A Drama Triangle Example – Lisa and John

Let’s take a Lisa and John as an example. Lisa is susceptible to using drama in an attempt to meet her own needs. She has an unconscious propensity to see herself as a “Victim” and therefore jump onto the drama triangle in the “Victim” roll. From the “Victim” roll on the Drama Triangle, Lisa might begin a conversation with “Can’t anyone clean up after themselves around here?”. Lisa is clearly upset and since she is unaware of what she needs in this situation, she has decided to shame and guilt others into meeting her need for her. In this example Lisa sees herself as a “Victim” who is acting out the “Rescuer” roll. Rescuers use guilt and shame to coerce others into changing so that the “Victim” in them feels safe again. John, Lisa’s partner is weak in the area of drama as well. Since he has not yet developed, what I call the disciplined mind in regards to conflict, he is almost magnetically pulled onto the Drama Triangle with Lisa. John makes out that he is being coerced to change, which raises his heckles. What man wants to be hen-pecked? Because of the way John thinks about this situation he is now on the Drama Triangle as a “Victim” and is about to choose wether to Rescue Lisa by submitting to her will and becoming her doormat by cleaning up, or to play the Persecutor by pushing back. Men call Rescuing in this type of situation being pussy whipped, not because John is cleaning up, but because of the condition under which he is “helping”, since he is teaching Lisa that her coercion works and he is willing to play this game. If John chooses the Persecutor role he will use his physical size, voice or a gesture to show Lisa that he will protect himself from this attack at her expense. From this point you can fill in the blanks based on your own experience. This situation can escalate into any number of scenarios, none of which result in Lisa and John coming together to help each other meet their personal needs or the needs of their relationship. Repeat this scenario, or one like it, many times per month/year/decade and you can clearly see why their relationship is failing and that failure is spilling over into other aspects of John and Lisa’s lives. This dynamic at home, makes succeeding at work, at parenting, and at life more difficult and stressful.

Now what if Lisa and John know the difference between conflict-oriented living and cooperative living based on emotional intelligence? Could they avoid the split-up, the tension, the stress, the pain and instead find peace, love, support, and happiness in their personal, work and family relationships? Absolutely YES!



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