We all have those people in our lives that just attract drama. There is always something set up against them, or someone out to get them. It’s utterly exhausting. The worse thing about it all is that you have to get in there and clean up their mess. Perhaps they should have listened to your advice in the first place, right!?
If that sounds familiar, you are caught up in a Drama Triangle.
Often couples, families or friends work on this dynamic, and it’s not a healthy place to be. Usually one person is the victim, and one is the rescuer, and the persecutor is an outside person or event.
Playing the Victim
Playing the Victim in a drama triangle is not the same as actually being a victim of a serious crime or injustice. Playing the Victim is a (often unconsciously) chosen position of weakness. Victims usually have a “poor me!” stance to life. They act helpless, hopeless and oppressed. Victims need a persecutor to put the blame onto, a nasty boss, their mother, the government, their DNA – whatever the situation, the Victim will have someone to point the finger at.
A Rescuer will always swoop in to save the day. A rescuer enables a victim to continue being a victim. Sometimes it goes further than that. A rescuer NEEDS the victim to remain a victim so they can fix them. A rescuer needs the validation of putting things right to feel good about themselves.
If this is a person rather than a situation, its usually a bully. They will point out the victims flaws, tell them it’s all their fault. They come across as critical and superior.
The only way to break a triangle is to focus on the only thing that you can change – your own role in it. First you need to be honest with yourself and admit which role you are playing. Then stop playing it. There is likely to be resistance to this from the others in the triangle, especially if the roles you play are deeply ingrained. For example, a rescuer will find it hard if you are no longer playing the victim for them.
There are more empowering roles for each part of the triangle.
The Victim can become the Creator. Looking at possible solutions and focusing on positive outcomes rather than just how terrible the situation is.
The Rescuer can become the Coach. Supporting the creator to resolve the situation themselves. Being a sounding board for ideas and giving encouragement.
The Persecutor can become seen as the Challenger. The reason to make a change. The spark that lights the fuse. A test of the creators patience, character or perseverance.
What happens in relationships (all types of relationships, not just romantic) which have this dynamic is people flip roles. One person is not always the victim being rescued by the other. In this triangle you are responsible for creating solutions to your own challenges, with support and everyone is stronger and happier for it.
If you want to become the Creator in your life, and need a Coach get in touch and see how I can help.
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