The Drama Triangle is a psychological and social model of human interaction in Transactional Analysis (TA). The model posits three habitual psychological roles which people often take in a situation. Everybody takes on a role in a situation but none of the roles make you feel empowered. Read below which roles there are, become aware which role you take and how you can change it into being empowered.
Victim: is someone who experiences life as difficult. Nothing goes smoothly. It feels like life is unfair and threatening. It can even look like this person attracts misfortune. They feel helpless and powerless and don’t see light at the end of the tunnel. There’s always something going on in their lives and they let everybody know how miserable they are. Victims ask a lot of negative attention. When a victim identifies himself completely with victimisation, they can even develop illnesses to get attention. But they cause their own misery. It’s their choice. It’s a way of living and they enjoy their suffering (although they won’t admit that). What they need is attention. And there are always rescuers who are willing to give them the attention they need.
Rescuer: is someone who loves to help, even if he’s not asked for help. When there’s no victim around, he won’t rest before he has found someone to take care of. Victims will embrace a rescuer with open arms because there’s finally someone who takes care of them. A rescuer wants to help but takes over something of the victim. He doesn’t really help but rescues the victim. A rescuer has a mixed motive or need to be a rescuer or have a victim. The drive to be a rescuer is often because it’s a way of avoiding or looking at their own anxiety and underlying feelings. The rescuer crosses the boundaries of the victim but also his own boundaries. Victims and rescuers reinforce each other.
Persecutor: is someone who’s judging both victim and rescuer but doesn’t do anything to solve the situation.
There is a way to transform this Drama Triangle into a Winner Triangle.
Do you want to know how? Here it is:
First become aware of which role you take. Become aware of your behaviour to others (action) and what behaviour this provokes (reaction). What do you need from others? Do you need something from others? Go stand in your own power and don’t make others dependent on you.
Victim: Change victimisation in vulnerability and dare to take responsibility for your own life. Take actions until you are an independent person (search professional help, learn new skills, make changes, etc.).
Rescuer: When you stop rescuing, you can help others without the need for anything in return. You help them on their path to their own independency knowing that everyone is responsible for his own luck. Sometimes you can serve someone best by not helping.
Persecutor: You can be more assertive and give useful feedback.
The ideal starting point of the Winner Triangle is that of equality. “I am okay and you are okay”.