships that are reactions to parental figures, either by obedience and submission, or in sulking and defiance.

Markus: I sometimes slip into the Child ego-state of relationships. Where I think the world in general or my partner in particular, is unfair. What I have learned is that this is not a way that creates a constructive outcome of the situation and that it has an effect on passion that is about as lively as a frozen cod fillet.

I have found that it helps me to remember to breathe and to do it deeply. This is a great way to get back to myself and instead choose the Adult ego-state which is a much stronger position with more exciting opportunities in relationships!

Different forms of interaction

As we have mentioned previously in this model we call the meeting between two people a transaction. There are three types of transactions that can occur depending on which of the ego-states we base our actions and thoughts from.

Complementary transaction

If I for example in my Adult ego-state address a message to the other's Adult ego-state, I expect an answer from his/her Adult ego-state to my Adult ego-state. When this happens, the transaction is complementary.

Complementary Transaction

The conversation continues uninterrupted without interference. Examples of such a conversation:

A: "I was worried when you came ten minutes later than we had agreed"

B: "I understand it, sorry, I lost track time when I was working on an important project"

Crossed transactions

If the recipient does not respond to our expectations, but give an answer from another ego-state than that which we addressed ourselves to, the transaction becomes crossed.

Crossed transaction

Example of a crossed communication (B answers from his/her Parent ego-state, directed at A's Child ego-state):

A: "I was worried when you came ten minutes later than we had agreed"

B: "Why were you just here, waiting without doing anything? You could have phoned our manager and you would have been told that I was busy with other things"


Illustration of a close relationship

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