Learning about the drama triangle and the roles that come with it is half the battle. If you find yourself entangled in one, how do you find your way out? If and when you do get out, how do you not slip back into it? In this episode, Frederic Gobeil and Christy Whitman dive into the details of why we assume the roles of victim, rescuer, and persecutor so easily and unconsciously that they become ingrained with us. They also talk about how meditation and knowing who you are within and what you truly want can help you create healthy interactions and foster respect and acceptance in your relationships.
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The Roles We Play In The Drama Triangle And How To Get Out Of It
Do you ever find yourself in a relationship where you’re like, “I feel like I’m going crazy?” This is crazy-making. We’re talking about the drama triangle. I want to set this up because what I’ve been sharing with my clients lately through our Quantum Energy Mastery is that our divine design, literally we are a thought in the consciousness of all that is. We are divinely designed, divinely programmed to how four areas of our lives work. One of them is having health and well–being. We have a body that naturally knows how to return to its natural state of health and well–being. The other part is abundance. We have all that we need to create abundance in all aspects of our life. That includes financial. The third aspect is having creative self-expression, being able to connect with your divine self and being able to have creativity and flow of that creativity leading to success and whatever success looks like for you.
The fourth area is having loving and supportive relationships, being able to receive love, give love, having relationships, feel good, be fun and being able to have a joyous experience together whatever you’re doing. Whether you’re at a concert, you’re playing with your puppy dog, taking a walk or you’re sitting on a beach or whatever it is, it’s to be able to enjoy life together creating. It’s not just with one person as your mate, but your kids, your family members, friends and all the different people that relationships work. How most of us learn as human beings is we didn’t learn this wave that’s expansive and what we like to call the circle of love. Most people have learned in a very close system called the drama triangle. Karpman did this whole process of psychology on the drama triangle and what Frederic and I have learned is the way of navigating out of the drama triangle from a place of energy, from a place of working with the universal laws. We want to take a little time to talk about each of the different roles because we all do them. In a closed system, you do one of three roles. Do you want to say something before I start?
Especially that drama triangle is found inside families. That’s where it starts. That’s where I know I’ve picked it up. I was shown inside of my family how to do the drama triangle, which role I had to play inside the drama triangle and how to relate with other family members. It’s only after when I started having other relationships, especially in my relationship with you that I realized, “My communication skills aren’t working. There’s something wrong.” I started working and doing some growth with our therapist who was telling me what the drama triangle was, which we’re going to tell you.
Karen Wilson is as not just a therapist. She’s an energy worker as well, a healer and that’s where we learned it from a very different perspective. I’m grateful that we did because it’s not just, “These are the roles and this is what happens in the roles.” It’s, “What happens energetically?” Let’s talk about the three different roles. Each of the different points of the triangle represents a role. What’s important to understand is once you’re in the triangle, you can’t get out. The other way I like to think of this drama triangle is the lack triangle because once you’re in it, nothing is ever enough. No matter how much you do, no matter how much you complain, no matter how much you blame others, no matter how much you try to succeed, you can’t ever seem to get ahead. You can’t ever seem to please the other person. You can’t ever seem to do enough to make the other person feel better or the way that they want to feel. That’s the energy inside of it, is that if you are ever in a relationship and you’re feeling like, “This is not only making me crazy. I feel like I’m doing all this and I can’t find satisfaction.” It’s because there is a drama triangle happening.
It doesn’t feel good. You don’t feel like you have a sense of freedom inside the relationship. You don’t feel that you can be yourself inside that relationship. There’s something off. Those are the alarm bells that when those are the feelings that come through that you might be in a drama triangle.
The first role that most people would be able to identify with is the rescuer. The rescuer is the good guy role. “Let me help. Let me do everything for you. Let me drop everything I have and help you.”
Without asking any permission, the rescuer comes in and rescues a situation that the person is without ever asking, “Is it okay? Do you need my help? Do you want help? Do you want me to come over and do something?” Immediately, the person acts before asking.
They take over. They go in there and the reason for this is that the rescuer needs to feel like the good guy and they need to feel like they have importance. They have value, they want to look good and they want to be able to be the hero, the shero or the heroine. It is very addictive like heroin. When you’re in that role, another way of describing it is you’re the glue. You’re the fix-it guy. You have to make everything right in the family. You’re the fixer-upper. You have to make sure that everything is okay. What this does is especially as a kid growing up in this, you’re hyper–vigilant in making sure everybody else is okay. You completely forget about yourself. You’re giving and you’re giving to the point where you’re so depleted and then you start to become resentful. You then become the victim. A rescuer always needs a victim and a victim is the other point in the drama triangle. The victim is that role of, “Poor me. You need to do it for me. Feel for me. You’ve got to make me feel better.”
