There is a known model for the Triangle of Perpetual Drama known as the "Victim-Persecutor-Rescuer" Triangle.
The concept is that IF there is a "Victim" (in any capacity), than there must also be the two other roles existing in their lives.
This is why most drama seems exhaustingly endless in many relationships.
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who absolutely refuses to take responsibility for anything, ever? It's beyond exhausting! Or have you ever had a friend who is constantly finding themselves in one drama filled scenario after the next; and every single instance is "someone else's fault".
Let me share the basic premise of each of these roles before I get into how you can get out of this Triangle of Perpetual Drama.
The "Victim" is the one who is always being "persecuted", they are never at fault, and always need rescuing. They constantly blames others for everything in their life. They are always a victim! There’s probably never a scenario in which they take responsibility for, and if they do, it's always from a very "victimized" perspective. For example, "I did it only because someone else made me do it", or "I would never have gotten myself in that situation had it not been for that person."
The "Victim" will blame, at all costs, and I mean at all costs: They will blame their children, their spouses, their bosses, their friends, strangers, the news, the dog, and the cat, FOR EVERYTHING! They’ll blame the fish in the freaking fish tank, if they can get away with it, and by "get away with it", of course I mean "if anyone will allow them to be a victim".
Many “Victims” are not aware of the fact that they are a “Victim”. They have convinced themselves entirely that, in some capacity, they’ve given up control to someone else, and have therefore been “victimized” in life.
More often than not, you can spot a "victim" by their constant confessions of "selflessness". They act as though they are always the one selflessly putting others before them, over and over, time and time again, only to be "victimized" by yet another person. They are never to blame.
The "Rescuer" is the "Enabler". They are the ones the "Victim" turns to. They are the person who the "Victim" allows to continue to be a "Victim". They consistently perpetuate the concept that the "Victim" has no personal responsibility in their own life, and if by chance they do, it wasn't really their fault.
If you're in a relationship with someone who is a "Victim", then the "Rescuer" (if not you) is probably their closest friend, who constantly offers them space to act as though they have been wronged, over and over, and over again.
The "Rescuer" is also someone who takes care of the "Victim", and their problems, and issues, and drama, for them. The "Rescuer" is someone who will say, "I'll handle it for you", OR (worse) "Shield" them from the consequences of their own actions.
Most addicts have at least one (if not many) "Rescuers-Enablers" in their lives, all of whom shield them from the personal consequences of their own actions, which only perpetuates the "Victims" desire to create the same issues over again in their lives. The "Rescuer" is usually unaware of the fact that they have become an Enabler.
If you are a "Rescuer" you will eventually become exhausted by the reality that your relationship has become very one-sided, with you doing all of the giving, and the "Victim" doing all of the taking.
The "Persecutor " is generally known as someone who dominates the "Victim", and/or keeps the Victim "down" in life in some capacity. In the usual accepted model of this triangle of drama, the "Persecutor " is the one who acts in ways that feeds into the "Victims" frame of mind into becoming a "Victim".
A Persecutor can be someone who knowingly or unknowingly is dominating a "victim". They often subconsciously seek out people they believe they can "control" or "dominate", or "fix" or "heal", or be the "hero" for. They're not necessarily being a "Persecutor" for the purposes of actively controlling someone, as much as they may be seeking out those they believe they can help, for their own gratification.
Controlling or dominating Persecutors will always remind the Victim that they aren't good enough, or (at the very least) make them feel as though they can't accomplish something in particular without the Persecutor.
They look a lot like a Rescuer but are in fact attempting to control through their act of rescuing someone.
AT SOME POINT IN YOUR LIFE YOU HAVE PLAYED ALL THREE ROLES.
The problem with this scenario is that most people, in ALL of these roles, have NO CLUE they are participating in this triangle; and because of this, the triangle causes extreme anxiety, and ultimately can lead you down a very distressing road full of chaos and drama.
You may be in this Triangle without realizing you're participating in one of the most chaotic relationships scenarios imaginable.
There is no way out of this, except to get out of the relationship entirely, or be strong enough to make some significant changes to your own behavior. You will never change a "Victim". You will never be able to convince them that they're not a "Victim", especially if you are someone who plays one of the other two roles in their life.
