We’ve all been in some sort of drama in our lives, haven’t we? Not necessarily fist-fighting in the middle of the conference room. But you get the gist, right? At some point, we willingly or unwillingly got into conflict with someone else. It could be a small confrontation once upon a time or a grudge that’s been going on for ages, either way, we’ve been there. However, most often than not, we are unaware of our roles in the whole drama and how we affect our relationships with other people.
The psychologist Stephen Karpman came up with a social model of human interaction, which maps conflicted or intense-dramatic relationships. He called it ‘The Drama Triangle’.
The players are:
The Victim: The Victim’s stance is “Poor me!” or “why is this happening to me” They see life as happening to them and feels powerless to change their circumstances. Victims place blame on a Villain who can be a person or a situation. Feeling helpless, the victim seeks a hero to save them or solve their problems.
The Hero: Their line is “Let me help you.” They are Enabler, Pain reliever, taking the responsibility of others’ problems. They keeps the victim dependent on them to always help and save them. The hero focuses their energy in helping other people to ignore their own anxiety and issues.
The Villain: They insist, “It’s all your fault” or “They’re wrong I’m right. They need to do as I say.” They are critical, oppressive, frustrated, angry, critical, controlling, superior, blaming.
‘The Empowerment Dynamic’ (TED) which is made up of three roles that stand as antidotes to the Drama Triangle Roles. It’ a tool for both individuals and organizations who want to create more effective communication and relationships.
It’s players are:
The Creator: (previous victim): In this case, the victim asks themselves questions like “what creative ways can I deal with this problem?” “what are my goals?” “what is my passion?” They take charge of their own lives and have self-awareness.
The Coach: (previous hero): In this case, the rescuer is no longer a hero but a supporter. They listen and hold your hand, they support and they want you to be the best version of yourself.
The Challenger: (previous villain): In this case, the coach now asks themself questions like “Don’t you think you’re doing this because you want this?” They challenge you to grow.