UPDATE: Back from the road trip. Not the vacation I had hoped it would be, but not the worse either. Good to be with our son. Good to spend time being with beauty on the Florida Beaches. Good to be home. Being together again as a family resurrected some memories of harder times and that lead to today’s topic.
TOPIC: RELATIONSHIPS: POST #1263 I have decided to take the advice I give others and do less. Dropping out of trying to post every day and settling instead for posting every week day. The topic will depend on what catches my fancy. Today’s topic evolved from the revising of my book When Good Kids Do Bad Things. Several chapters needed serious up dating. Those are the ones on depression, alcohol and drug use, getting help and self-care.
THE PROBLEM BEHAVIOR TRIANGLE. Many years ago, particularly during my early years as a therapist I was interested in Transactional Analysis (TA). I liked that they were sharing knowledge and providing tools people could use for self-help as well as through therapy. That was rare in those days. I still find many of its concepts useful. TA was made popular by three books: Games People Play by Eric Berne, I’m Okay You’re Okay by Thomas Harris, and the lesser known Games Alcoholics Play by Claude Steiner. Steiner developed the what was called the addiction by some and the drama triangle by others.
The triangle consists of three different roles. The Blamer or Persecutor, the Victim, and the Rescuer. Few people stay locked into one role, a Victim can become a Blamer, a Blamer a Rescuer, a Rescuer a Blamer, and on and on. However, most people tend to assume one role or another more often than either of the other two. I tend mostly toward the Rescuing Role, David toward Blaming. But we can each take on different roles.
One important point to grasp is that when someone switches roles the other two roles often switch. The second important point to think about is, of course, which role you take most consistently. When you know the role you usually play and can spot the role’s other people are into, you can better control the interaction and your feelings.
When raising our children, David and I would rotate through the roles with great intensity. We still are more one than the other, but the intensity is greatly diminished as was clear during our road trip.
Staying Strong Tip: Step back from your next disagreement. Identify the role you are taking, step out of it in one of two ways. You can take on one of the other roles.
You can also try for what the TA people call the Adult role, which is a neutral observer unfettered from feelings. Whichever you do, observe and see what you learn about yourself and someone else.
Practicing forgiveness helps dilute any hurtfulness created when the drama triangle is in play. We all need forgiveness for we all fail to be all we hope to be.
PRACTICING KINDNESS ALSO KEEP YOU STRONG. Be kind to me, share my 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises. Grow strong and help me do the same.
IMAGE BY: Nehas Journal