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How to exit the Karpman drama triangle?

Karpman triangle is a widespread, but bad model of relationships. It was described by Stephen Karpman, one of the representatives of transactional analysis. Participants of the triangle can be two, three, or five people, but there are only three roles. The ruthless Persecutor terrorizes the unfortunate Victim, and the Rescuer saves her. This drama lasts for years and even decades, because the current situation in some sense is suitable for all participants. The Persecutor gladly takes his anger out on other people, the Rescuer enjoys his role of Batman and Superman at the same time, and the Victim gets the opportunity to evade and shift responsibility and to use the compassion and sympathy of others.

If everyone is happy, you can wonder «Why should we get out of Karpman triangle? ». First, the dialogue in such a triangle is impossible, and objective problems are simply not solved. Secondly, this game satisfies only the immediate needs of the participants, in the end, all are losers. For an example:

• The mother-in-law is harassing the daughter-in-law with petty remarks and she decides to complain to her husband. The husband comes to the defense of her wife and as a result, his mother is crying in the kitchen. His wife unexpectedly takes mother's side and accuses her husband of being ungrateful and disrespectful to his mother. But the husband wanted to improve situation, so now he is insulted and starts counterattack. Things get heated, and it is already impossible to extinguish an avalanche of mutual insults ...

Each participant has a favorite role in which he is most of the time. But the positions in the Karpman triangle are dynamic. It cannot be otherwise, because the role of the Victim in itself is quite disadvantageous. One of the reasons why the Victim agrees to be the Victim is the opportunity to become the Persecutor from time to time. So, other "actors" also go through all three phases of the cycle.

How to deal with this problem?

Sometimes all of us are involved in other people's triangles. It is unpleasant, but not dangerous. A person who is not inclined to play the role assigned to him will not be stuck in it for a long time. But some families or work collectives never go beyond the triangle. Participants are firmly entangled in mutual manipulation, not noticing how they destroy their own lives. And it's really tragic.

In order to get out of the Karpman triangle, first of all we must realize the fact of its existence and our role in it. It is not simple. The Persecutor often does not even know that he is the Persecutor (otherwise he would not be him). Other participants are able to understand their role, but they are firmly convinced that they don’t lead the triangle, they are simply drawn into the game of other people. But one way or another, if you are in the triangle of fate for a long time, then you are interested in it, and you perform all three roles from time to time, and therefore, the recommendations listed below will be useful to you.

The Persecutor

  1. Before claiming, demanding, criticizing, blaming and shaming other people, think carefully about whether you really need a result, or you just want to vent your spleen at others.

  2. Accept the idea that you are imperfect and you can make mistakes.

  3. Stop blaming other people for your problems.

  4. Stop thinking that others must conform to your ideas about what is right.

  5. Find alternative ways of self-assertion.

  6. If you want to achieve something from another person, try to convince him without physical and emotional violence.

The Rescuer

  1. Do not give advice that you are not asked for.

  2. Stop thinking that you know better what is good or not for others

  3. Do not promise what you cannot do.

  4. Do not count on gratitude - your help is disinterested and you do it because you really want to.

  5. If you still expect to receive response services, negotiate your terms in advance.

  6. Find alternative ways of self-assertion.

  7. If you have an acute desire to save someone, do it, but be honest with yourself - is your help really necessary and effective?

The Victim

  1. Instead of complaining about people who have ruined your life, try to find a way to improve your life.

  2. Stop thinking that other people must solve your problems.

  3. Do not shift responsibility for your actions to others. What you do is your own choice.

  4. Do not count on disinterested help. If you are offered assistance, find out what is expected of you in return.

  5. Do not make excuses, just do what you think is right.

  6. If someone sympathizes you or wants to help you and discuss your problems, try to extract something really useful from this conversation, instead of simply inciting your Rescuer against the Persecutor.

The way out of the triangle of fate is complicated and long. On the path of someone who follows the path of development, and their own habits, and established patterns of behavior of others who seek to maintain the status quo. Sometimes it is even easier to completely break the destructive relationship - if it’s possible. The main thing is not to repeat the previous scenario in a new place and with new participants.