Drama and Empathy—Being a Rescuer

Hi Everyone,
            The Drama Triangle is essential for Empaths and Spiritual Seekers to understand so we can avoid it and have more energy to create the lives that we really want. Practicing spotting when we are playing any of the three roles (Victim, Rescuer, Perpetrator) can help take us out of the drama triangle forever and into personal empowerment. Because the roles of  drama are archetypal (they are a part of our culture and group consciousness) they can be hard to notice when we are playing them. 
            Once the Empath comes to terms with the way he or she acts out a victim story, the next role to look at is the Rescuer.  This is the role that is the most confusing for Empaths.  Because empaths are easily hooked in to the emotional responses of others, and we are naturally compassionate, and because emotional energy is something that we are good at processing, we can find ourselves making others in our lives feel better by processing the others’ emotions for them, or by trying to actively fix and find solutions for the others in our lives.  Although usually there are good intentions involved, rescuing usually does not work out well because it still leaves the victim disempowered and the rescuing empath depleted.
            In more unhealed cases, rescuers can get themselves into trouble by making themselves necessary to the victim’s life.  More common for the Empath is the times when we are not aware that we are playing the role of rescuer, and we discover ourselves in a relationship where we find we are considered necessary to another, even though we haven’t chosen this for ourselves.  Then we can find ourselves feeling trapped and unable to figure out how to escape.
            In fact, whatever victim we have attracted to ourselves has expectations on how we should behave as rescuer.  When we don’t come through for this person the way she expects, she can become very angry with us and blame us for a failed rescue.  (The rescuer now becomes the perpetrator in the victim’s eyes for the failed rescue.)  From the rescuer’s perspective, we are in danger of thinking of ourselves as a victim of the angry victim’s blame and demands, and so the original victim we were supposed to rescue has become the perpetrator.  If we do not catch ourselves at this point, we can continue this cycle of switching places on the drama triangle, creating discomfort and pain for everyone involved.
            The way out of this, if we tend to be rescuers, is to make sure that our support is not crossing the line into the other person’s power.  If we unwittingly attract a victim person to us, in some cases once we notice we are in this pattern, we can mention what we see, and if the person is conscious enough and willing enough, she may step out of their victim pattern.  In other cases we may have to weather a brief storm from her for failing to rescue the victim the way she would like us to, but if we hold still, the storm will pass and the victim will move on to finding a better rescuer.  And then we will be the wiser and stop the pattern earlier the next time. 

It’s a practice!!!


This entry was posted in Boundaries, Drama Triangle, Emotions, Empathy, Life Transition, Manifestation, Myth and Archetype, Relationships. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Drama and Empathy—Being a Rescuer

  1. Kate says:

    Look forward to reading more of your insight, and the experiences you’ve shared from others. Very insightful, and affirming to what I’m on the path of discovering in my life, day by day. Thank you!

  2. In a series of workshops I took recently, I learned when the urge to rescue someone, consider several things. Are you called specifically to this person? Do you have what is needed to help them? Did they ask for your help or did you just driven to dive in and rescue. And finally do they really want help or are they just complaining.

    • Elaine says:

      Hi Melodie,

      This is all really good advice. I would only add, to ask if this is a Drama Triangle situation, and if so, to consciously choose how you would like to respond, knowing that the Rescuer Role always leads to more of the same–Drama.

      thanks for contributing!

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