Valentine’s Day – Emotional Literacy

A couple of years ago I attended a workshop with one of the last remaining, living disciples of Eric Berne, the founder of transactional analysis.

As I listened to Claude Steiner, a powerful and provocative figure now in his seventies, I wondered if there was still a place for the radical view of how we might relate to each other as human beings. After all, Steiner was writing around the time of the Summer of Love of ’67 and no matter how romantic you are feeling today – that was an awfully long time ago. I was just a small child and many of you reading this weren’t even born!

In modern day life we are often juggling multiple demands on what bit of free time we have outside our careers. It’s easy to become bent out of shape as we try and keep everyone happy and communication with the people we love degrades into little more than a few snatched exchanges or hastily dispatched text messages on the train home. We place too little emphasis on ‘positive strokes’ and get too caught up with trivia.

Today, let’s redress the balance by not only taking more time and softening our tone but by also holding in mind a few principles that may have been born on a hot San Francisco day over 45 years ago but still seem to ring true:

  • Give the love you want to give
  • Ask for and accept the 
  • love you need
  • Reject the attention and flattery you don’t want
  • Above all, LOVE YOURSELF


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