What’s Your Role In A Relationship? Are You The Parent, Child, Or Adult?

One of the most commonly accepted psychology theories today is Transactional Analysis Theory, put forward by Eric Berne. According to the Canadian psychiatrist, we all have many faces in our relationships and the one that surfaces each time depends largely on the give and take with those around us. What’s your role in a relationship, then?

Your role in a relationship may change depending on your partner. What's yours?
What’s your role in a relationship? Are you the parent, the child or the adult?

Find Out Your Role In A Relationship

According to Berne’s Transactional Analysis Theory, the 3 distinguished roles we adopt in a relationship are the Parent, the Adult, and the Child. Find out which one you probably have, unbeknownst to you, adopted.

The Parent

Are you the dominant figure in your relationship? The one who wants to make the big decisions? Do you like to be in control of things, even your partner, and advise her on how to act? Do you regularly criticize her for making choices that clash with your own opinions and values? If you like to feel in control, and also feel like you are the protector of your partner, enjoying having her under your wing, then you have most probably adopted the role of the Parent in a relationship.

The Child

On the other end of the spectrum is the Child. The person who has embraced this role in the relationship tends to depend on his partner for guidance and advice and he relies very much on his feelings rather than logic. He may be compliant and follow his partner’s demands, or he may have the tendency to rebel against them. In any case, this person feeds off the Parent’s drive to guide and together they form a kind of co-dependent relationship.

The Adult

The Adult side of us is the one that can make decisions after filtering the data he has. He does not depend on others to make decisions and he is not dominant. A person who has adopted this role has found the way to balance his Adult and Child sides and he can draw on either of them when he feels he needs to.

In Conclusion

When we are in a relationship, it is better to neither try to control our partner nor to burden her with our responsibilities. The best side to show is the Adult side of us. Sometimes our role in the relationship changes, though. For example, when our partner is facing trouble at work, we may feel like we need to take on the role of the Parent. This is not a bad thing, as long as we return to our Adult role, and be independent and balanced people both in and outside the relationship.

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