Self-Defeating Games: Amy and Brian

Brian and Amy
The personality games they play are hurting their relationship.

"I'm in high heels and boxing gloves at work all day long," says Amy, 26, a contracts negotiator.


"She's a firecracker," says her husband, Brian, who's laid back and lets things roll off his shoulders. "Amy shoots first and asks questions later."


Amy asks Dr. Phil: "How do Brian and I learn to appreciate each other's communication styles?"

"A lot of times I say yes just to end the conversation," says Brian, who often plays the nice guy role.


"What are you afraid you're going to lose that makes you tell people what they want to hear?" asks Dr. Phil. "If you didn't play the nice guy, and stood up for yourself, you could gain self-respect."

Turning to the self-defeating games that Amy plays, Dr. Phil points out that she's an attacker. "What are you afraid you'll lose if you don't control and dominate every situation? ... Your decision to be in control is based on fear. What's the fear?"


Amy will tire herself out by trying to be "right" all the time. He adds, "People who have to control everything at all times are insecure."