Are you The Persecutor, The Rescuer or The Victim? Karpman’s Triangle

I am writing this article with a very strong and full of love heart, first to myself as a reminder and second to all of you, my lovely readers. It was hard for me and still is in so many ways to admit & be aware of my own mistakes, imperfections, weaknesses; to forgive, accept & love them . For no one in this world will ever love, respect, cherish, be honest to you unless you do!


The persecutor – The rescuer – The victim

When we find ourselves in a conflict we need to step back a little and ask a simple question, where do I stand in this? Who am I in this conversation? Psychatrist Karpman developed this triangle also known as the Drama triangle to help us form a better understanding of who we are in our relationships or who we want to be.

The persecutor

This person most of the time is controlling, blaming, angry, superior, authoritative and rigid. They might say things like ” It is your fault!”. People in this role will often atract what we call ” stupid” people just so they can blame them for everything. Even if the other person is smart, eventually, if they listen and believe to The persecutor will end up feeling stupid and wrong most of the times. The Persecutor controls by being angry and blaming all the time, just like The rescuer controls by being nice and good.
As a child, The Persecutor learned that when he feels scared he needs to be tough. He tries to control everything by blaming everyone. He is the only one who knows everything and everything he says is right. This person might have had a parent who got his way by being aggressive or by setting up feelings of entitlement.

As an adult, The Persecutor might be a person who lies a lot trying to show how perfect they are all the time so they will make feel others wrong. They deny their own weakness, have a strong need to be right.

The rescuer


This person is the nice guy, they actually feel guilty if they don’t rescue ( help) others. They might say ” Let me help you! “. When I first read this I thought ” But why? Helping people is good!” Yes it is good, if they ask for your help. Because otherwise his/her rescue will have negative effects on the other person ( The victim). It makes the victim dependent and gives the victim permission to fail. Usually people who find themselves in this role are people who make themselves busy most of the time with others problems just to keep themselves away from their own. Sometimes this can be settled as a deal, a psychological subcouncious one, between The rescuer and The victim. The rescuer feels important, in charge and needed and The victim has someone to take care of him/her. As a rescuer you atract only victims and as a victim only rescuers. So step back a little bit and ask yourself in what role are you now? Do you feel that you can’t take it anymore because of you girlfriend/boyfriend always needing you to protect them? Well, it may be your fault too!
Things can go good for a while, until The rescuer will feel that he is having too many responsabilities and he will be fed up with all of this. This is a moment where The rescuer will switch to The persecutor. He starts getting angry about minor things and he feels like he deserves everything. After all he has done, he can have whatever he wants. He/She can go have an affair, drink a lot, spend a lot of money. He/She is tired of doing everything. The Victim might switch to the Rescuer in this case, trying to save The Persecutor with apology. The Persecutor will now be The Victim. And this can go along forever. After conflicts usually everyone takes its own role back and start again.

As a child, The Rescuer felt that he/she can avoid getting into trouble if they just do what they are told to do. Eventually, this person will follow the rule ” If my parents are happy, I am happy” so they will do whatever their parents want. He/she gets rewarded for being good, with gifts, nice words but his mind will be ocuppied with ” shoulds”, ” I should have done that” , ” I should have said that” .

As an adult things get harder. Now The Rescuer has a boss, the President, a family and all that. He feels pulled apart in many directions. Because he always does what the others want he doesn’t know what he wants most of the time, from what should he eat, wear, to where he should live, what car he should drive. He has a problem with being aware of his feelings; because he always tries to be ” the person with the good heart” most of the times he stuffs anger down. People like this can become fat, as our body is always trying to protect us, even if he is not eating much the body will start to form a layer of fat as protection.  One of their beliefs is ” you need to always have a good heart”, which causes them pain because they try to be good even to the people who hurt them. May feel guilty and try to make it up to a child because of drinking or being a single mom.

The victim


This person feels helpless, hopeless, powerless, not able to take any decisions or take pleasure in life. They can switch to the other roles depending on the conflict. They need a Rescuer to make them feel protected, so they will atract one in their relationships. Do you feel like the other is always helping you, doing things for you? Do you feel overwhelmed by this? Like you want to do things by yourself but he/she are always doing everything? Well, this might be your fault too!

As a child, The Victim was overprotected by parents or by his/her siblings who stepped out and took care of him/her. He will have problems with building self confidence which comes from learning how to manage problems by yourself.

