a phrase that's become, to some, pop culture. it's one of the mentioned positions or states in Thomas Harris' book, I'm Ok-You're Ok: A Practical Guide to Transactional Analysis. Harris explains that there are four states in which people live their lives: 1) i'm not ok--you're ok, 2) i'm not ok--you're not ok, 3) i'm ok--you're not ok, 4) i'm ok--you're ok.

the most common of these is 'i'm not ok--you're ok'.. surprisingly, there are a lot more inferiority complexes out there than one might expect. this usually comes from the a childhood view in which everyone seems much more powerful and able in their lives than the child seems, though really OK.

the next state, 'i'm not ok--you're not ok' is often caused at childhood when there are many negative experiences and not as much support as one would need.. this can result in a view of others as unhelping, though also a view of oneself as unable and unconfident. not so good for relationships--trouble with intimacy and no deep trust.

'i'm ok--you're not ok' occurs from being brutalised when young and often results in an adult loner. the thought here is why rely on others when they'll only hurt you? this is pretty much as bad as state three because relationships are still hard, being that dependance on others is seen as a weakness and trust is stil hard to accomplish.

the state in which everyone should strive to be is 'i'm ok--you're ok.' this one is self-explanatory. in this state, one is able to look back at his childhood on up to his adulthood and understand how he's been altered and shaped throughout his life. from here, all other states are abandoned. the abandonment of these states will only come through recognition of them and working beyond them.

good luck :)

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