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The Drama Triangle

By The Awakening Within

August 26, 2019

Within our daily lives, we’re always causing or receiving drama by interacting with other people.

On the surface, it appears as standard arguments, disagreements or conflicts, but from a psychological and spiritual perspective, it’s much more than this.

All the toxicity we’re associated with make up what’s called the “Drama Triangle.”

One moment you may appear as a bold, rational adult and then another moment you’re an immature, noisy child who lashes out a tantrum.
Whichever one you are, you’re playing a role within the “Drama Triangle.”

So What Do I Mean By The “Drama Triangle”?

The drama triangle is a psychological tool to help understand the three-way relationship of every social interaction.
Just like a triangle, this psychological tool consists of 3 roles.

These are:
The victim, the rescuer and the persecutor.
Here’s a description of each role to help you understand them more.

The Victim

The defining trait of this role is their weak mindset, where they believe they’re victimized, powerless and hopeless.

They’re always putting themselves down by saying or thinking things such as, “I’m not good enough”, “Bad things only happen to me”, “My life’s hopeless” etc.

Victims feed off the rescuers’ energy because they don’t know how to solve their problems and desire someone else to do it for them.

They always try to make others feel sympathetic towards them whether it’s consciously or not. This is where a rescuer, or “a victim’s saviour” comes in.

The Rescuer

The defining trait of this role is their desire to help the wounded victims.
Since a victim can’t stand up for themselves, this is where the rescuers thrive.

They need to rescue victims in order for them to feel satisfied and complete.
Rescuers are always saving victims from persecutors, as the victims don’t know how to stand up for themselves.

Many empaths find themselves prone to playing this role.

The Persecutor

The defining trait of this role is their manipulation and aggression.
Persecutors are always blaming the victim, making them feel useless and weak.

It’s hard for a victim to deal with a persecutor because their threats make the victim feel weak and vulnerable.
Habitually, everyone has a prominent role they find themselves playing, however, it’s very common to be swinging between the 3.

One moment, you could be the person desiring to rescue and help everyone, to becoming the wounded upset victim, and then to the persecutor who’s afraid of being victimized.
These 3 roles are mostly unconsciously played, or manipulated by others to make you act a certain role.
Even if you’re not playing these roles often, it’s highly likely you’re dealing with others who’s in the triangle.

Whatever you believe, it’s important to stay centered in the triangle and become the “observer.”
When you fully understand and embrace the 3 roles of the triangle, you’ll be surprised how often you see the drama triangle unfold within your daily life.
It’s almost like watching a theatrical play. 😊

Here’s an example of a scenario that can play out:

We have Brad, Jenny and Harrison.
Harrison is pushing Brad into playing NFL which he doesn’t desire to play due to his slimmer body structure.

Brad tells Harrison he doesn’t want to play so Harrison verbally abuses him by calling him a coward and nasty comments. (Harrison has now begun the role of the persecutor)
Hopelessly, Brad victimizes himself and has the mindset of “poor me”, and gives in to the threats of Harrison. (Therefore, Brad has become the victim)

When Brad tells Jenny (his sister) the scenario, she takes on all his energy and sympathetically listens. Once he’s finished telling her the story, she goes to Harrison and begs him to stop manipulating Brad into playing NFL. (Jenny is rescuing Brad)
Without any hesitation, Harrison refuses, therefore making Jenny become mad and start yelling and criticizing him. (Making Jenny switch to the persecutor).

Harrison feels threatened and upset by the comments made by Jenny, so he hopelessly agrees to stop forcing Brad to play NFL. (Harrison has now switched to the victim)
And the story can go on and on.

The point is, the drama triangle is played out on a daily basis by you, or others around you.
It’s a cycle we continuously fall into unless we learn to overcome it and stay centered as the observer.

Why It’s Important To Escape The Triangle And Become Centered

All 3 of these roles are just as bad as the other. None of them are worse than the other.
Resolving the triangle and becoming centered is the objective of the drama triangle.

If you keep falling into the cycle of the triangle, you’ll find yourself always stressed, vulnerable, overburdened, angry, miserable, etc.
No matter what position you’re playing, it all ends to the same feelings.
This is why it’s crucial to learn to become centered and escape the triangle.

How To Escape The Triangle

Escaping the triangle isn’t a process that happens overnight.
It takes practice and commitment.
Here’s a quick 3 step guide on how to escape the drama triangle.

1. Recognizing Which Role You’re Prone to Play
This truth is, one of these roles will be more prominent and likely for you to play depending on your personality.
Learning to recognize and identify this is the first step to escaping the triangle.

2. Notice When You’re Playing One Of These Roles

Although this may be hard to pick up, try to notice when you’re feeling stressed, overburdened, annoyed, upset etc. and ask yourself why were you playing one of these roles?
When you get involved in a drama conflict, notice your sensations and embrace it, before allowing it to leave your energy field.

3. Take The Necessary Action To Become The Observer

Once you’ve grasped the full concept of the drama triangle, allow it to become part of your daily life.
When conflict arises, remember to stay grounded and centered.

4. Educate People Around You On The Drama Triangle (Optional)

If you have people around you who you feel would resonate with this, you can educate them on the drama triangle.
However, it’s important not to make them feel obligated to use this tool as it’s their journey to walk, and their choice whether they want to utilize it or not.
We hope this article helped you gain an understanding of the drama triangle so you can begin using it in your daily life!

The Drama Triangle

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