Hidden transactions can be described as mixed messages. Several ego-states are involved - the message contains both an open social level (what is said), and a hidden psychological level (what is not said). The model below shows the open social level as solid lines and the hidden psychological as dashed.

Hidden transaction

It might look as follows:

A (the Sender) says: "I was worried when you came ten minutes later than we had agreed"

A thinks: "You do not care about me, I do not want to be your friend any longer"

B (the Receiver) says: "I'm sorry, there was a lot of work right now"

B thinks: "Your helpless weakling, you could very well have pulled the phone out of your pocked and called"

The impact on our relationships

Looking for more intimacy in your relationship? Then it's a good idea for both of you take an honest look at which of the various ego-states you are playing out in your relationship. To create the fundamental building blocks of trust and respect the only way is to come from an adult ego-state.

When one partner constantly acts as the other ones parent, or behaves in a childish manner, this does not create a basis for the passion and enduring love. We all have the different ego-states in us to different extents, so it is necessary to be aware of when I am drawn by a seemingly invisible force into one of the ego-states, without making an active choice.

The more often I feel that I can consciously choose to be in the Adult ego-state even when my partner says or does things that previously would have triggered me to go into one of the other Iegstates - the more opportunity I have to achieve real satisfaction in the relationship.

We would like to send our warmest thanks to our friend André Halai for his superb contribution and input to this text on adult relationships. André does a fantastic job with human development and well being.


Illustration of a close relationship

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