People write their scripts early in life1. They decide what is the basic pattern of behavior they will follow throughout their time here.
For example, one will ask others to show care for him, if they dont agree, then he will hate them. This basic pattern seems a very simple one, but a significant amount of behavior of many people is just based on this one rule.
There are many such possible rules (or patterns).
It seems strange that a thing as complex as the human mind, will generate so much behavior that is based on just one such simple rule as this.
Finding the dominant rules for a person, is equivalent to understanding that person. When we say, "Bhargav is a very simple guy", or "Rukie is a very simple girl", we say that we unconsciously understand the basic rules that govern that person's behavior.
But understanding the rules explicitly, consciously, clearly goes much further ahead in understanding that person. You can almost make a computer program that would behave in the same way that the person does.
Let us get a better feel for those basic rules.
One basic rule that I have found to be very common is: "I want people to love me."
Other common one is "I want to laugh."
Though these look simple, they exist in more sophisticated versions in practice, and this makes them useful. For example, the "I want to laugh" rule may be expanded for some person to " I want to laugh. I will try to seek out people who can provide me this. A person who will make me laugh are good people. Those who cannot, are of no use to me and I will find them boring and uninteresting, I will try avoiding them. " And even more.
Some more are: "I want to think. I will go towards people who make me think.", "I want to cry. I will do something silly. And then cry. All those who can provide me this, I will be attracted to them." As I said, these rules take sophisticated forms when you actually apply to people.
These rules are based on mostly on how the person will interact with other people.
But, that is whats a person is. A behavior generator. And more specifically, he creates meaning by putting this behavior in front of other people that can store and communicate information. What meaning will he create if he behaves in an isolated planet, where nobody else who can store/communicate is present? SO, basically, when you derive rules for his generation of behavior, you define him. You define that person. All that he means.
The irony is that this whole meaning of a person that is present only in the human society, has no meaning outside our humandom. And that makes us ask the importance of this meaning. How is this meaning important to Star Sirius. How is this meaning important to a stone? How is this meaning important to the universe at large? In No Way. There is no meaning outside our humandom. Only humans know that Mother Teresa was good, Edison was good, Einstein was good, Buddha was good, Hitler is bad. The culmination of the irony is that even that meaning is not shared with all, all have a different meaning of the same thing depending on individual views.
Back to scripts - you can almost make out the structure of friends that a person will have based on his scripts. For example, "he will have some who will satisfy his need of humor, he will have some who will satisfy his need for intellectual discussion, he will have some who will give him the pleasure of telling that he acts smart, he will have some who will remind him of his good old days, he will have some who can make him emotionally intense" etc.
All of this can actually help in practical life.
But there is an extension of this, that may actually have dramatic uses.
The extension is - "identify your own scripts".
Introspect. Introspect your behavior. Why do you behave this way? What do you want? Where are you going? What are your basic desires? What are the patterns in your behvior, what are you scripts?
This will not be short. This will occur over a period of time. You will come to understand (yes in the same way mentioned above) yourselves more over time.
Then you may find some patterns are not good for you, and have harmed you previously. You will make a goal to remove them from whatever that is "yourself".
This will be a really hardest thing to do. You will find that the basic rules are so ingrained in you, that they are a part of "you".
However, repeated attempts will give results after some time. And you may actually succeed.
When you succeed, you will have changed yourself. You will have reprogrammed yourself. A program changing itself. Much like a LISP program.
(1. This sentence is taken from the excellent book "What do you say after you say Hello" by Eric Berne. The rest of the expansion is mine. I dont know what was his idea or how he expanded, but could be very similar to this. However, I would still credit this whole concept to him)