A Drama Triangle Played Out

karpmans-drama-triangle

To explain the drama triangle, let’s say an event happens; the persecutor causes harm to a victim, who is then rescued by a third party. In this process, there is a cycle that occurs. In the cycle, a rescuer steps in and becomes the persecutor of the original perpetrator, who is now the victim, the original victim now becomes the rescuer, and a spin cycle is created.

This week, the drama triangle has played out for all to see. Ray Rice, a successful football player for the Baltimore Ravens had knocked out his then fiancé, Janay Palmer, while the two of them were arguing on an elevator on February 15th at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. The couple married one month later.

So on February 15th, this drama began. Regardless of which of the two started the cycle, Ray sent Janay to the floor when he struck her and she hit her head on the elevator rail, knocking her out. The NFL and the Ravens football team recently entered the cycle as the rescuer; they suspended Rice for two-games originally, then reportedly, after seeing the video, the Ravens fired Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely, thus becoming the persecutor of Ray Rice in the next cycle. The media, following the story of spousal abuse by Rice, has reported all of this information.

Janay has now become the rescuer of her victim husband by lashing out against the media for reporting the incident and the resulting fallout by saying she feels like she is “mourning the death of my closest friend.”

No doubt, there is pain hidden from public view; something triggered the original altercation. As an Emotional Wisdom Specialist, I admit that we don’t know what we don’t know, and still there is a belief, created from an earlier event, incident, or accident, that dwells deep inside each of us that triggers a reaction that might cause any one of us to lash out against another person. What is that trigger for you?

How have you seen this triangle play out in your life? We have the ability to respond wisely to an emotion rather than react to it. We can choose a response in spite of an emotion. What will you do that will help you respond to your emotions rather than react to them?