The Drama Triangle Quicksand

It’s quicksand and seductive–the drama triangle hooks most people. Even if you haven’t heard of the drama triangle, you’ve experienced it.

Understanding the drama triangle

Have you ever noticed that some individuals magnetize bullies; others inspire fear in those around, and others instinctively protect vulnerable individuals?

If so, you’ve met players from the drama triangle’s three corners: victim, abuser, and rescuer.

The drama triangle phenomena has a base in matching energy. Examples of matching energy familiar to you may include:

  • when you meet unhappy, negative energy vampires and they drain your energy;
  • an individual judges you and you blame them back.;
  • someone tries to control you and it ignites your own control button or inspires you to rebel.

The drama triangle represents a three-way match. Victims seek out rescuers. Abusers seek out victims. Rescuers move in to help victims.

How you may have fallen into the drama triangle

Perhaps you came from a dysfunctional family where a father gave you a masterclass in swaggering, yelling, and slamming his fist into the wall when he had a bad day. If so, you knew fear and learned to be tough as a protective strategy. You may have instead responded with visceral fear and grew into an easily intimidated person unsure of yourself.  You may have wanted to protect one of your parents and developed into a rescuer who instinctively moves to protect others.

Perhaps you found you could get your way if you pushed your weight around. If so, the abuser role worked for you and you may default to it in crunch times.

Alternatively, you may have read fairy tales and grew up dreaming of witches, ogres, and valiant white knights or personally experienced injustice and vowed to fight for the rights of not just yourself but of others needing help.

Does your position on the drama triangle work for you in the long run?

No. Abusers need to learn that harming others destroys the relationships they could have. Rescuers find a steady diet of taking care of others exhausting. Victims need to learn to step into their powers.

In upcoming posts, I’ll show you how abusers can ask themselves “what truth am I afraid to tell myself?”; how victims can get unstuck, and how rescuers can elect to support others without taking over.

Does your position on the drama triangle work for you in the long run?

No. Abusers need to learn that harming others destroys the relationships they could have. Rescuers find a steady diet of taking care of others exhausting. Victims need to learn to step into their powers.

In upcoming posts, I’ll show you how abusers can ask themselves “what truth am I afraid to tell myself?”; how victims can get unstuck, and how rescuers can elect to support others without taking over.

© 2020, Lynne Curry

Lynne Curry, Ph.D., SPHR, is the author of “Beating the Workplace Bully” (AMACOM, 2016, https://amzn.to/30V5JO6) and “Solutions”, https://amzn.to/2GYlnAN (both books are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com). Send your questions to her at lynnewriter10@gmail.com, visit her @ www.communicationworks.net or follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10.

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