The rescuer is the third player in the Drama Triangle, and embodies the darker qualities of the magician archetype. His magic is his attempt to fix or change someone rather than address his own emotions or needs.
The rescuer is in fear of the anger of the persecutor and the sadness of the victim. When the drama of this play starts to heat up, the rescuer needs to intervene to ameliorate the tension. This anxiety can become too much for him through constantly applying short-term solutions to a victim’s problems, while neglecting his needs and feelings.
If he doesn’t get pleasure, he at least receives covert power by taking away a victim’s power to save himself and learn the full impact of the victim’s actions or lack of them. The victim is also robbed of the opportunity to heal. The rescuer also robs the persecutor of his power to fully victimize. The rescuer hopes to be seen as a hero rescuing the damsel in distress.
Beneath the desire to rescue is a desire and ability to facilitate healing. If he intervenes not to save, but to assist when asked, he gets to help the person co-create a solution. In doing so, the victim is not further disempowered by being saved by another.
How to get out of Drama Triangle
First, know that you are in it. Change first starts with accepting where you are. Admit you feel prey to a pattern. Feel your emotions. From there, breathe and relax into what is behind your behavior and your first repressed and now felt feelings.
Once you have a felt sense of what is happening, begin to express your feelings. Take a risk. For example if you find yourself being a victim, say no, go for what you want. If you are being a persecutor, feel your anger. What or who are you really anger with? If you can go deeper, what about the victim reminds you about yourself? If you are being the rescuer, what emotions are you attempting to avoid?
What is the covert purpose?
Understand how your emotions are diverted. What is the covert purpose of participating in this drama? Having a picture of your pattern of receiving secondary gains from perpetuating the drama will allow you to not be hooked by it next time. For example, the passive-aggressive behavior of a victim is an indirect expression of assertiveness. Once the passive-aggressive behavior such as saying a joke, that is not a joke but a cut, is owned, the drama stops.
Speak the truth – it will set you free. The caveat is old patterns die a slow death. If you have not spoken up for years, it will take several times for the other players to stop attempting to play the Drama Triangle on you. Your speaking and behavior change will put these drama relationships at risk of ending. That said, others will attempt to hook you back – don’t go back into their play.
Becoming more aware of what you needed from your covert behaviors will clarify what you really need. The light of awareness will begin to shine on your deep purpose. You will stop hiding from your dark side and start accepting your shadow. You will stop being a victim to your pattern of disempowerment.
Move to the center of the triangle
As you own the above, you are living less in the dysfunctional corners of the triangle. In the center, you are in a place of balance and may use the positive qualities of all the players and their archetypes without being played by them.
Under stress, you’ll likely slip to one of the corners. Because you generally exist in the center, returning to a balanced place will be easy. Don’t become rigid – it will take you out, allow for mistakes and learning. You’re not going for perfection; you want your newly acquired skills of awareness, acceptance and courage to bring you back. After a few times of screwing up and consciously coming back to center, you’ll find that returning to center become natural.
As you develop you awareness and skills, you’ll quickly spot the three players in others without being in the play.
Move from a two to a three-dimensional perspective
With this new perspective, you will begin to shift to being a sovereign, the King or Queen archetype. The old loop of the drama continually pulling you back will cause you to feel more like a spectator of a play rather than a cast member.
The sovereign sits above the drama. He moved out of the shame from being powerless to stop the drama to the power and clarity that comes from acceptance of what was behind his drama. He holds a vision of something bigger that is empowering, loving and life affirming.