Sunday, 15 July 2012
Script Theory, Part II
Script theory suggests that the life-story we envisage for ourselves during childhood is ultimately the path we will endeavour to follow in adult life.
If we decide to be like Little Red Riding Hood when we grow up, that’s what we will secretly and unconsciously strive to achieve. Of course, I don’t mean literally bumping into a wolf whilst on our way to grandma’s house with soup for she is poorly, but in a metaphorical sense. Let’s break down that metaphor:
Little Red Riding Hood is on a journey. Life is a journey.
She is taking soup for her ill grandmother. This relates to wanting to do good deeds, be a good person, please others.
She meets a wolf along the way. Posing as her grandmother, the wolf tricks her and then eats her. You can take your pick as to who the wolf represents. A bad boy tricking you into thinking he’s the perfect guy. A husband who cheats on you. An evil boss who promises you your dream job but it’s actually a complete nightmare, not at all what it said in the job spec.
Then she gets rescued by the woodsmen. We’re always looking for our knight in shining armour, our saviour. That’s when we get our happy ending.
Wait. What if there is no rescuer? What if there was no one to be rescued from? What if we aren’t walking on the path we envisioned we would?
Those who end up living the daydream they conjured up in their youth are labelled by script theory as winners. If we stray from the route our six-year-old selves mapped out for us, then we are losers.
Writing always made me happy. When I wasn’t writing, and for a long period of my life I wasn’t writing anything, I was unhappy. Having published my first novel, a contemporary romance set in London called Chasing Pavements, and therefore edging closer to the destiny that I chose as a child, I do feel like I’m in a much better place. Despite the hectic full-time job and family issues that pop-up on a regular, sometimes hourly, basis.
Luckily, there is always a way for the losers to become winners, always a way back to your rightful path. You just have to look for it, or be ready to let others show you. I touched upon this concept in Chasing Pavements, which is essentially about two lost souls coming together and losing themselves all over again - in each other.
If you would like to read more about script theory, refer to the works of Eric Berne. I recommend the two books that I have read, 'Games People Play - The Psychology of Human Relationships', and 'What Do You Say After You Say Hello? The Psychology of Human Destiny'.