I was recently en route to Riga and transferred in Warsaw. It was two o’clock in the morning, but there is always movement at an airport. Next to me stood a young Armenian woman with two small children. She panicked because she might not make it to her connecting flight. People spontaneously offered to help her. One young man helped her figure out which gate to go to. Another man pushed the pram and I helped with her luggage. She made her flight. The world is beautiful!

It’s lovely to experience something like that on a weekday. It felt a bit like a gift. Maybe because sometimes it happens the other way round? That we are so busy with our own journeys that we don’t notice other people? We are often so concerned with personal growth and taking care of ourselves that sometimes it’s: “me, me and the rest can choke.” This is a shame, because we often miss spontaneous moments of happiness like this.

You have to take good care of yourself

This statement is often misunderstood. We often translate this as follows: you must be independent, you must take care of yourself and you’re not allowed to need anyone. Automatically therefore, that’s also what you expect from yourself: “I have to be independent and able to help myself”.

That’s the crux. Because we need each other too. It makes the world a better place if we help each other. That is where the spontaneous sense of happiness comes from that we experience when we read the example above.


But how do you find the balance between being independent, looking after yourself and helping each other? Transactional Analysis (TA) offers a valuable helping hand in this. 😉

Autonomy in TA

If we work according to the TA philosophy, we always approach a situation from autonomy. Many people think that autonomy means: being independent and being able to take care of yourself. That is not the intention of autonomy and if you see it that way, it will not help you either. Autonomy in TA is the principle that you can choose whether you connect with someone or not. So connecting is also asking for help and offering help to others. You always have the choice whether or not to do that. There is also a danger here: we must not want to try to help the whole world, but we must not be too afraid that it will cost us something.

The biggest cause of burnout complaints is “yes”

Many people get burned out because they want to help too much and cannot say “no”. If you work with TA, you learn that it is always OK to say “no”, but that “yes” is also allowed! It’s about balance.

In the module “Contracts” * from my new TA training you learn that you can choose when to say “yes” and “no”. Sometimes you have to say “no” to something in your life to be able to say “yes” to something else. If you follow the TA training, you will learn that you don’t have to choose what you think you ‘should’ do, but that you can choose yourself. You are not going to retake old patterns, but choose what is really important to you.

* This module is discussed once a year in my ongoing TA training. You can register with each module.

Let’s make the world a better place

I think we prefer being together. That makes the world a better place. With TA we can really cause a ripple effect that goes beyond our own lives. So that we may witness more moments of happiness at an airport, in the supermarket or just on the street. I would like to teach you how you can use TA in your work and life.

You’re welcome.


Yes, I want to know more about the TA training

Inspiratie over Embodied Coachen in jouw mailbox?

Linda Hoeben
+32 474 920 877
Rommersom 1A, 3320 Hoegaarden