“Everything I do doesn’t work. It’s not working out for me. I never get the results that I want.” That’s the victim mentality.Relationships are not supposed to feel crazy. They're not supposed to feel bad; they're supposed to be good. Click To Tweet
The victim can have two different roles and there’s so much more. I’ve done programs in this. I’m in the process of writing a book about this. Frederic and I do an entire retreat on looking at the energy exchange that is in these roles and the dynamics so that people can get out of them. We have a program that we’re doing that’s online. It’s when to know you’re in or when to know you’re out and how do you feel when you’re in or out of the drama triangle. What we’re talking about is an introduction. If you haven’t read some of the previous episodes, we’ve touched on it, but I want to be able to define these roles. You’ve got the rescuer, you’ve got the victim and the victim can be either very passive, “Why bother? Nothing ever works for me,” or can be a very angry victim. It’s like a feeling of, “Nothing ever works. My life sucks,” and be very angry.
The rescuer needs a victim and a victim needs a rescuer. What happens is in the system, it’s not like you choose a role and you’re given a role. It’s like you’re born into a family and then you’re given a script, “You are the fixer-upper rescuer.” You learn this role. It’s all subconscious. It’s all in the environment that you grow up in. You learn this role and you learn it so well that you could win an Academy Award with it. You’re so good at it. The rescuer, as you’re giving and giving and saying, “I’m doing and doing it and nothing‘s ever appreciated. I’m doing all that I can and they don’t even appreciate me,” now you’re going into the victim role because no matter what I do, it doesn’t seem to be enough. No matter how much I’ve done for this person, no matter how much I have spent or how much time I gave, everything I’ve given is never enough. Now you’re a victim in that role, in that perspective.
Even at work, sometimes we see that. We might have coworkers, the ones that are very negative with everything that they see, everything that happens, any project that they’re involved in, often these people are victims. They’re very negative. That’s how they learn to communicate in the drama triangle.
The third role is the persecutor. This is the bad guy role because when you’re in the drama triangle, understand it is a closed system. It is the only game in town. Someone that is empowered and self–actualized and that they are working from a place of freedom, what we like to call outside of the drama triangle in this circle of love. If someone is relating to someone that only knows a closed system, that person is then perceived as the bad guy. For example, if you’re creating a boundary like, “That’s not going to work for me. I don’t feel doing this. Thank you for the invitation,” you’re now the bad guy because you’re not going along. You’re not in this closed system. You’re not playing the rescuer role. You’re not the victim. What other roles can you play?
There’s only one other role and the role is the persecutor. The persecutor is perceived as the bad guy, but also there is the role of being the bad guy where it’s like, “I’m going to make you pay.” They complain a lot. They victimize the other person and criticizes them. Something to understand is that we not only do these roles in our relationship, we also have these three subpersonalities within ourselves. If you are beating yourself up and you’re criticizing yourself, you’re blaming yourself, it’s never enough, you’re being a persecutor to yourself. If you’re playing the victim within yourself like, “No matter what I do, I can’t seem to attract my partner. I can’t seem to get my partner to listen to me. There’s nothing I can do. It’s futile. He treats me like this. She never listens to me,” now you’re playing the victim.
If you’re also like, “I’ve got to do this and I’ve got to do that. I’ve got to do it all,” inside of yourself, you’re also playing that rescuing role. The reason why these rules are developed is that there’s lack. The rescuer is looking for a way to feel valuable, feel important, feel significant because the person’s not feeling that way. The person that is a victim feels powerless. Because they feel powerless, they want other people to do the same. It’s also rooted in lack. The persecutor is angry and is wanting to make everybody pay. They themselves feel like they’ve got to do that because they themselves are not in a place of being satisfied. We talk about these three roles because when you’re in a relationship, it could be any. It could be with your nanny, it could be with your friends, your sister, your brother, your mother, your father, it doesn’t matter.
It could be coworkers or people you’re in business with or business partners. It doesn’t matter what the form of relationship art is. If you come into a relationship and you identify in these roles, as you start to become more self–actualized and more empowered and aware, you start making choices. You start creating boundaries and you start looking for your options and all the things that we’ve been teaching and we’ll continue to teach during this show. You are then moving into a place of the circle of love. You are moving into what your divine nature is to be able to have loving, connected and conscious relationships exactly designed the way it’s supposed to be because it’s not supposed to be this way. Your relationships are not supposed to feel crazy-making. They’re not supposed to feel bad. They’re supposed to be good.
