Image by Fiona McGinty
There are moments in our relationships when we feel like we are going round in circles, or that “I’m tired of this game”. And yet we’re not clear how to stop doing this.
One way of seeing clearly what is going on at these moments is Stephen Karpman’s Drama Triangle. The triangle has three points – each one being a standard role in a drama. These three standard roles are: persecutor, victim and rescuer. Which I explored in a previous post.
The question is: what to do. I may know the role I like. I may see how I am switching from one role to the other. I know I don’t like it. But what is the alternative?
One alternative is called The Winners Triangle. This was probably invented by Transactional Analysts (a kind of psychotherapist) in Australia – but last I heard no one could remember who by. The three points of The Winners Triangle are: assertiveness, vulnerability and caring.
These three qualities (assertiveness, vulnerability and caring) are the ‘real core’ of the three roles (persecutor, victim and rescuer). These qualities are what we are – we aren’t playing a role when we are assertive, vulnerable or caring – we are really relating to what is going on around us.
If we feel that we are stuck in a drama we can move out of it by moving to one of these qualities.
Questions for reflection.
Do I feel that I am stuck in a drama (persecutor, victim and rescuer)?
Which of the three qualities (assertiveness, vulnerability and caring) am I most comfortable with?
Which would be easiest to be when the drama happens next time?
Other posts in this series: