Oh no! That moment when you realise there are things in your life that cause you stress or anxiety (big or small), and you are encouraging or even igniting them.
Continue reading at your own risk… of having to do something about it 😉
I was first introduced to this concept by my good friend Matt Church a couple of years ago. Now I can’t stop referring to it. I realised that some of the less than favourable scenarios in my life were actually being allowed, supported and at worst started by me. Ouch!
Psychotherapist, Stephen Karpman, created a model called the Drama Triangle, to help people understand what role they play in situations that are not helpful, to them or others. It makes so much sense to use this model in the space of conversations, as we often lead with what we are thinking and we could be wrong.
People in the Drama Triangle create dysfunction for themselves and those around them. Each person assumes a role:
The Victim is helpless and hopeless. They deny responsibility for their negative circumstances, and are not open to the power to change them. They are hesitant or won’t take a stand; they are very sensitive, think ‘poor me’ and feel victimized. They will look for a Rescuer that will support their negative feelings. If the Victim stays in this position they will block themselves from making productive decisions.
The Rescuer intervenes, out of a desire to help the situation or the Victim. They are constantly applying short-term repairs to a victim’s problems, while neglecting their own needs. They are always working hard to ‘help’ other people. They are tired, and often have physical complaints. Rescuers are usually angry underneath and may have a loud or quiet martyr style. They feel guilt if they don’t rescue and can often keep the Victim dependent. They create unhealthy co-dependency roles. They are not the person helping in the case of an emergency.
They actually benefit from playing this role, as it plays to their ego or sense of self. They have a motive, seen or unseen, to feel better as a person. They play the role as a way of avoiding to look at their own anxiety and underlying feelings.
The Perpetrator is the one who pressures, coerces or persecutes the Victim. They blame the Victim and criticize the enabling behaviour of the Rescuer, without providing guidance, assistance or solution to the underlying problem. They are critical and unpleasant and good at finding fault. Perpetrators often feel inadequate underneath. They control with threats, order, and rigidity. They can be loud or quiet in style, and can sometimes be a bully. They can be the ‘critical’ parent or boss.
So have a think about the things that keep you awake at night or even the relationships that irritate you. Are you trapped in your own Drama Triangle?