Karpman Drama Triangle

… the Victim is not really as helpless as he feels, the Rescuer is not really helping, and the Persecutor does not really have a valid complaint.
Claude Steiner, Transactional Analyst



Are You Playing the Victim Role Without Knowing it? Karpman Drama Triangle

By Tara Mills | Therapist – http://forgoodloving.com/

One of the hardest things for most people to believe is that they are somehow playing the role of a victim. Chances are if you have a pulse and are able to read this you have played the role of a victim and might not even be aware of it.

It doesn’t matter how many times we hear it from a close friend or loved one being a victim is something we all have a hard time accepting. It didn’t even compute to us that we could be acting like a victim because of course “I am the one who always has everything together and figured out. I am the responsible one, the one who was always nice no matter how ugly the circumstance, that one who has it so together I am able to help others in their time of need(which often they are in need).” All of these statements would describe some thoughts of a rescuing victim or rescuer.

The rescuer enjoys that feeling of helping others out and usually they believe they are doing it to be nice but in actuality it gives them a feeling of superiority. If you are always helping it puts you in a position of superiority. Eventually the victim gets tired of looking up to the rescuer and they get angry so they move from the position of the victim to the position of the persecutor.

The persecutor criticizes, puts people down, and belittles others. Their complaints are not usually valid. When they move up from the victim role in the triangle the rescuer drops down to the victim spot. “Look what you made me do. That’s dumb. I can’t believe you would….!”. Statements like these could all come from the person playing the roles of the persecutor.

The persecutor’s emotional state is often colored with anger, while fear is prevalent with the rescuer and sadness when the person is playing the victim.

Below is a description from Mental Health Today of all the roles in the drama triangle.

PERSECUTOR – “It’s All Your Fault”

  • Sets strict limits unnecessarily.
  • Blames
  • Criticizes
  • Keeps Victim oppressed
  • Is mobilized by anger
  • Rigid, authoritative stance
  • “Critical” Parent

VICTIM – “Poor Me”

  • Feels victimized, oppressed, helpless, hopeless, powerless, ashamed
  • Looks for a Rescuer that will perpetuate their negative feelings.
  • If stays in Victim position, will block self from making decisions, solving problems, pleasure and self-understanding.
  • “Dejected” stance.

RESCUER – “Let Me Help You”

  • Rescues when really doesn’t want to.
  • Feels guilty if doesn’t rescue.
  • Keeps victim dependent.
  • Gives permission to fail.
  • Expects to fail in rescue attempts.
  • “Marshmallow” Parent

See  Karpman Drama Triangle video at http://forgoodloving.com/are-you-playing-the-victim-role-without-knowing-it-karpman-drama-triangle.html


About tether abundance

abundance tetherer, social advocate, bodacious blogger, jill of all trades, rebel businesswoman, ah-ha coach, caring friend, soul sister, blessed daughter, laughin', learnin' & lovin' along the thrilling roller coaster journey of my life. Personable and perceptive, I'm all about the abundance, the glass half full, I get jazzed about making a difference where I can together with other people. Like everyone, I've lived through the good, the bad and the ugly times, personally and professionally, that are inevitable in life's journey. Along the way, I've been fortunate to learn non-stop, get a BSc.and MBA, and had my fair share of success over 28 years working with a fascinating array of people in a diverse range of industries, sectors and organizations, from single person entrepreneurs to global Fortune 500 companies.
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