As an adult, The Victim feels overwhelmed, anxious. The victim as the others do, will start, subcounciously, look for a Rescuer to make them feel better. One of their beliefs is that their needs do not count, may have had a parent who feels anxious when the child has to suffer consequences from his own mistakes.

The children in the family learn all three roles and as adults perpetuate them on to their children

These roles incorporate learned patterns of habit and control mechanisms that bond people together in sick ways. The children in the family learn all three roles and as adults perpetuate them on to their children. None of these roles are good. All three of them cause pain to the self and the other person, gives the feeling of ” false love”, provoke lies and unhealthy secrets. The question is how can we heal ourselves? How can we have healthy relationship if we are sick? Is there something that can be done?

Yes there is something that can be done. There is always something that can be done! Educate yourself, learn, read, be curious about it. Inform yourself, get to know the deepest thoughts of your own mind, observe what roles do you play in the relationships you have ( family, couple, friends). Be aware of your behavior. Healthy relationships can only happen if you are healthy, so start with you! I know that the first thoughts and impulses are to change the people around you, trust me I get that! But the only way you can do that is by showing them how, the power of example.

Healthy relationships can only happen if you are mentally healthy!

Here are a few steps that you can follow:

  • Observe/be aware of what roles you have in each relationship and what triggers you to switch to the others.
  • Figure out which one is the dominating one, the ” favorite” one.
  • Stop judging yourself for who you are.
  • Forgive yourself for the role you are playing, for causing pain to yourself and to others, for you were just a child and this was what was given to you as a model. You now have the chance to break this chain, to fix this for yourself and for your future children so you can provide them with a healthy model.
  • Spend time with yourself for this is the only way of getting to know who you truly are.
  • Read, there are so many books on this topic or other topics that may help you open your mind.


For The Persecutor — Give up the feeling of always being right! When you find yourself in a disagreement ask yourself ” Am I feeling this as a threat or it’s just a matter of opinion?” Stop asking everyone around you to always be perfect!

For The Rescuer  — Give up the need to feel superior because you are always the good guy. Talk about your problems, negative emotions to others instead of focusing on resolving others conflicts. Set limits for solving others problems and start taking care of your needs. Read books about shame.

For The Victim — Stop expecting others to rescue you! Learn to handle confrontation and how to deal with people’s anger. Speak up your needs clearly. Set limits with The Persecutor and The Rescuer and walk away if they don’t respect your boundaries.

I have never met a person who is fully healthy ( mentally) and has no problems at all. Exactly those that say that they are perfect and have a happy perfect family or life are the ones who suffer the most.

Showing something a lot makes it obvious that it’s actually missing or you believe it’s missing.

But letting it out is hard, admitting that you suffer is hard. Not everyone can do that, it takes a lot of courage to step back and be honest with yourself. It takes time, patience and self love to take the decision to recover from your family dysfunctions, to face the truth about your childhood, about how you were manipulated and being used. There are a lot of emotions that you need to deal with and no one has teached you how to do that, but you can learn, you can learn anything! Emotions like shame, anger, guilt are inside you because you do not listen to your needs and because this is what your parents presented to you as a child. I know it is hard, I know you feel guilty because it feels you might go against them, you feel like you can’t do this because you love your parents but you need to love yourself more and this is the only way to find who you truly are, the only way of being who you want is by dropping everything they have taught you ( everything negative, everything that makes you feel bad). They were like you, taught by their parents what they taught you ( good & bad) but the difference between you and them is that YOU CAN CHANGE! Be brave and change! Make honesty the only language that you know!


For all the people out there that read this article and found themselves in it, I want you to know I BELIEVE IN YOU! I know that if your are unhappy with your current life, you have the strength to change and become whoever you want to be!

With love,





  – Romanian –

Scriu acest articol cu inima plina de iubire si curaj, in primul rand pentru mine ( ca sa imi readuc aminte) si in al doilea rand pentru voi, dragii mei cititori. Mi-a fost si inca imi este greu uneori sa imi recunosc si sa fiu constienta de propriile greseli, imprefectiuni, slabiciuni; sa invat sa iert, sa le accept si sa le iubesc. Nimeni niciodata nu te va iubi, respecta, aprecia si va fi sincer cu tine daca tu nu esti!

