To the Editor:
NIGYSOB stands for “Now I’ve Got You, S.O.B.” It is a psychological game described by Eric Berne in his book “Games People Play.” Berne classified transactions between people when they were not being honest, intimate or straightforward in their interaction.
Two roles played are Victim and Persecutor. In “Games,” people seek power or control in their interactions, not intimacy, understanding or problem solving.
This is the favorite game of lawyers who catch their opponent making a mistake or proving them wrong. It is the ultimate game of who is right.
Unfortunately, it is now the game of journalists in the Trump era.
A Canadian journalist began tracking Donald Trump’s misinformation, lies and exaggerations and then followed him in his presidency.
He calculates that President Trump is now over 2,600 and counting. The problem is that journalists take the bait and game is on. Trump says something not true, fact checkers launch and NIGYSOB is played.
It would be nice if President Trump would check the facts before launching his opinions and it would be helpful if journalists simply corrected the information without righteous indignation.
NIGYSOB is not a problem-solving strategy.
President Trump plays the Persecutor with his fake-news accusations, but usually doesn’t provide any facts to tell us what part of the news is fake or inaccurate. He plays the Victim very well in this game, complaining that the news media are attacking him.
Recently there has been some encouragement to talk to people who have different opinions or political loyalties. This can be difficult because the desire to point out the other person’s misinformation or opinion as wrong.
We are all tempted to play NIGYSOB, rather than listen and be sincerely curious about how the person came to their conclusion.
This could lead to better understanding and allow others to see things differently than you do.
With Christmas around the corner, most families try to avoid any conversation about politics, even if it is the elephant in the room.
However, asking and listening to how someone came to their conclusions, you might be surprised that they want to know the same about your way of looking at things.
So ask yourself, is it more important to be right or relational?