Relationship Drama: Escape the Cycle

Relationship Drama: Escape the Cycle

Do you find yourself struggling with drama?

Constantly being put upon or find yourself martyring yourself, going about doing other people’s jobs, and you don’t even get any “thanks” or any compensation for all of the extra effort and energy that you put into other people’s stuff? If you ever get worn out and feel like you’re constantly bitching or whining or being a martyr, or even being victimized by other people, then you need to listen up.



There is an incredible model from Transactional Analysis called the Drama Triangle, and there are three archetypes in that drama.

The first one is the victim. The victim is constantly being put upon by the world and by everybody else. They’re always the victim, something’s being taken from them or they’re always having their boundaries crossed. Everything “happens to” the victim. And, of course, this isn’t a very fun place to be. The second part of the drama cycle is the rescuer, the one that comes in to rescue the victim and be the knight in shining armor and help everyone out. And the third part is the aggressor, the one that takes from the victim and is the bully or the mean person.

Now, if you play out drama in your life, then you will identify with one or maybe more of these different archetypes or roles that you can play in drama. But the truth is, once you’re inside the drama triangle, then you play all of these roles. If you’re the victim, you’re also the rescuer and you’re also the aggressor. Some people used to go to the aggressor role by being passive-aggressive and going “No, I’m fine” or shutting down and blocking people out. So maybe it’s not like you’re yelling and screaming or asking people to do things or bullying, but you could be being passive-aggressive.

Everybody does it. It’s not something to be ashamed of, because it’s a part of our human psyche. So if you think back to a Shakespearean play or something, it’s like you’ve been dropped into a character in a Shakespearean play, and, suddenly, your mindset is inside that character’s mindset. The victim is powerless. The rescuer feels obliged. The bully or the aggressor feels like no one else can do things right and they have to tell them what to do. When you’re playing these roles, then the drama just escalates. And you’ll know that there are family members that you end up playing out the drama with a lot of the time, or maybe even at work, or with your friends. There might be the drama triangle that plays out in various areas of your life. If you ever gossip or love talking about people, then that is total drama.

If you find yourself getting worn out of the drama and you want to escape from the drama – because drama doesn’t help you get to where you want to go – the best way to escape it is the simplest, in fact, and it’s just to notice that you are in the drama. Noticing that you’re in the drama allows you to step out of it. The minute that you become aware of it and mindfully present of what you’re doing, then it’s like you jump out of that role and become an observer of yourself inside that role.

So, I would challenge you to do some self-reflection on when you’re playing inside the drama, and take the challenge of observing yourself when you’re being the victim, when you’re being the rescuer, when you’re being the aggressor. And I guarantee that the minute that you observe yourself being that way, then you regain your power to choose to act in a different way, and you can escape the drama and leave it behind you and get on with your life, focus on your values, focus on your mission, focus on your purpose. Because drama only just eats up your mental and emotional energy and keeps you stuck inside powerlessness. No matter what role you’re playing, all of those roles inside the drama are powerless, so take back your power, go after your goals, and step outside the drama.

Hope you enjoyed that one. Let me know what your drama stories are and how you’ve managed it to escape it by observing yourself in those roles. Cheers, ladies!

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