Persecutorul – Salvatorul – Victima

Atunci cand ne aflam intr-un conflict este nevoie sa facem un pas inapoi si sa ne intrebam cine sunt eu, ce rol am eu in aceasta conversatie acum? Psihiatrul Karpman a ajuns la concluzia ca ” jucam” trei roluri in relatiile noastre. A denumit aceasta schematizare Triunghiul Karpman.


Aceasta persoana este o persoana care in majoritatea timpului simte nevoia sa fie in permanenta in control si face asta prin o atitudine agresiva, superioara, rigida, prin a critica si a invinovati persoanele din jur. Afirma de multe ori propozitii precum “ Este vina ta!”. Persoanele care au acest rol mai dominant vor atrage “ prosti/proaste” cum spunem noi cand cineva nu stie ceea ce stim noi, doar pentru a putea sa ii invinovateasca in permanenta pentru tot. Chiar daca cealalta persoana are o stima de sine inalta si se considera a fi o persoana inteligenta, daca va petrece mult timp cu astfel de persoane ( persecutoare) si se va lasa influentata de parerea lor, va ajunge sa creada ca este proasta/prost, bun de nimic. Persecutorul controleaza prin o atitudine agresiva spre deosebire de Salvator care controleaza printr-o atitudine buna, cuvinte frumoase, politete.

Ca si copil, Persecutorul a invatat ca atunci cand simte frica trebuie sa fie puternic in sensul de aspru, rigid. Incearca sa controleze totul prin a da vina pe toti. Sustine ca ceea ce spune el sau ceea ce stie este singurul adevar, el are dreptate intotdeauna! Aceasta persoana poate sa fi avut in copilarie un parinte care a manipulat prin o atitudine agresiva.

Ca si adult, Persecutorul poate sa fie o persoana care minte mult, doar pentru a arata cat de perfect este el/ea totimpul. Prin aceasta atitudine se simt superiori si ii fac pe cei din jur sa se simta inferiori. Isi ascund sau isi neaga slabiciunile, au o nevoie mare de a avea dreptate totimpul.


Aceasta persoana este “ persoana buna” si chiar se simt vinovati daca nu ii ajuta ( salveaza) pe ceilalti. Afirma de mult ori propozitii precum “ Da-mi voie sa te ajut!”. Acum cativa ani cand am aflat despre Salvator primele mele ganduri au fost “ Dar de ce? Eu stiu ca e bine sa ajuti oamenii din jurul tau!” Da este bine, dar doar cand acestia iti cer ajutorul pentru ca altfel acest ajutor va avea efecte negative asupra celeilalte persoane ( Victima). Incurajeaza Victima sa fie dependenta si ii ofera permisiunea de a esua/gresi. De obicei, persoanele care se regasesc in acest rol sunt persoane care isi ocupa timpul cu probleme altora doar pentru a-si evita propriile probleme. Uneori in relatii se poate forma o intelegere, un fel de acord subconstient intre Salvator si Victima. Intr-o astfel de relatie Salvatorul se simte important, in control si se simte folositor iar Victima este fericita pentru are pe cineva care sa aiba grija de ea. Ca si Salvator vei atrage numai victime si ca si Victima numai salvatori. Asa ca fa un pas inapoi si intreaba-te ce rol ai? Simti ca esti intr-o relatie in care nu mai suporti ca celalalt sa aiba mereu nevoia sa il protejezi? Poate ai atras asta prin atitudinea ta.

Intr-o relatie ca aceasta lucrurile pot decurge bine o perioada pana cand Salvatorul se satura de atatea responsabilitati. Acesta este un moment in care Salvatorul va deveni Persecutor. Devine agresiv, se supara din orice chiar si chestii minore si simte ca i se cuvine totul ( dupa cate a indurat). El/Ea pot insela in aceste momente, pot consuma cantitati mari de alcool sau cheltui sume uriase de bani. El/Ea sunt satuli de a fi in control si a face ei totul. In acest moment Victima va deveni Salvator si va incerca sa “ salveze” Persecutorul cu scuze si imbratisari. Lucrurile pot decurge astfel mult timp, de obicei dupa conflicte fiecare se intoarce la rolul lui initial ( dominant).

