The Stocking Game

Original First Edition of Games People Play 1964 Eric Berne

Original First Edition of Games People Play from Eric Berne’s private library.

Thesis. This is a game of the “Rapo” family; in it the most obvious characteristic is the exhibitionism, which is hysterical in nature. A woman comes into a strange group and after a very short time raises her leg, exposing herself in a provocative way, and remarks, “Oh my, I have a run in my stocking.”  This is calculated to arouse the men sexually and to make the other women angry. Any confrontation of White is met, of course, with protestations of innocence or counter-accusations, hence the resemblance to classical “Rapo.” What is significant is White’s lack of adaptation. She seldom waits to find out what kind of people she is dealing with or how to time her maneuver.  Hence it stands out as inappropriate and affects her relationships with her associates. In spite of some superficial “sophistication,” she fails to understand what happens to her in life because her judgement of human nature is too cynical. The aim is to prove that other people have lascivious minds, and her Adult is conned by her Child and her Parent (usually a lascivious mother) into ignoring both her own provocativeness and the good sense of many of the people she meets. Thus the game tends to be self-destructive.

The description of this game on this page is incomplete.  For a complete description of this game, refer to Games People Play.