I’m A Persecutor (WT724)

I’m A Persecutor (WT724)


WT 724 I'm a persecutor

In our leadership experiences we look at what Jennifer Elliot called “The Eternal Triangle of Hate”.

You might know this as “The Drama Triangle” or “Triangle of Drama”.

It gets referred to a lot in personal development circles.

The triangle includes three roles:

  1. The Victim
  2. The Rescuer, and
  3. The Persecutor.

The victim’s belief is “I’m not ok. You’re ok. I need someone to come and save me. I’m broken.”

The Rescuer believes “I’m ok. You’re ok, as long as you do what I say.”

The Persecutor believes “I’m ok. You’re not ok. You can’t do it right.”

At a surface level, persecutors are often seen as bullies.

Rescuers, also known as co-conspirators feel good when they help or save victims.

This week I gained a huge insight from Benjamin J. Harvey, co-founder of Authentic Education regarding persecutors.

Persecutors criticise and judge. They are argumentative and have to be right. They aren’t necessarily bullies in the traditional sense, but they are hard to work with.  No-one can do it as good as them.

Ben also explained that those of us who are passionate about personal development can get caught up in our own drama triangle – feeling the victim, coaching ourselves then persecuting ourselves for not being perfect.

As I listened to Ben’s explanations, I could feel my head getting redder and redder. “OMG!”, I thought. “I’m a persecutor.”

I can be quite argumentative. I criticise. I judge and I expect a very high standard of work.

I’m not proud to admit that Jennifer Elliot once told me that I was so critical, it was hard to be around me.”


Whilst I was uncomfortable to hear the feedback at the time (many years ago), I also appreciated it. How I was showing up was not how I wanted to show up.  It gave me the opportunity to reflect and change.

This week was another reminder that I’m not perfect. I constantly work on myself to be better.

As one of my clients often says, “When I know better, I can do better.”

So, how about you?

Do you favour one of the roles in the triangle?

Is it serving you?

Perhaps it’s about time you acknowledged how you show up and decide to do it differently.

And so I don’t leave you hanging, rather than being a persecutor, you can focus on listening to others and provide constructive feedback.

Instead of being a rescuer, you can become a facilitator to help empower others.

And instead of being a victim, it might be time to start taking responsibility for yourself, your actions and your results.

I accept this might be confronting, however without self-reflection or feedback from others, it’s difficult to change and improve.

Personal development is one of my greatest passions.

Let me know which role you identify with and what changes you can make.

P. S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

No Triangles (WT569)

No Triangles (WT569)


WT 569 No triangels

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:

  1. The encouragement and support to go directly to source (you may even make it a rule or an agreement)
  2. The skills to go to source (the skills to be assertive, using I Statements to explain what is going on for you)
  3. 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!

P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

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