Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Karpman Drama Triangle

I was reminded today about a neat little model that is helpful in life.

The Karpman Drama Triangle comes from some Transactional Analysis work. I'll explain I hope...

There are three parties in this little drama.

A persecutor
A victim
A rescuer

So the Victim points out how the persecutor is harming them in some way to the rescuer. The rescuer then becomes the persecutor of the original persecutor by attacking them for the original action the original victim reported. So now the the rescuer is the persecutor and the original persecutor is now a new victim. Guess what happens - the new victim goes to the original victim and says "Hey get this person off my back who you have set on me, I don't deserve that". So now the original victim is their rescuer and instantly sets up becoming the persecutor of their original rescuer and so the cycle goes on...

By example - this is hypothetical by the way but is for demonstration

My wife says to my daughter "You can't buy that".
My daughter say to me "Dad - Mum says... that isn't fair"
I go to my wife and say "I don't think that was very fair... blah blah"
My wife goes to my daughter "Hey why did you tell your Dad about that now he is on my case..."
My daughter says to me "I never meant you to have a go at Mum, now she's more angry at me etc..."

etc. etc.

Word of advice - you see these little dramas in families, in friends, in work all the time. Break the cycle! Just say - "That isn't my problem it is between you and your persecutor..." It would save the world a lot of emotional and mental energy I think.

1 comment:

  1. hmmm.. my boy is only 16 months old, so no worries yet (well not that sort anyway!). Wil look out for it n 10/12 years time tho...