Life (or Childhood) Scripts are a life plan, directed to a reward.
Scripts are decisional and responsive; i.e., decided upon in childhood in response to perceptions of the world and as a means of living with and making sense of the world. Scripts are not just thrust upon a person by external forces. Scripts are reinforced by parents (or other influential figures and experiences). Scripts are for the most part outside awareness.
Scripts are how we navigate and what we look for, the rest of reality is redefined, or distorted to match our filters.
Each culture, country and people in the world has a Mythos, that is, a legend explaining its origins, core beliefs and purpose. According to TA, it is the same with individual people. A person begins writing his/her own life story (script) at a young age, as he or she tries to make sense of the world and his or her place within it. Although it is revised throughout life, the core story is selected and decided upon typically by the age of seven. As adults it passes out of awareness. A life script might be “to be hurt many times, and suffer and make others feel bad when I die”, and could result in a person indeed setting himself up for this, by adopting behaviours in childhood that produce exactly this effect. Though Eric Berne identified several dozen common scripts, there are a practically infinite number of them. Though often largely destructive, scripts could as easily be mostly positive or beneficial.
In addition to the 5 drivers we looked at recently, there are also the twelve Injunctions that we embed into our Scripts – as children and through to adulthood. The twelve injunctions are extremely powerful and create conditions of “I can’t” or “I mustn’t”:
Don’t Be (Don’t Exist)
Don’t Be Who you Are
Don’t Be a Child
Don’t Grow Up
Don’t Do Anything
Don’t Be Important
Don’t Be Close
Don’t Be Well (Don’t be Sane)
Additionally, there is the episcript:
“You should (or You deserve to) have this happen in your life, so it doesn’t have to happen to me.” (Magical thinking on the part of the parent or parents.)
Against this, the 5 Drivers are Parental (as in the Parental ego state) pressure in the things we must do.
Please Me (Please Someone)!
When we take the influence of a strong driver with a strong injunction, we see the resultant behaviours. A Child who hears the message of the Driver to “Be Strong” alongside of the injunction “Don’t Be a Child” is possibly out of touch with relaxation, possibly workaholic and humourless, potentially a bully. While the Driver “Please me” combined with the injuction “Don’t Exist” can create suicidal depressed people lacking hope and purpose. If we can identify our strongest Driver and cross in with our strongest injunction, we can see that which burdens us in life, as well as the key to unlocking the condition and becoming free of the conditioning. Broadly, unaddressed scripts can fall into Tragic, Heroic or Banal (or Non-Winner) varieties, depending on their rules.