Removing Yourself from the Victim, Rescuer, Persecutor Triangle
Linda Graham, MFT and author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being, looks at the dysfunctional social dynamic of the victim, rescuer and persecutor triangle.
Stephen Karpman, M.D., developed his “drama triangle” – victim, rescuer, persecutor – almost 40 years ago, and I find it’s just as relevant – and just as new to many people – as it was 40 years ago. Even if you don’t spend much time yourself playing any of these three roles – you probably deal on a daily basis with people who do.
Knowing how to put our “big girl” or “big boy” pants on and get out of the triangle is essential when dealing with people who want to pull us in. Using our own wise mind to recognize when we’ve regressed into one of these roles ourselves (usually because of the usual culprit, needing to play those roles early in our family of origin conditioning) is also essential to make wise conscious choices in our intimate and social interactions with others.
The three roles of the drama triangle are archetypal and easily recognizable in their extreme versions.
The stance of the victim is “poor me!” Victims see themselves as victimized, oppressed, powerless,