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Playing the Victim Role

For the past two years, I have been able to speak about the dramas I had with my mother. And I’ve done it at work, in a formal setting with senior leaders.


This is a painful, often humiliating part of my history and it requires me to be vulnerable in telling it. I model it after the Drama Triangle which is the work of Stephen Karpman. He suggests that with long-term drama (think families, forever friends, or that person in the next cube you’ve never gotten along with), there are roles we play that keep the drama going. The roles are victim, persecutor and rescuer, and each has its own unique payoff.


I got so good at playing the victim in this drama that I didn’t even recognize I was doing it, or that I had any other choice. It’s important to make the distinction here that I am not a victim; no one would describe me that way. In fact, someone recently called me a ‘lovable badass’ on hearing my story. It is possible to be that while sometimes slipping into the victim role. I know, because I did it for, like, 25 years!


I’m happy to say I stopped playing the victim more than five years ago. I did it without forcing my mother to change; I did it without getting her approval; I did it without asking her permission. I simply made a choice to create something different by determining what I really wanted and then setting out to bring that about. This is called an act of power. I moved from the victim role to the creator role.

It didn’t take long once I knew what I had to do. Had I learned this earlier, perhaps I wouldn’t have suffered for so many years and missed out on a better relationship with my mom.


Why am I telling you this? I’ve come to realize there might not be anything more important that I do than to educate others about this drama triangle and how pervasive and destructive it is.


If this ONE thing is blocking you, I can help you. In the coming weeks, I’ll share more about the victim role and the other two roles in the drama triangle.


Wanna talk? About this or anything. Book a FREE 15-minute call with me to talk about anything. You’ll definitely leave with an insight, an idea or a new awareness. Book here.

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