In our Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience and Online Membership we have a topic called The Eternal Triangle of Hate.
For some participants, even the name is too much.
“Hate is a very strong word Shirley”, commented Elli.
“Yes, I agree. It is and when we go through this concept you may understand why we use it”, I replied.
What we’re talking about here is the triangle that is formed, in the workplace and at home, when we have at least 3 people playing one of the roles of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer.
If you draw an upside down triangle, it will make the V sign. At the bottom of the V write the word Victim. The Victim is someone who is seen as helpless; someone who is being Persecuted by a bully and needs Rescuing. The unwritten agreement here is that Victims cannot stand up for themselves and are hard done by.
Why it’s called The Eternal Triangle of Hate is because the roles seem to rotate. The Rescuer becomes the Persecutor, the Persecutor becomes the Victim and the Victim becomes the Rescuer and around and around and around it goes.
The way to stop triangles is to encourage people to go directly to what we call “source”. In this instance, we don’t mean Universal or Higher Intelligence, we mean the person with whom they are in conflict with.
No Triangles means not enlisting another person; not involving another person who can’t solve the problem. No Triangles means we take responsibility for being assertive and having the conversation with the person who has upset us in some way.
To create a culture of No Triangles in your workplace or family or friendship group you need 3 things:
- The encouragement and support to go directly to source (you may even make it a rule or an agreement)
- The skills to go to source (the skills to be assertive, using I Statements to explain what is going on for you)
- An open mind to receive the feedback, if you happen to be the person who is being confronted. Rather than being defensive, be curious. Seek to understand what has happened; seek to understand why your confronter is upset rather than reacting in a defensive way with excuses or counter attacks.
Agreeing to be in relationships where we avoid The Eternal Triangle of Hate is the quickest way to improve relationships, resolve misunderstandings and increase productivity.
What will you do? How will you respond next time you find yourself in a triangle? Will you action the above 3 steps or will you fuel the fire and fan the continuous progression of Persecutor, Victim and Rescuer roles?
One last point – the role of rescuer is also known as a Co-Conspirator because with the Victim, both are conspiring against the Persecutor.
No more triangles.
No more water cooler gossip sessions.
Speak to source!
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