All three ego structures function in a world of personalities continually communicating or transacting with one another. Transactions are simply communicated stimuli and their corresponding responses. A transacted stimulus and response may be something as simple as, "Did you see the big game yesterday?"A typical response may be, "Yes, it was a real barn-burner". This may be labeled as a Reciprocal or Complementary Transaction in which both parties are communicating from an Adult Ego state.
But what if the second party witnessed as a child a father drinking heavily during big football games or soccer matches, with the mother responding with violent harangues about the worthless, lazy, and irresponsible behavior of the husband; "all you do is sit around watching these worthless games when we've got five hungry mouths to feed". The internalized message of the child may have been; "people who watch sports on television are worthless and lazy".
In this case, an inquiry about the big game may have elicited a response from the Critical Parent Ego state such as; "people who waste their time watching sports are worthless and lazy". This person is not responding maturely in the present moment, but channeling this transaction to a different source from childhood, and giving the transaction a negative value judgement.
This may cause the first person to respond with a Critical Parent ego criticism of, "You're just a goody two-shoes who doesn't know how to relax and have a good time". This may also be a criticism or opinion they heard repeatedly from a parent or care giver. Therefore, both are channeling transactions to different sources, rather than responding in the present moment from a mature, Adult Ego structure that is able to openly and respectfully consider all the data.
The calm, cool, collected demeanor of Joan comes from the ability to continually learn and integrate new data into present experience. This awareness, respect, and openness to learning allows one to think and respond as an autonomous individual, rather than one who is held hostage to past messages and injunctions. This is the desired goal and expression of the Adult Ego structure.
(continued from part I)