I was a participant recently in an enlightening presentation I want to share which I found thought provoking. Perhaps you will too. The presentation was in a circle to a small group. Our facilitator placed 3 cards on the floor, in the format of a triangle. One card had the word Victim, a second the word Villain and the third the word Hero. A member of the group was willing to share a story with the rest of us that was going on in his life. The story had a good deal of emotion to it as it involved his family members. In telling the story, it became obvious both to the person relaying the details and the rest of the observers, that the storyteller was going back and forth between each of the cards (roles) that were on the floor. While strong willed in his approach, and therefore initially casting himself as “the villain”, it also became apparent there were aspects of the story that had him falling into feelings of being a “victim”. When having these feelings, his immediate reaction was to rush in and “fix the problem” as he saw it by relieving his other family members of their responsibilities by taking them over himself. His movement into “hero” role while satisfying for the moment, only provided temporary relief.

Known as “The Drama Triangle”, and a product of the Conscious Leadership Forum, it is the way many of us live our life. Whether facing an issue with co-workers, family or friends or even when dealing with an issue which is tied mostly to ourselves, we have a hard time getting off that triangle. The counter balance to the three cards of the triangle was one entitled “presence”. It stood alone from the cards of the triangle. Presence represented a mindset of “being in ease and flow”. It came from a mindset of wanting to learn from the experience. It also had the individual taking accountability for that which they were creating in their life, at that moment.

Presence is possible at any time. Put simply, presence is a state of conscious awareness. How do you know when you are in a state of presence? You look to learn from the situation at hand. You choose to have connection to others. There is a desire to contribute, but not feel that you must control what you are facing. There are authentic feelings and acceptance of your self, others and what is happening at the moment. While it may sometimes be difficult to stay 100% present, when shifts in your demeanor do come they come far easier. You still hold that ability to learn from the situation at hand, and don’t desire to suffer.

So, why would an individual decide to stay caught in the drama triangle? The triangle, while uncomfortable is often the known. Exploring the unknown can be frightening to many. When in the triangle we often feel that we are right in our beliefs. To let go of the drama may lead to us finding out we are wrong. That for many is more uncomfortable to deal with than the suffering. Some just enjoy the drama for its entertainment value. They get a temporary hit of adrenaline from the experience. As the situation playing out continues, it becomes very draining, and ultimately loses its appeal. However, for a brief moment it can be a rush for many. Finally, many of us are afraid to face our authentic feelings. Even in the example in our session, there was a deep entrenched reason our participant continued to stayed part of his own personal triangle. However, it did not emerge to him until he truly discussed it and played it out in front of the rest of the group.

What are those drama triangle situations in your life? How are they draining you of your energy? As the quote that supports the Absolute Transitions website this month indicates, “you don’t have to attend every argument to which you are invited”, (including if that argument is only just within yourself). The next time you sense yourself going through that same cycle of feeling as you are a victim, villain or hero, or moving back and forth between those roles, consider taking a step off of the triangle. You will find it an experience that will help sharpen your senses and emotions to the world around you.

Author's Bio: 

Tony Calabrese of Absolute Transitions provides suggestions, approaches and information on how you can find a new job, move up to a new position, or change your career. To get his free report, "Overcoming Obstacles to Change Your Life" visit http://absolutetransitions.com