So how do you deal with it if you can't get out of the relationship for one reason or another?
I'm glad you asked!
TOP 5 WAYS TO STOP FEEDING A RELATIONSHIP WITH A VICTIM, and get out of the triangle, without getting out of the relationship.
1. Recognize that you are in this triangle. Admitting that you have participated in this cyclical drama (knowingly or otherwise) is mandatory. Take some inventory over all of your current relationships!
Are you a "Victim"? Do you act like everything in your life is someone else's fault?
Do you refuse to take responsibility for anything, or everything?
Are you constantly blaming others for things that happen to you?
2. Accept your role, wholly! No matter what role you’ve played, take full responsibility for how you have participated in this, and perhaps do some soul searching as to why.
My brother was a drug addict for the majority of his adult life, and I didn't realize that I was his "Rescuer-Enabler" until the moment I stopped enabling him...And then he quit doing drugs! Seriously!
Many of us in this triangle have no clue we are knee deep in this chaotic reality. I thought I was being "loving" and "forgiving" and "supportive", every single time he needed something, and he had no one but me to turn to. Turns out, I was enabling his addiction. So I had to take a good hard look at why I was being his “Rescuer-Enabler”. What was it about me that allowed this? What was I getting out of it?
I didn't realize I was being a "Victim" when I was refusing to accept that I was in a relationship with someone who wasn't giving back to me, as I was giving to them. I constantly complained about how I wasn't having my basic needs met, yet didn't nothing else about it. I didn't realize it was my "Victim mentality" that kept me there for so long.
And I didn't realize that I was being an "Unknowing Persecutor " until I was in a relationship with a "Victim" who was blaming me for absolutely everything that was going wrong in their life. I was trying my hardest to fix their life for them (assuming all along they were feeling grateful for me) not realizing they looked at me as someone who kept them down.
Take some inventory of your relationships. Consider your role(s) you play in each, and accept your responsibility for them.
3. Set new boundaries, and change the rules of the relationship. We teach people how to treat us. There is no exception to this rule! I was in a relationship with a "Victim" and I put my foot down and said, "I recognize this behavior, and accept how I have perpetuated it, but I'm tired, and I'm done. From now on you are not allowed to receive anything from me until I see some gratitude from you, and feel as though the love and kindness between us is truly reciprocated. I'm not going to be someone you blame in your life. I'm no longer going to fill in the blanks and pick up the pieces of your mess. I'm not going to do anymore actions that have anything to do with you until I feel safe to do so, knowing for sure that those actions won't be held over my head as anything else but selfless and kind and loving."
Set new boundaries, and stick to them! Teach everyone how to treat you by letting them watch how you treat yourself!
4. Be strong and do not deviate from your new awareness and fall back into your old role. You can't draw a line in the sand and allow people to cross it, over and over again. Setting a boundary and not sticking to it is worse than if you didn't set one at all.
Saying to someone, "I'm done with your behavior" but then still continuing to accept it, will only make things worse. You will only be disrespected more. You will only be looked at as someone they can walk all over, who doesn't honor their own agreements, and needs, and desires.
Be someone who loves themselves and their life enough to demand reciprocated love and kindness. Choose different!
5. Demand reciprocation and equality. The one single reality about the above-mentioned triangle of anxiety and chaos is that all of these relationships are (for the most part) totally unequal. They are full of one-sided giving, and one-sided taking. The Rescuer is always giving more to the Victim. The Victim is always giving more to the Persecutor . The Persecutor is always giving more to themselves (unless it's an "Unknowing Persecutor ").
And if you're an "Unknowing Persecutor " and actively choose to continue to be so, trust me, you've just turned into the "Victim".
No matter what role you play, if you're in this triangle, then you're not in a healthy relationship. That is for sure!
The way to a happy peaceful life is being surrounded by like-minded, kind, loving, supportive people. You cannot live a positive life with negative people around you. Period. There is no exception to this rule.
I can promise you that Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robbins don't have "Negative" friends they spend their time with, who are always bringing them down with their energy, or allowing them to use them, or that they are using!
So ask yourself what you want your future to look like, and if it's not filled with chaos and perpetual drama, GET OUT of these relationships immediately (or fix them).
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