Drama Triangle
Bob B.
Posted: February 18, 2005, 8:07 PM







This may help somebody today -- an introduction to the Drama Triangle

Karpman Drama Triangle

There is a common pattern that is less than healthy that runs through many relationships. To know that it's a common pattern can bring a great deal of relief to someone who's in the midst of a relationship that isn't working well and can't pin down the reason why. This relationship can be one between friends, family co-workers, clients, or significant others ~ anyone.

If we can recognize the pattern and know it has a name, it will:

A) help us to begin to understand the pattern and

B) help us to heal/eliminate the reason we exhibit this pattern.

This pattern is called the Karpman Drama Triangle, based on the work and observations of Stephen B. Karpman.

The pattern is that we rescue people from their responsibilities, and then we feel victimized, and then we persecute the other person! Persecution can take many forms, such as anger, guilt, blame, martyrdom or ostracizing.

We rescue people from their own responsibilities!

Some ways we do this is by paying their bills, cleaning up their messes, and making excuses and covering for them when they fail to take responsibility for themselves. This is emotionally unhealthy for us as it causes us to suffer from stress and overload that doesn't belong to us. This is emotionally unhealthy for the other party as we are, in effect, stealing from them their obligation to be responsible for the quality of their lives and thereby build a platform of self esteem for themselves.

After we rescue, we then feel used and sorry for ourselves. Poor us, we give and give and no one gives back. (Sound familiar?) Well you know what? We have only ourselves to blame. Self pity is a luxury and a thief of our self esteem. We need to get healthy boundaries up there and strengthen them, primarily for our own sake, but also for the sake of others!

After we rescue and feel used and sorry for ourselves, the next step is to blame and persecute the other party for our feelings. We put on sad faces that say, "Poor me, look what you've done to me." We will subject the other party to anger by yelling or silencing. Or we might ostracize them, cut them off and make them suffer because they took advantage of us. All of these are very destructive, fear inducing emotions and actions.

So rescue, victimization, then persecution. This is the pattern, the triangle.

Another name for this pattern could be the dance of dysfunction. Those of us that grew up in dysfunctional families have learned to do this dysfunctional dance in many of our relationships. We seem to gravitate towards those that will help us complete our dance, and we raise our children to dance it with us.

This dysfunctional dance, this Karpman Triangle, is so sneaky and so ambiguous that it is sometimes very hard to recognize and acknowledge. After all, when we rescue someone, doesn't that make us a good person? Isn't this what society expects and rewards? The answer is no, not if the price is stealing someone's right to be responsible for themselves!

Allow yourself to be responsible only for what is yours to be responsible about, and allow others to manage their own 'stuff'. You'll be amazed at how much healthier and less complicated your relationships become, and how much more peace you'll experience within your Self.

http://usui-reiki.org/Meditation_Ka...an_Triangle.htm

Take What You Need and Leave The Rest
Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

Want to know more? -- web search -- Drama Triangle

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hardhead
Posted: February 18, 2005, 8:20 PM







Hello Bob B.

Let me tell you what's been going on in my crazy life. My b/f showed up at my door on Valentine's day with a dozen colorful roses and a diamond and saffire ring. Don't really know what to think of this, except that he is sending me a message that I love you or, love what you have and I still want it. Anyway, the best that I can think of this situation is this, "I don't have to steal from you to show you that I can get you something nice from me."

We had a wonderful time together, cooked, went places, had fun, he has already purchased tickets for Sting in April, to the Baltimore Craft Council next weekend. I just don't know what to think anymore. He's not here tonight, and I don't really mind because I know my property inside is OK. I remember when I got my burgler system up and going again, he called me on my cell phone, which he bought for me when I retired, and he called during an afternoon, and I opened the front door and the system said, "sensor 1, front door open!" and he said to me, "You did that because of ME." I thought well, hell, if the shoe fits. wear it.

I need to hear some words of wisdom. His cousin and his late girlfriend both said that "he doesn't steal." Wonder why they both said that. I wonder if they wanted me to take him off their hands. Oh, nuts!!!
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Bob B.
Posted: February 18, 2005, 9:04 PM







hh, I have an older sister whose husband of over 25 died prematurely, leaving her a widow in her late 50s. I know there is lonliness and companionship is a treasured thing.

However, this person has stolen from you, brought illegal substances into your home, and in fact used illegal substances in your kitchen.

his activities towards you borders on the obsessive.

he can't be trusted in your home. locking doors because you are afraid of his stealing is a clue. if you must see him, let him entertain you in public places, like restaurants, etc.

trust your instincts. be careful. lock your doors. don't give him money. keep him out of your house. don't let him borrow your car. keep your finances private and confidential.

with the deaths that you have experienced, you may still be quite vulnerable. be alert. i've known widows who open their finances to all the wrong people and have paid a very high price for trusting the wrong person or letting the wrong person into their life.



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Posted: February 18, 2005, 9:17 PM


Posts: 90
Joined: November 22, 2004



Hi Bob B,

He knows of my financial situation, because he knows the realtor that belongs to my YC. He just wants in. I realize that. Too bad because he "seems" like a nice person, when, in fact, and he admitted this, he is not. I remember telling him, "you are not the nice person I want you to be, and he said you're right." I have to remember everything. I wish my hubband was still here. I sure miss him
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Posted: February 20, 2005, 2:34 AM


Posts: 317
Joined: February 3, 2005



Bob,
Thanks for the site and information. I have copied this and sent to several of my friends and saved to read over and over. I still fall into that with my son at times.
Judy
jj,
Keep on keeping on, you're doing great. Keep in touch. It's late and I've got the sniffles, gonna turn in.