If you look at it from a perspective of when you meet a friend and you start establishing a new relationship, when you are able to set your boundaries and what we call healthy boundaries. For example, sometimes you decide not to go to a meeting with that person because you want to take care of yourself or you’ve got something else and you say, “No, that doesn’t work for me,” and there is no issue there. That is healthy communication, healthy boundaries and a healthy relationship where there isn’t any issue, where that person doesn’t take it personally, where that person doesn’t blame you for not wanting to come over to that specific event. Those are what we call creating healthy boundaries. Those are relationships that feel good where you can be yourself and you don’t take on that role. As soon as you feel yourself taking on the roles and saying, “Maybe I should go there,” or “I should do that,” then that’s the trigger, the alarm that goes off. Maybe you want to say to yourself, “I don’t want to should. Do I want to do that? Is it something that I want to do for myself?”
The first thing is the language. I have a whole series called Watch Your Words and a lot of those words are to get you to be more empowered. Like Frederic was saying, the words like should, ought to, have too, these are things that are putting you in a place of being in the roles. “As a husband, I should.” These are imposed roles and rules on you.
“As a brother, I should or as a father, I should.” Instead, it’s more like me, as Frederic, what do I want as the person that I am? The human person that I am the experience that I want to feel, see and create in my life?
How do you identify this? Number one, if you’re feeling bad in your relationships and things do not seem to be flowing with love and you feel like this is crazy-making, if any of your interactions does not feel good, be aware of that. The whole way to be conscious is first, have awareness, have an understanding. What part do I play in this? Am I playing the victim? Even with money or even playing the victim, “I can’t seem to create. What’s wrong with me? How come I can’t?” We can play victims in all aspects of our lives, but where are you playing the rescuer? Where do you feel like you’ve got to do everything for anyone? “I’m only trying to help. Look how good I am.” It’s, allowing yourself to provide the opportunity to look good and attempt to help to fill your ego needs because you’re not feeling like you’re feeling good.
If you are taking on that role as a rescuer, if you are doing that, what are you feeling you’re missing? What do you feel you’re lacking? Why are you doing that? Look at your head. Start to understand why you’re doing the roles. There’s a rescuer, the victim, and the persecutor and watch in your interactions. Are you playing the victim? Are you playing the rescuer? Are you playing the persecutor? What would be your choice instead? The second thing is that you have to have that awareness and you have to have that understanding. The first one is aware, have an understanding, and then start to know for yourself, “What else could I do?” Instead of being in these roles, what are my choices? What are my options?
Start thinking about all the choices that you have and start acting from those different choices. We have a meditation process that I did for the month of July and it’s creating loving relationships. We start to unentangle those different cords, those different programming so that you’re coming from that place of your divine alignment and you’re able to receive pure unconditional love and radiate that. In relationships with people, we have this idea of what love means and how to relate with each other with love, but it’s not the divine love. It’s not that high vibrational, expansive love. It’s not, “If you do this, then I’ll be happy.” It’s conditional.We all prefer what we prefer. Don't make the other person wrong just because he prefers something else. Click To Tweet
You were talking about unentangling. It’s all these cords that are attached to us. You feel that you’ve got a chord from each brother or sister, mother, father or coworkers. All of a sudden, all these cords that are on you, you feel all tangled and which way are you going? How are you supposed to talk to all of them and please all of them? Those are what we call the untangling of the chords. Cut these chords so that you can wind up being in a healthy selfish. It’s not a selfish way of, “Forget everybody. It doesn’t matter what they think. I want to do this.” There’s a healthy selfish where you do think of you first and what feels good inside. Since it does feel good inside, then others will be able to be okay with that and not play victims or play persecutors or not be okay with you making that decision.
There is a warning that comes with this. When you start getting out of the drama triangle and you start becoming more empowered, you have been in a drama triangle, other people don’t understand this. They themselves don’t understand that there’s a different world out there, it’s like you’re an alien and the only way that they can perceive you is the persecutor. Sometimes when you’re becoming self–empowered and you’re getting yourself out of the drama triangle, you have to be comfortable with the good opinions of others. If they want to label you as the bad guy because you’re choosing to take care of yourself and that won’t work for you or that doesn’t feel good for you, then you know they may get upset because people don’t like to know and people don’t like change.
What’s happening is that we had to go through this in our own relationship and because both of us understood these roles and are willing to look at them and we still do them, we still slip into them because they are so ingrained. It’s like a big knot. It’s like if you have a knot of jewelry and your jewelry gets stuck and you’ve got to go in there and peel the pieces like a big knot of yarn, it’s peeling them away. It’s detangling. It’s getting all of that out so that you feel clear and that you feel free because we are meant to be in these bodies to be able to create the life that we love. The Law of Allowing, what we’re talking about, is that I can respect and appreciate Frederic for who he is and he can respect and appreciate me. I don’t need him to believe everything I believe. I don’t need him to have his preferences be the same.
