Series - Introduction to TA - The Three Ego States (2024)

Series - Introduction to TA - The Three Ego States (1)

Each one of us has three states or parts in our personality. However, for each person the three states are unique to themselves. One of the signature depictions of TA is the 3 circles – the 3 ego states that go into making up our personality. The three ego states are called - Parent, Adult and Child ego states. These three ego states comprise individual personality. Each ego state is an entire system of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours from which we interact with one another.

Understanding our ego states helps us to understand Who am I? Why do I act the way I do? How did I get this way? It is a method of analysing a person's thoughts, feelings and behaviours based on the phenomena of ego states.

Series - Introduction to TA - The Three Ego States (2)

Parent ego state - When people act, think, or feel as their parent/caregivers once did, they are in the Parent ego state. For example, if you hear yourself saying "You must/should wake up early", a message you are now replaying that you had heard many a times from your own parents, you are now in your Parent ego state.

Adult ego state - is not related to a person's age. When a person is living in the here and now, gathering facts, computing them, and acting on the basis of facts, rather than on the basis of parental tradition or childhood feelings, they are in the Adult ego state. For example, when buying an insurance policy, a person may look at different policies and what they have to offer and make a decision rather than go with a policy (here and now decision) that was bought by his parents (tradition).

Series - Introduction to TA - The Three Ego States (3)

Child ego state - contains all natural feelings, needs, impulses, and potentialities of an infant. It also contains creative, manipulative, intuitive capacities as well as feelings and behaviours learnt during childhood like compliance, procrastination, anger etc. For example on my recent trip to England, everywhere I went, I could feel an exciting feeling in the air, because of the Football World Cup and people kept shouting "It's coming home"...This excitement was from their Child ego state.

Series - Introduction to TA - The Three Ego States (2024)
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