Karpman triangle. Four reasons to be in.
We all want the best for ourselves. Warmth, love, confession, comfort. Why is our world so saturated with the aggression we face from Facebook to the highways and not to mention violence by governments and violence between countries? Do you think it’s because “The only early bird catches the worm.”? Perhaps. But more often it happens because we also want the good for others. And we know for sure what is good for them.
In psychology, there is an exciting model of relationships called Karpman’s triangle, which has long been known. Rescuer, persecutor and victim. For example, a good boy Petya walks along the street and suddenly sees a terrible shaggy dog with a barking rush to a frightened, ruffled cat. Petya knows precisely what is good for the cat, what is good for the dog and even what is good for the planet as a whole. It is obviously for him that the dog is a persecutor and the cat is a victim. Two out of three roles are occupied, and Petya doesn’t have many options. Or not to play or to become a rescuer. He could have passed by, but the good should “have its fists”, and the evil should be punished. Petya grabbed a piece of brick and threw it at the dog. It is the starting point, but it is not the end. A broken block scares the dog and flies out the window of a janitor. The innocent victim – the janitor – is a little freaked out by such a surprise and immediately becomes a persecutor. He pops out into the street, grabbing the good boy’s ear, who becomes a victim and takes him to his parents. Of course, parents consistently perform the same dance, first aggressively rescuing their child from the hands of some scary man, and then promising to punish the child and put in the glass. And here Petya, an excellent guy, rubbing the purple ear, goes out into the yard and sees a cat that eats sausage, which, by the way, was stolen from the dog’s bowl, becoming the dog an aggressor and making itself a victim, running the whole process. The offended Petya… In general, as the process brings a lot of emotions and secondary benefits to all participants, they will have fun for a long time.
Most people are dancing this dance. Almost like a waltz, on one, two, three. There are countless articles written on the topic of “how to get out of the triangle”. I wrote two or three articles myself, each time mentioning this very “Petya”. But the number of dancers is not getting smaller. Obviously, the articles are not something that can help. To know – does not mean to do. To understand – does not mean to get out.
There are at least four reasons to be in this game. Three are systemic. One is personal. Usually, they are present together. Systemic is a connection with those of our family who were victims, a relationship with those who were aggressors and a connection with those who were rescuers. I’m not a religious person at all, but when I walk past the church, I usually put three candles on. One of them is for everyone in my family, who was hurt. And the second one is for everyone who has suffered from members of my family. And another one to all those of my family who were aggressors and thus allowed the family to survive.