Adopting any of the 3 roles of the triangle: Victim, Persecutor, Rescuer, we take on a life attitude + – o – + .
Let’s leave the drama triangle and enter in the Compassion triangle and take on a + + life attitude
Are you someone’s Rescuer, Persecutor or Victim?
This is not a question we usually ask ourselves despite Psychological Games which often contaminate our personal and work lives.
We ‘play’ with our spouse, friends, colleagues, our boss, and our collaborators, etc…
The Drama Triangle
Stephen B. Karpman (American psychologist in the 70’s) developed an analytical model of psychological games: “The Drama Triangle”. Drama in the sense of theatre.
The goal of the game
Identify negative, distress behaviours.
The Rules of the Game
One single person can switch from Persecutor to Victim or Rescuer and the other way round.
Main inconvenience of the Psychological Games
They add stimulus, intellectual and emotional excitement, yet always end badly for all players.
In the Psychological Games one can take on three roles:
- Feels inferior
- Feels powerless and not responsible.
- The world is unfair and nothing can be done to change it.
- Waits for someone to come and relieve bad feelings, to resolve their problems
- Looks for a Rescuer or a Persecutor
- Sees the victim as inferior, wants to help them from a superior point of view.
- Lives to help others, generally without having been asked, for their own good and probably for the worst of the other person.
- Does whatever is needed to become indispensable.
- Each service given is a small medal.
- Superheroes need victims!
- Boom! All of a sudden a rescuer tires of all these people taking advantage of them and can convert in Victim (“poor me, they don’t see how good I am”) or in Persecutor (“You don’t appreciate me for how good I am. You will find out!”).
- Accuses, is uncompromising, needs to punish or show rancor.
- Uses others’ weaknesses to embarrass them.
- Belief: One cannot advance without aggressiveness, nor violence.
- Needs to be feared
- Needs a victim to humiliate, attack and belittle.
How to leave Karpman’s Drama Triangle?
- Before anything else, identify Psychological Games
- Be aware of the role or roles we have taken on and others have taken on. The dynamics we have created and accepted.
- As we become aware, we can modify our interactions.
- Not reacting instinctively but having a positive intention in mind.
Go from the Drama Triangle to the Compassion Triangle!
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