According to Wikipedia,” the drama triangle is a psychological and social model of human interaction in transactional analysis (TA) first described by Stephen Karpman, in his 1968 article Fairy Tales and Script Drama Analysis”
I am writing about it because it made a tremendous impact on me when I discovered it (when it finally reached me) and who knows who is waiting for it out there?
My first encounter with the Drama triangle was during a training. It was a training about coaching and then I thought about the triangle only from the coaching point of view and how it can appear during a coaching session. The trainers presented it to warn us that the coach (the rescuer) can be trapped into saving the coachee (the victim) and we should not mistake coaching for rescuing . It did not make a major impression on me back then. The time given to it during the training was too short and I was probably not prepared to deal with it any further, but I remembered it as something worth exploring (as many other things I hear about).
Then, after more than six months, I read an article on the blog of one of the trainers. In the article, she was telling a story about how she has been caught in the Drama triangle again, even though she knew it very well and about the lessons life chooses to give us every now and then. There was also a link to an article with more information on the subject ( you can read about it here). I remembered it from the training and I added it to my To Read list. In my head it did not have a high priority so I postponed its reading for a while. As with all things in life, they come to us when we are ready for them, and one day, this year, before the 1st of May holiday, its time came.
I began reading it and the things described there were incredibly common. I was asking myself how come I haven’t found out about it before? How come it is not displayed on every wall in every home and in every office?
I could identify on the triangle most of the struggle I experienced in my life until then and many of the interactions I had with other people.
I easily found my entry point on the triangle: I am a rescuer by nature. I realized that I have lived under this influence for most of my life and that at that point I was being driven by the desire to escape the triangle. I was already on the point of analysing my behavior and of realising that something is not right but reading the article it was like my eyes have opened and I could see clearly for the first time.
I used to sacrifice myself for others hoping that they will eventually do the same for me and, of course, it never happened. And I got upset, victimised myself, then I got angry at those who I helped and became the prosecutor and so, I was dancing on the triangle all the time. And even though it felt wrong sometimes and I would ask myself from time to time why do I put others before me, why should they be more important than me (we are all humans after all and we have the same rights) I would fall into the same trap again and again.
My grandmother whom I loved very much was a good christian and she always helped others, so I was bought into this belief that helping others it’s a good thing. And I still belive it’s a good thing, but before helping others you need to first help yourself. You owe it to yourself and if you do not do it no one else will. If you help others hoping that they will return the favor it turns into a burden and you will always find yourself feeling betrayed. Giving and helping becomes a bliss when you do it unselfishly, without waiting anything else in return. Only after you have given all you can to yourself (and only then) you can give unselfishly to others. It does not work any other way.
For now I have learned my lesson (or so I think) and i know that life has its way of remembering us from time to time in case we forget.