Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Freedom From The Drama Triangle Trap

The Karpman Drama Triangle is being played out on reality tv shows, in movie and tv programs and in everyday lives. Sometimes this triangle appears inverted with the Victim at the bottom but the dynamics remain the same. The result of getting stuck in this triangle either as a Victim, Rescuer or Persecutor is avoiding feeling and revealing your true feelings.

The way out of the triangle is to be honest about what and how you are feeling. Imagine another triangle with Truth at one corner, Honesty at the other and Warmth, Closeness and Connectedness at the top.

Instead of using a judging and blaming accusatory statement like, "You are so insensitive- how could you forget my birthday!" (Persecutor/Blamer) try using an "I" statement about your feelings. Example: "I felt hurt when you didn't call me on my birthday". The reaction you receive is less likely to be defensive and more likely to be empathetic. It allows the other person to let down their guard and respond with their true feelings. Then both can experience the satisfaction of closeness and warmth.

Digging through your own defensiveness and revealing the hurt or sadness underneath can be extremely liberating and frees you from the Karpman Triangle! Of course, this kind of vulnerable communication should be practiced with "safe", emotionally available people.

Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children