Consider for a moment a problem that you’re facing. Perhaps a set-back, a frustration or an ongoing battle. What is your relationship with this problem? Who or what do you think is responsible? What needs to happen for it to be resolved?
Your answer to these questions will tell you a lot about your mindset and whether you are trapped in the Drama Triangle.
Drama, drama, drama…
The drama triangle describes a situation where you find yourself playing the role of victim, persecutor and/ or rescuer. You may be one – you may be all depending on the situation, but either way this is not a space that you want to hang around in. As the infographic below highlights, it traps you in a cycle of criticising, feeling hopeless and enabling others. And as you can imagine it definitely doesn’t breed success or satisfaction.
By contrast, when you’re in the Empowerment Dynamic you are the creator, coach and/ or challenger. This is the space where you are making things happen, and even if they don’t always work out then you recognise your role within that and take action to turn things around. When you are empowered you will find yourself focused on achieving goals, facilitating outcomes and lifting up those around you.
Victim or Creator?
So how can you figure out what triangle you are operating in? Your best bet is to pay attention to the language you are using – internally and externally. The thoughts you’re having and what you’re saying to those around you.
For those sitting in the drama triangle conversations may sound something like this:
- It’s so unfair, bad things always happen to me!
- It’s all X’s fault, if they behaved differently things would be better.
- Y completely messed this up for me.
- It’s not your fault, it’s their fault.
The Empowerment Dynamic sounds more like this:
- What could I do to make [insert goal] a reality?
- How can I support you in achieving this?
- I loved what you did with X, you’re doing great things!
- This isn’t working, what can I/ we do differently?
If you realise that you are stuck in the Drama Triangle consider how you could disrupt the pattern of behaviour. How could you step into the role of coach, creator or challenger? What can you do to shift your thinking? Could you do or say something differently?
Looking for more tips – take a look at this blog about escaping the victim mentality.