Drama Triangle and 5 Drivers

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I want to briefly look at the drama triangle before coming back to it another day. The Drama triangle is a diagram depicting three interactions – The Persecutor, the Victim and the Rescuer. We each of us have all three within us at different times, though its very revealing to see life in terms of both your own attitudes and those around you – in reference to the triangle.

The Persecutor is often a person who feels that they have to take responsibility for others. The basis for persecution is usually anger, perhaps blended with other negative feelings such as envy, impatience etc. They often play the martyr to ensure their victims pay for their generous persecution, and use guilt, not to enable others, but to help paralyse them.

The Victim is often compliant in their status, behaving helplessly and fuelling the persecutor. They are easy to give up and hope for a quiet life by taking a back seat to responsibility. Their failure to make a stand provides power to the persecutor.

The Rescuer is often also the bully. An authority figure who often feels inadequate and leads by orders and threats They can be critical and quite unpleasant in manner.

As an exercise, look at a fairy tale in terms of these roles. Little Red Riding Hood is a good example. See how interdependent each character is on the others.

In many instances in life, just as you think you understand a person’s identification on the triangle, they may switch roles and confuse you. Most people have a favourite primary position and a secondary switch position.

Returning to our PAC ego states from last week,  The Parent ego state imposes on us 5 primary behaviours we call Drivers. We learn these as children, and feel their impact throughout life. Life is very unbalanced for us if one or more drivers is stronger than the others. The five Drivers are: Please Somebody. Try Hard. Be Strong. Hurry Up and Be Perfect. On the surface these may seem fine characteristics, but their actions prevent us from being OK. Effectively the parental message you feel strongest may be one of the following.

You are OK with me if you Please Me.
You are OK with me if you Try Hard
You are OK if you’ll Be Strong
You are Okay if you Hurry Up
You are Okay if you’ll Be Perfect

Each of these Drivers if over pronounced can create sometimes unbearable burdens on us. Out of proportion they can ruin rather than enhance lives. The person with Please Somebody may never be able to be themselves. The person with Try Hard may not value anything achievable with little effort, or miss the thought behind a simple gesture. The person with Be Strong may be out of touch with their own feelings. The person with Hurry Up may be too stressed to ever give their best. The person with Be Perfect may never find satisfaction in their efforts.

I have been searching for a Driver questionnaire that I have used with clients in the past and that was very helpful. I continue to search, though I did not want to further put off an opening piece on these drivers. If anyone is aware of such a questionnaire (I think originally written by Melanie Klein) will they please alert me of where I might find it online, or email it to me at groxford@gmail.com.

Tomorrow I want to examine the 6 hungers and view some of the interaction between drivers and hungers.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Drama Triangle and 5 Drivers

  1. gary williams

    now i understand gina now i understand!!!!!

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