Monday, 2 March 2009
The Dysfunctional Triangle
Life’s a game! And if you don’t know the rules then you’re the one being played!
The most common game set-up is the ”Dysfunctional Triangle”. There are three players: the Victim, the Persecutor, and the Saviour. A typical play looks like this:
* The Victim complains about being hard-done by (“it was better under the old regime!”), or not having enough time or resources (“it just can’t be done that way!”), or not enough clear direction (“I don’t remember you telling me to do that!”). But the game can’t proceed without a
* Persecutor - someone representing the cause of the Victim’s apparent misery. The Persecutor is task-driven (“just do it!”), insensitive (“I don’t care if the dog ate your homework!”), and usually cruel (“if it wasn’t for you we could have had this project finished weeks ago!”). As a two-hander this game can go on for months or years! But at some point it always draws in a
* Saviour who rides in to rescue the hapless Victim from the evil Persecutor. The Saviour expresses concern (“yes, I know, I know, ….”), offers help (“I’ll finish the job for you”), and is the go-to person for everything (“let me see it before it goes out”).