21 October 2007

When someone’s actions stop making sense...

...one of the interesting & simple culprits to set out in search of is a “Drama Triangle” (also called a “Rescue Triangle”) — a situation involving 3 people (or forces) taking the roles of Victim, Persecutor & Rescuer.

These simple roles can become quite obsessive, ramping up into proper co-dependencies in many cases.

A Victim is helpless & hopeless, frustratingly indifferent to their own situation in some ways & dreadfully obsessed by it in others. Often, a few simple changes in outlook or attitude would put an end to their ongoing suffering.

The Persecutor typically attacks them in some way, often by heaping (well-earned, in some eyes) criticism upon them.

Finally, the Rescuer wades in with “all guns blazing” to save the Victim. This is often achieved by attacking the Persecutor, & in some cases the roles wind up swapped.

A feature which is particularly prevalent in the typical Rescuer (& often in the Victim) is an uneven response to the events around them. This consists of actions like going into a flat-out panicky spin over the most trivial occurrences, but completely disregarding important pieces of happenstance (either as “doesn’t matter” or because it’s too hard to deal with); this of course snowballs the helplessness & often confuses events enough to camouflage the otherwise obvious evidence that not all players are rowing with both oars.

An enormous scope of problems are ploughed up or outright caused by this little trap, with notes from organisations healing drug addicts, broken marriages, gambling habits... I’m surprised that things like drivers don’t seem to be covered, since it’s the kind of inattention-causer which would precede a tree wandering in through your dashboard or a pedestrian wanting to stroll under your bonnet.

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