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Stop the rescuer within!



Every time you leave an interaction with an unpleasant emotional state (bitter taste after the discussion, frustration, tension, ...), you were probably playing Karpman drama triangle without even realizing it!


Karpman drama triangle, also known as the dramatic triangle in transactional analysis, is made up of 3 faces of drama:

- the rescuer

- the victim

- the persecutor


In unbalanced interactions, we usually turn out to be playing one and /or another of these roles, more or less consciously.




Once we discover and understand the different aspects of these 3 roles, we become aware that it is not healthy for anyone to be an actor in one of these roles, since playing in this triangle means being a plaything and/or becoming an actor of manipulative psychological games.


We might as well be aware of any conscious or unconscious attempts to manipulate ourselves and/or others, what do you think?


Let's take a closer look at the rescuer, we will look at the other two actors in the upcoming months:

The rescuer tends to offer their help to a so-called victim, a victim who has not clearly expressed any request for help in the first place.

A victim generally feels powerless and irresponsible, and may say "I can't do it"/"Oh, it is always only happening to me", for example, and the rescuer may rush to the rescue. And yet, in these expressions, have you heard the slightest request for help?

Yes, I know, it's subtle.


Even if the rescuer's intention "may" seem positive, he tends to maintain the victim in his victim posture and in his feeling of being unable to cope alone.

And they risk inflating their own ego by feeling indispensable to others.


If you realize now that you're sometimes in the position of rescuer, that's okay! it happens to all of us!

It's just important to realize that it's not healthy for anyone to be in that posture, either for myself or for others.


And how do we get out of the rescuer posture? Here are a few ideas:

1. Be aware of the times when you jump to the rescue of your child, colleague or spouse, without them having expressed the slightest request for help!


2. Welcome this reaction with a sense of humor (humor helps relativise things).


3. Ask yourself what has happened, and what it might have been more appropriate to do to promote the autonomy of the person in question. The more you do this about past situations, the more it will help you in the future.


4. Use open-ended and/or closed-ended questions to get the person to look at the situation differently, and give them the opportunity to express a clear request for help: "What do you need to solve this situation?", "How could you move forward in your situation?", "What would you need from me in this situation?", "Would you like my opinion?


5. Whenever this is necessary, it's key to encourage autonomy by stating a time limit for which you're providing support, e.g. the transfer of a skill. It is always that this support has a beginning and an end, otherwise a feeling of dependency may be created.


=> It's up to you to get out of the rescuer role now :-) and remember, do it with a sense of humor, it's always easier and lighter!


NB. Many thanks to Austris Augusts on Unsplash

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