Drama to Empowerment

Uncategorized Mar 05, 2018

The triangle on the left is what David Emerald calls the "Dreaded Drama Triangle" in his great book, "The Power of Ted".  The one on the right is the empowerment triangle.

We all have been inside the Drama Triangle.  That is called being human.

The trick is to recognize you are in this triangle and shift to get to this one:


Let's look at the 3 characters we can inhabit in the Drama triangle:

Each position needs the others.  They cannot exist without the other two positions. 

  • The victim orientation is about  experiencing a loss.  This can be anything from a natural disaster, a death, an illness, an injury, a lost promotion, lost raise or the failure to reach a goal.    The key to getting into victim mode is the feeling of helplessness and believing your current situation is something you have no control over.  The result is that when those feeling arise we get "defensive, submissive, over-accommodating to others, passive aggressive in conflict, dependent on others for self-worth ... "

Fear is the juice that is victim is drinking.

Reflection:  When have you gone to victim mode?  

  • Persecutor mode is the "bad guy" and this mode is also fear based.  The persecutor is, "authoritarian and rigid in their views, exerting power over others in an effort to keep others from having power over them."

Reflection:  When have you gone into persecutor mode?

  • The Rescuer

Interestingly, the rescuer doesn't have to be a person.  It can be anything we use to numb ourselves or use to help the victim numb themselves like food, alcohol, shopping, work - anything to continue in the victim mode.  

The victim fears more loss and perceived lack of control.  The persecutor fears perceived loss of control and the rescuer fears a loss of purpose.

We all have been in each of these roles.  I think there were times in my life I was oriented to the persecutor and times I was oriented to the victim and times I was the rescuer.   Typically, our families orient around these models as well.  Which role did you play when you were younger?  Now?

So, what is the solution?

Each place on the drama triangle has a corresponding place on the empowerment triangle.  So, when we are stuck complaining (sign we are in victim mode) we want to shift to Creator mode by asking ourselves,  what do I want?  That takes the focus away from the problems (victims focus on problems) to a focus on creating solutions - creator mode.

What about persecutor?  The question to ask yourself to get from Persecutor mode to challenger mode is what is your intention?

The persecutor tends to want to assert control and a need to be right.  (ahhh - I have been here especially in my lawyer years!)  What you want to do is to come from a place of love that supports another's growth.

When we are in rescue mode, we get our  self worth by getting others dependent on us because we don't hold them as capable.  Instead, we want to go to our Coach mode :)  In Coach mode, we hold everyone as fully capable.  We support, facilitate and assist the Creator in creating their dreams.  So this question is, "Do I believe this person I am serving is whole without me?"

So, when you find yourself in the dreaded drama triangle - shift!  Ask yourself the question that will allow you to get to the empowerment triangle.  

Have fun! Remember, we all go there.  Have a sense of humor about it, ask the question to move you to empowerment!

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