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The Karpman Drama Triangle


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This is something I first learned about during group therapy. If you have never heard of it before, it is a theory that proposes that humans often unconsciously act out the roles of persecutor, victim, and rescuer in their daily relationship, which causes emotional pain and anguish, but each one of those roles also comes with some twisted advantages which may make someone inclined to play it out.


I can't summarize all of it very well by myself so here is a document I found that offers an accessible introduction (although I disagree with their assessment that someone falling into the rescuer role would be drawn to joining the police, as it seems more like a persecutor-type career to me).


I have been pondering about how the victim role could relate to the Chief Feature of Martyrdom (since tis the season), but the more I think about it, the more I feel like the correlation to CFs may be more open-ended. I have a primary CF of Self-Deprecation and a secondary CF of Arrogance and more often than not I am drawn to the role of victim, although I can think of instances in which I have enacted the other two roles during the course of my life.


Anyway, this is something that has helped me shed light on some negative relationship patterns that I did not know were there before, so I thought others might be interested in reading about it as well. Feel free to share your insights if you are so inclined!

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