The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

People are good

In transactional analysis, we use the notion of an ok-ok relationship. The idea is to see the other person as ok and to see oneself as ok. It is a form of respect. A respect that serves in the relationship as well towards oneself and becomes an attitude that will be experienced in the relationship.

It is independent of hierarchy or status in the sense that the roles present in the relationship don’t intervene. And it doesn’t imply that there is a need to be friends, like one another, or be family.

One could say that the ok-ok attitude corresponds to treating one another as human beings. But it seems that there is a necessity to explain how human beings can see one another as such.

And that might be due to the fact, that human beings have a survival instinct. The survival instinct leads people to constantly monitor their environment. It sets in to react to the many stimulations reaching us. Every time we see a new person the monitoring uses three questions: Is that person safe and familiar? Friend or foe? Trustworthy or not?

In the context of our survival instinct, these questions make sense and are reasonable. That’s what the survival instinct is for, highlighting danger whenever there might be one.

But the answer the monitoring provided is only valid for that individual or those circumstances. And the answer only addresses the question of survival.

It doesn’t change that it is reasonable to consider people as being good.




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