Surviving Karpman Dramas


The Karpman Drama Triangle is probably one of the most useful and practical bits of theory to emerge from the field of modern psychology, because it is not only gives an accurate description of dysfunctional relationships, but points the way towards how these painful relationships can be balanced and corrected.

It was originally described by Stephen Karpman in 1968, in an article entitled Fairy Tales and Script Dream Analysis. The Karpman Drama Triangle arose from the fields of Transactional Analysis and Game Theory.

He was never awarded a Nobel prize, but sometimes I think he should have been, because Karpman is a lot more useful than a lot of Nobel winning economic theory.

Karpman Drama Triangles can occur anywhere where two or more human beings are gathered.

They can occur in intimate relationships, between family members or friends, and they can occur in an office environment, or any other type of organisation or society which human beings create.

Basically, if you put two or more human beings together, then you have the potential for aKarpman Drama Triangle.

As we shall see, this arises from a design flaw in our basic humanity, a design flaw that lurks within our ability to empathise and care about our fellow human beings… but with Karpman this ability to care is taken to extremes, and becomes pathological.

And it is probably safe to say that no one is immune to Karpman situations (unless they are a total psychopath / sociopath… or whatever cute name psychology comes up with next to describe the ability to not have emotions).

Karpman Drama situations occur whenever an individual suppresses their own needs, desire, their own self-interests, and most importantly, their own anger… and goes around with an open-heart… trying to help people, even trying to save them. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for disaster. Because having suppressed their own anger, they have nothing left with which to defend themselves… and anger from those people they are trying to help is eventually directed towards them, whether justified or not.

The caring professions (doctors, nurses, counsellors), psychics, healers and therapists (regardless of their approach or method) are particularly prone to being trapped on the Karpman Drama Triangle, which is why having a good working understanding of Karpman is essential if you are in practice… or if you have any kind of social interaction with other human beings.

Once your brain has clicked to the Karpman Drama scenario, and you understand how it works, then you start to see it everywhere, in your own relationships, and the relationships of the people around you (and if that happens my advice is, don’t panic, it’s normal, you / they are just being human).

However, Karpman situations can be glamourous and seductive, they can be dramatic and exciting, which is why some people become addicted to them, and find it hard to kick the habit, even when they are suffering… and even when they know all the Karpman theory by heart, and should know what to do to avoid it.

It’s as if they are starring in their very own soap opera, which is very dramatic and exiting. OK, they may not have one of the more glamourous roles (and there are only three roles available inKarpman – persecutor, rescuer and victim). But they feel that having a bad role (the victim) is better than being ignored and having no role at all. At least their life isn’t ‘boring’.

But a good analogy here is sugar. There is natural sugar, which you can get from nuts and fruit, and there is refined sugar. Natural sugar is meant to be healthy for you, refined sugar much less so. But people can become addicted to the sugar-rush that they get from refined sugar, and so find it hard to kick the habit.

For Karpman, replace the word sugar with excitement. There is the excitement which you get from healthy social interactions, and the excitement which you get from the unhealthy and often painful Karpman situations. The excitement which you get from healthy social interactions is far better for you, but people become addicted to the excitement-rush which they can get from Karpmansituations, even though it comes with a high degree of suffering and pain.

Sue Lilly also describes Karpman as being ‘stuck on the Drama Triangle’, which is an interesting way of looking at it for two reasons.

It accurately describes how someone can become addicted to the Karpman game, literally stuck on the Drama Triangle, so that they do not want to get off.

However, it also accurately describes how Karpman Drama Triangles prevent people moving forwards in some area of their life. Because they are continually stuck in a certain situation / relationship, this prevents them from achieving their true potential. From what I have seen, people use Karpman Drama Triangles as a self-sabotage device, as a way of delaying themselves so that they cannot go after their real dreams / goals, because unconsciously they are half-afraid too.

However… one day… or rather one morning, because it was in my head when I awoke, after a night when I narrowly avoided being sucked into a Karpman Drama with one of my friends… I discovered the Crystal Antidote for the Karpman Drama Triangle… 3 crystals which when used in combination, help to re-set our energy field so that we are no longer open-hearted… we are no longer inclined to play on the Karpman Drama Board.

And since that morning, life has become very interesting for me and those people who have into contact with this particular Crystal Antidote.

And below, is the Audio Essence created using those 3 crystals to help anyone who is plagued by Karpman… just listening to the Audio Essence will allow you receive this particular CA vibration.

If you find yourself getting angry after listening to the Karpman Drama Antidote, don’t worry that is quite natural, you are coming back into balance, re-connecting to your suppressed anger… and this is the very energy which is there to protect you, and help you stand up for yourself. But if the anger feels too much, too volcanic, you can listen to the Audio Essence for Anger below, to help calm things down…


Practical Suggestions on Use:

  • The more conscious attention that you can give to an Audio Essence, the deeper and more fulfilling your experience will be. It is possible to receive the benefits of an Audio Essence while listening to it in the background, but the more time and conscious focus you can devote to it, the more fulfillment you will gain from the experience.
  • Many people have found that listening to an Audio Essence using headphones greatly enhances their experience.
  • If your internet connection is slow, it may be better to allow the Audio Essence to fully download on to your webpage first before you start to listen. To attempt to listen while it is still downloading may mean the Audio Essence pauses, and this may interrupt and disturb your experience.

(c) Brian Parsons September 2016

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