Posted on: Saturday, February 28th, 2009
Ever wondered why there are familiar conflicts in your marriage? Ever said to yourself, “here we go again?” Ever thought – “I can only hope to have the same relationships that I have always had that never seem to work out!” Or, “how come I attract abusive or needy people all the time?”
You may be on the Drama Triangle!
The roles: Agressor, Victim, Rescuer/Caretaker! Each has a fundamental belief and common characteristics.
Just like in a play, your chosing one role leaves the others open for your partner/friend/parent/boss/acquaintance to play.
Agressor believes “I can control people” and they use methods like threats, ultimatums, abuse, insist on ‘my way or the highway’ and create win-lose situations: their needs get met and others don’t.
Victim believes, “I have no choice” and they feel stuck, helpless and say things like ‘poor me’ or ‘why me?’ or ‘I can’t help it, this is the way I am’.
Rescuer/Caretaker believes “others can’t do it without me” and they therefore impose their help/advice, create dependency on themselves and give more time, energy or $ than they have and become resentful afterwards.
Which role do you play?
We sometimes move around when one approach doesn’t get us what we want. Each role seeks to gain a sense of ‘control’ in the relationship. SO neither role is better than the others.
Solution: Get off the triangle! Change your belief and behave assertively.
Agressor needs to believe “I can’t control anyone but myself”. Choose to control your responses and learn to create win-win situations. Win-win says, ‘my needs and feelings are as important as your needs and feelings.’
Victim needs to definately believe, “I have options” and then take ACTION! The road to hell is said to be ‘paved with good intentions!’ It is not enough to talk the talk, action is the only way off!
Rescuer/Caretaker needs to believe, “others are capable and competent”. When you hear of a need learn to ask others, “what are you going to do about it?” Then offer your help once they have told you what they are going to do. And only do what the love in your heart permits.
It takes time to learn new behaviors. Practice getting off the triangle every time you realize you are on it, and you will build new patterns of relating that will develop health in your current relationships and attract other assertive people to you! After all, when asked to dance on the triangle you can always say, ‘no thank you!’