Last week my family got sick.
Our one year old had just started his first week at daycare and he managed to bring home a nasty tummy bug which made us all fight over the toilet, sink and the shower.
It was disastrous and not to mention horrible.
It became very clear how we all deal with stressful situations differently. During our own little family meltdown we got stuck in the 'Drama Triangle'
The Karpman Drama Triangle states that there are three roles we tend to take when 'Drama' occurs.
The first role is the one of the Victim. A role my loving partner took instantly.
And the victim's stance is "Poor me". The victim feels helpless, hopeless, powerless and seems unable to make decisions or solve problems. (I quote: "Why did you only throw up once and I threw up four times?" and "What should I eat or drink? I just don't know")
Myself, I took the role of the Rescuer. The rescuer's line is "Let me help you". And I turned into a classic enabler despite my own illness. I booked in doctors appointments, drove to the pharmacy and cleaned up smelly toilets. The reward derived from this rescue role is that the focus is taken off of the rescuer. When he/she focuses their energy on someone else, it enables them to ignore their own issues.
The last role is that of the Persecutor. If our little boy could talk, perhaps he would have taken this role. Persecutors use blame, criticism, attacks and venting to release stress. So he probably would have said: "It's all my parents fault. If they didn't put me into daycare, I would not have gotten sick" The Persecutor insists, "It's all your fault."
So there we were.
All stuck in the Drama Triangle showing toxic behaviors.
Luckily there is a way out. And it's called the Winners Triangle.
By consciously choosing a different role you can directly influence the role someone else is taking.
The Rescuer for example can channel their desire to be of service by becoming The Coach. And The Persecutor can learn how to become a Challenger.
After a few days my family was able to hold down meals again and with that the drama triangle also stopped. But unlike a nasty tummy bug, the drama in your (work) relationships can show up in more prolonged ways, shapes or forms. They can show up in subtle or theatrical ways, but they are equally as unhealthy.
Would you like to know more about how to resolve these Victim - Rescuer - Persecutor relationships in the work place and how to make your way to the Winners Triangle?