The Victim Triangle: How to Stop Powerlessness in its Tracks
There is a psychological model called “Karpman’s Drama Triangle” which reveals the dynamics most people fall into when faced with conflict. Each role, or identity, allows the individual to basically stay in victim or drama mode in order to avoid really feeling feelings, saying what they need to say with emotional maturity, or, of course, vulnerability.
While looking at the infographic, which part of the triangle do you typically hang out in? Sometimes people bop from corner to corner, but most often people will like the pay-offs of staying in one corner, one defensive identity that is tried, tested and true.
The pay-off of staying in the triangle is that you do not have to be responsible. That’s right, response-able, the ability to respond. The Drama Triangle reveals the world of reaction, or for some they might call this “ego.” Reaction does not require anything of us. We can blame, point fingers, be right…but we are still in the triangle of drama. I have referred to this triangle as the triangle of powerlessness. No matter your role, you are still stuck in reaction. You cannot be present to yourself and your life in that state. You lose time, you lose connection, you leak precious life energy on drama and defensiveness.
So, what’s the solution?
Yep, step out.
I created my own triangle, as an example of a healthy, empowered alternative. If we tend to these 3 corners, and act from this centre of POWER, not powerlessness, we can navigate other people that are still in the triangle by staying in our own lane, our own triangle, which empowers us to respond and create.
Do not try to talk people out of their triangle. They are entitled to their own experience of reality, judging them is only putting you back in your own triangle. You can only control your own power. You can only change yourself. Needing anyone to be different than they are for you to feel good about yourself or life, is still drama and powerlessness.
I have to say, I’m very proud of this little infographic I created on canva.com. I have talked about my new model for BEing, but never made it as a picture. I am often put in a parenting role for adults; which is a really gratifying thing. I show people the way to a healthy state of being in the world. A state of living that very few people have considered, and one very few parents would ever have been able to teach. One where they have the tools to get off their powerless loop, and find other ways to create, as their authentic selves in their lives. Very few people think this is even an option. They resign to the “this is just how it is.” or “what’s the use?” way of looking at the world. Which, of course is a state of powerlessness.
The type of coaching I was trained in is called Ontological, which is a philosophical term for how we humans create our reality, and how can we create from a blank slate. We can use our thoughts, words, emotions, and actions to be ourselves, and create. It does not mean running away from what is happening, or shoving issues under the rug, far from it. Staring our patterns in the face allows us to be empowered to deal with them. We can choose, rather than react. As we can learn to do this more and more, our lives start to change, bit by bit. We gather our power back, and with that comes peace and presence.
You can feel when you are in a state of powerlessness, when you don’t feel like your real self, when on some deep inner level, you know you are more than your behaviours and stories.
You know you are this creator I spoke of, you know there’s more for you than looping around the same problems, distracting dramas, and all the crap that keeps you from experiencing the awesomeness of who you are, here in the world. You didn’t come here to fix other people and suffer, you know on some level you came here to be yourself, and align your life to match.
I know I just dumped a ton of deep stuff on your lap, but here’s the thing; just consider what triangle you want to be on. Consider that stepping off is an option. Some people just stay on their loops because the familiarity of it is somehow calming, it feels safe to know what you are going to get, and know how to behave in reaction. It might seem safe, but it is deathly. Your life passes you by while you stay on a looping hamster wheel of boring drama. Drama is boring you know? It’s mundane and mediocre and life-sucking. Step off. Notice when you are in it, and step off. When your face is all scrunched in anger or depression, when you feel a hole in your stomach and a rounding of your shoulders, or when in a bully-mode you puff up ready for war, when you feel your mind race with scary thoughts or revenge thoughts, these are all signs you are on the Drama Triangle.
When you feel safe being who you are, saying what you need to say, trusting yourself to advocate for yourself, finding your voice to speak up and be heard, trusting in the animating forces of life to guide you, you feel grounded, your face relaxes, your shoulders drop, your breathing softens, you are BEing. That is what the Healthy Power triangle feels like.
Let me know how it goes.