Judy



--------------------
If you learn from your suffering, and really come to understand the lesson you were taught...
you might be able to help someone else who's now
in the phase you may have just completed.
Maybe that's what it's all about after all...
~ Anonymous ~
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Posted: February 20, 2005, 1:27 PM


Posts: 317
Joined: February 3, 2005



Sorry, jj's message was meant for another post.

--------------------
If you learn from your suffering, and really come to understand the lesson you were taught...
you might be able to help someone else who's now
in the phase you may have just completed.
Maybe that's what it's all about after all...
~ Anonymous ~
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Posted: February 21, 2005, 12:52 AM


Posts: 799
Joined: November 12, 2004



Dear hardhead,

When Bob said to be careful about finances, I thought I should share this. My daughter's mother-in-law was widowed very young....about 30. She had 3 kids with the oldest being about 10. She married later and out of the kindness of her heart helped him get started in a business. Well, he didn't handle money well and it failed. They are now divorced, but the debts were in her name and she's still responsible. She SHOULD be sitting pretty well financially now, but instead she had to downsize her house because she's still paying on those debts. Live and learn (unfortunately the hard way sometimes)!

Good luck and BE CAREFUL!!!!

Susan
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Posted: June 7, 2005, 12:44 PM


Posts: 2140
Joined: January 2, 2005



up
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Posted: November 10, 2005, 1:57 PM


Posts: 2140
Joined: January 2, 2005



this is really important, i think.

This post has been edited by Bob B. on November 10, 2005, 10:48 PM
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Posted: November 12, 2005, 9:48 PM


Posts: 1998
Joined: September 18, 2005



it has been crucial to my recovery, thanks for posting the reminder Bob

--------------------
"When the mind begins to become still, we then begin to truly see it. When you first try to stabilize and pacify the mind, initially it will become very busy because itís not accustomed to being still. In fact, it doesnít even necessarily want to become still, but it is essential to get a hold of the mind to recognize its nature. This practice is extremely important. ... Eventually you will find yourself in a state where your mind is clear and open all the time. It is just like when the clouds are removed from the sky and the sun can clearly be seen, shining all the time. This is coming close to the state of liberation, liberation from all traces of suffering. ... The truth of this practice is universal. It isnít necessary to call it a religion to practice it. Whether one is a Hindu or a Moslem or a Christian or a Buddhist simply doesnít matter. Anyone can practice this because this is the nature of the mind, the nature of everyoneís mind. If you can get a handle on your mind, and pacify it in this way, you will definitely experience these results, and you will see them in your daily life situation. There is no need to put this into any kind of category, any kind of "ism."

~Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche
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Posted: November 13, 2005, 12:02 AM


Posts: 2140
Joined: January 2, 2005




yes, once we "get it" it helps a lot and we recognize when it's happening to us, or when we are letting it happen. it's extremely self defeating behavior.
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Posted: December 22, 2005, 10:47 PM


Posts: 2486
Joined: April 18, 2005



Up

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NOTHING CHANGES if NOTHING CHANGES
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Posted: December 22, 2005, 11:09 PM


Posts: 353
Joined: November 20, 2005



I think this is important too.

As a mother, I will always have problems not offering help to my son. I don't think he abuses me though, I just don't think he understands the damage he has done to himself and the potential for future harm. However, and I thank God for this, he is doing much better. He has not smoked pot since 12/17. He has completed a six month course and now, if he can drug test clean, he can apply for a ward clerk position. His goals after that is to study for his RN. I am praying that God will continue to work with him and I can keep my mouth shut and my hands off.
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Posted: January 9, 2006, 9:55 PM


Posts: 2140
Joined: January 2, 2005




up
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guest
Posted: March 2, 2006, 12:15 PM







bump
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Jenniferlee
Posted: March 2, 2006, 7:22 PM







The drama triangle being so everpresent lately exactly as you described...caused me so much anxiety that I bolted and rented my own apartment and now am just totally confused.
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Posted: March 28, 2006, 11:14 PM


Posts: 1998
Joined: September 18, 2005



bumperama

--------------------
"When the mind begins to become still, we then begin to truly see it. When you first try to stabilize and pacify the mind, initially it will become very busy because itís not accustomed to being still. In fact, it doesnít even necessarily want to become still, but it is essential to get a hold of the mind to recognize its nature. This practice is extremely important. ... Eventually you will find yourself in a state where your mind is clear and open all the time. It is just like when the clouds are removed from the sky and the sun can clearly be seen, shining all the time. This is coming close to the state of liberation, liberation from all traces of suffering. ... The truth of this practice is universal. It isnít necessary to call it a religion to practice it. Whether one is a Hindu or a Moslem or a Christian or a Buddhist simply doesnít matter. Anyone can practice this because this is the nature of the mind, the nature of everyoneís mind. If you can get a handle on your mind, and pacify it in this way, you will definitely experience these results, and you will see them in your daily life situation. There is no need to put this into any kind of category, any kind of "ism."

~Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche
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Guest
Posted: March 30, 2006, 10:48 AM







Bump
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Posted: May 17, 2006, 9:58 PM


Posts: 2486
Joined: April 18, 2005



Bump

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NOTHING CHANGES if NOTHING CHANGES
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Posted: May 17, 2006, 10:50 PM


Posts: 441
Joined: November 30, 2005



Evening Bob!

Many thanks for posting that great info. a
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