My business mentor has mentioned several times the drama triangle and how I should get myself out of it as well as help my clients do the same. The roles in the drama triangle are Perpetrator, Rescuer and Victim. I was able to detect easily my role as Rescuer, but only recently did I admit that I have disowned my roles as Victim and Perpetrator. Now that I have identified myself in all of those roles, I’m looking for a way out of them. A friend recommended Lynne Namka’s article The Drama Triangle to get started.
When I’m in the roles of Rescuer and Perpetrator, I feel superior, and when I’m playing the role of Victim, I feel helpless. My roles shift with my emotions, while I’m protecting my ego which feels threatened. My victimhood transforms to anger toward the injustice of being persecuted, and I shift into the role of Perpetrator. As a Perpetrator I become guilty of my negativity and shift into the Rescuer role. And if my help isn’t appreciated as a Rescuer, I either get upset and angry, or upset and hurt, shifting again my role into the one of Perpetrator or Victim.
All of the roles are sustained by denying the feelings first in the self and then in others, so here I can see my way out of this triangle. The shadow work described in ILP helps me to look at a situation that is causing any feeling in me, then bring it closer in a form of a conversation with a person involved, and finally to identify with and to own the feeling in question. The times I have tried this process have given positive results, but as I have mentioned earlier, the true progress happens in relationships.
Honesty and allowance to talk about the acting out behavior of others is a sign of a healthy relationship. There I have work to do. I haven’t always been honest about my truth regarding the reasons for my own behavior nor regarding my feelings about the behavior of others. And I have had difficulties in accepting feedback from others about my behavior, as well as in giving feedback to others about their behavior. I need to open up the cavity of my heart, to be vulnerable with the people around me, and to learn to form truly intimate connections.
At the end of her article Lynne shares tips and tools on how to rise above the drama triangle. The first step is to become aware of the triangle and the roles I play in it. Check. The next is to take responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, and actions. Moving to that direction. And one of the steps after that is to do the shadow work, to own my dark sides. Again, getting there. I’m delighted to notice that I’ve already started to do the work to get out of the drama triangle, partly unconsciously, but with the help of Lynne’s article and her tips, more and more consciously.