Nobody needs to justify. That’s the thing too, is that when you need to justify the reason why you make a choice, that doesn’t feel good. It’s accepted and you’re viewed as, “If this is your choice, then I’m okay with it. I’m accepting your choice,” then that’s fine. That’s a good interaction. It’s a healthy interaction.
I want to tell a story. Our son Alex, there’s a restaurant here in Scottsdale called Houston’s. It’s my favorite restaurant. Frederic likes it. Maxim loves it. I love it. My mom and dad go there every single Saturday without fail. Alex doesn’t care for it. He’s tried all sorts of different things. He just doesn’t care for it. With that, now we understand he doesn’t care for it, but we’ll give him the option. “We’re going to go meet grandma and grandpa for lunch. Why don’t we have you come with us for lunch? You didn’t have to eat anything. Afterward or before, we’ll get you a Subway, whatever feels good so you have something to eat, but you can at least be with us.” He’s fine with that. He’s good with that because he doesn’t prefer the food there.
My mom is on him. “Why don’t you like it? If you like a hamburger from McDonald’s or if you like a hamburger from this place, why wouldn’t you like a hamburger here?” He’s like, “I just don’t like it.” He as a ten-year-old is teaching my mom that everybody has different preferences. We took our boys to a Queen concert, Queen with Adam Lambert and Maxim, our little one who’s eight fell asleep. He had earphones on. He had my little shawl as a blanket and he literally fell asleep. I don’t know how he could. Bohemian Rhapsody was playing and he was snoozing. He missed We Will Rock You and all these songs. When we were walking out of the concert, I said to him, “Did you enjoy your nap?” He goes, “No, Queen’s just not my thing.”
I went, “I get it. Did you enjoy your nap?” Alex heard this and he goes, “Why can’t your mom understand that? Why can’t your mom understand that you all like Houston’s, but I don’t? Why can’t your mom get that instead of trying to convince me how wrong I am and that I should like Houston’s because it’s so good? Because she loves it, now I should love it too.” This is the whole premise of the Law of Allowing. We all prefer what we prefer. Respect what someone else prefers. Don’t make them wrong because they prefer something else. They’re not the bad guy. They’re not the persecutor, they just have a different choice and a different opinion.
With that being said, if you want more, this is a big concept in your relationship and in any kind of relationship.
It’s a whole new way of being.
I remember it took me a while to understand this whole triangle, persecutor, victim, and rescuer.
That was the role that you played the best.
It takes a while for it to sink in and to understand this and recognize these roles, whether I’m playing it, whether others are playing it. Especially now we came back from a vacation with my family, I’ve got these chords that I felt that were hooked back in me. It doesn’t feel good and I could recognize it. I was mentioning to Christy, it’s like, “This is crazy-making behavior.” When you do recognize this drama triangle sticky energy, then you start moving into the real work of knowing who you want to be and who you are. If you do want to have more, we do offer to work with us. In order to know more about the drama triangle, you can go to ConnectedCoupling.com. Fill out the form and we’ll be able to reach out to you.When you start to become more self-actualized in your relationship, you are moving into a place of love. Click To Tweet
For years I was out alone, he was very stuck in his own drama triangle with his family. I was seeing this behavior. Now I’ve got to tell you, I’m so grateful that he sees what I used to see and experience and that he’s with me on this journey because it is crazy-making and it doesn’t feel good. Now our relationship does. To be able to have that connected conscious conversation with him and to be able to say what I prefer and accept what he prefers and be able to respect and appreciate each other for our differences and for who we are as individuals, it’s created a whole different relationship for us. I’m very grateful.
There are three ways of working with us. We have the meditation series as a 30 day. Literally, it’s more of like a process. It’s 30 days of processes to help you unentangle or disentangle, detangle the drama triangle, but to, more importantly, get into what the circle of love feels like. There’s that option. You can go to ChristyWhitman.com under Conscious Coupling. We also have a program that shows you when you’re in and when you’re out. It’s also a 30–day online program that we have available,
If you want the nitty–gritty where you want us working with you, you want to work with the Council of Light, you want to start shifting this energy in a big way talking about what specific things you have going on in your own relationship, we do coaching in ten sessions together. You can email Beth@ChristyWhitman.com and she can let you know all about that. Beth is my assistant. Those are ways of working with us. Thank you so much for being with us. Next time on the show, we are going to talk about an extension of this conversation about how you are not responsible for another person’s consciousness. Thank you so much.
Enjoy the information.