Ca si copil, Salvatorul a simtit ca singura modalitate prin care poate sa evite cearta este doar daca fac ceea ce li se spune si stau cuminti la locul lor. Intr-un final acesti copii cand cresc mari vor urma regula “ Daca parintii mei sunt fericiti atunci si eu sunt fericit/fericita.” asa ca vor face tot ceea ce parintii lor vor. El/Ea vor fi rasplatiti de catre parinti pentru comportamentul lor “ bun” cu cadouri, imbratisari, cuvinte frumoase dar inauntrul lor, mintea lor va fi ocupata de indoiala, de “ dar daca” si “ ar fi trebuit”, “ Trebuia sa fi facut asta!”, “ Dar daca ii ziceam asta!”.

Ca si adult lucrurile se complica. Acum Salvatorul are un sef la munca, are un presedinte, o familie si toate cele. Se simte tras in mai multe directii in acelasi timp. Datorita faptului ca el intotdeauna face ceea ce altii vor, ii este dificil sa stie si sa faca ceea ce el vrea; va raspunde cu nu stiu de la in ce sa se imbrace maine, ce sa manance acum pana la unde ar trebui sa traiasca, ce masina sa isi cumpere. Are o problema cu constientizarea propriilor emotii, in majoritatea timpului datorita faptului ca incearca sa fie “ bun” totimpul, isi va indesa adanc in suflet emotii precum furia. Aceste persoane pot lua in greutate, chiar spre obezitate; prin incercarea corpului de a ne proteja, organismul nostru va face in asa fel incat va produce straturi de grasime care se formeaza chiar daca nu mancam. Una din credintele acestor persoane este “ Este nevoie intotdeauna sa fim bun, sa avem o inima mare!” ceea ce le va aduce multa suferinta pentru ca vor incerca sa fie buni chiar si cu persoanele care le fac rau. se pot simti vinovati si se simt datori fata de copii lor datorita faptului ca vor consuma mult alcool sau in unele cazuri cand mama este singurul parinte.


Aceasta persoana se simt neajutorata, fara speranta, fara putere, nu reuseste sa ia nici o decizie sau sa simta placerile vietii. Pot trece de la un rol la altul, ca si celelalte roluri, depinde de conflict. Au nevoie de un Salvator ca sa ii faca sa se simta protejati, de aceea vor atrage salvatori in viata lor. Esti intr-o relatie in care simti ca celalalt te ajuta totimpul, face totul pentru tine? Simti ca nu mai poti respira, ca uneori este prea mult, ca uneori iti doresti sa faci chestii de unul singur dar nu poti pentru ca celalalt face totul in permanenta? Fa un pas inapoi si analizeaza situatia, s-ar putea ca exact tu sa fi atras aceasta situatie prin atitudinea ta.

Ca si copil, Victima a fost foarte protejata de parinti sau de fratii/surorile ei/lui care in loc sa il base sa se descurce singur, au preluat ei controlul. Va avea probleme cu increderea in sine, nu va sti cum sa o dezvolte pentru ca aceasta se dezvolta atunci cand invatam sa ne asumam responsabilitati si sa ne descurcam singuri in rezolvarea conflictelor noastre.

Ca si adult, Victima se simte stresata, coplesita de situatie. In aces context, printr-o decizie subconstienta va incepe sa caute un Salvator care sa aiba grija de ea/el si sa o/il faca sa se simta mai bine. Una din credintele lor este ca nevoile lor nu conteaza, s-ar putea sa fi avut un parinte care simte anxietate de fiecare data cand copilul lui/ei sufera datorita consecintelor propriilor greseli.

Intr-o familie, copii invata toate cele trei roluri si ca si adulti le transmit la randul lor copiilor lor.

Aceste roluri integreaza tipare de obisnuinta invatate si mecanisme de control care leaga oamenii intr-un mod bolnavicios. Intr-o familie, copii invata toate cele trei roluri si ca si adulti le transmit la randul lor copiilor lor. Toate aceste roluri sunt impotriva dezvoltarii, sunt limitante, nesanatoase. Aceste roluri cauzeaza suferinta atat propriei persoane cat si persoanelor din jur, ofera falsa senzatie de iubire, duce la minciuni si secrete nesanatoase. Intrebarea este ” Cum putem sa avem o relatie sanatoasa daca noi suntem nesanatosi? Putem face in acest sens?”

Da putem face ceva in acest sens. Intotdeauna se poate face ceva! Ofera-ti timp pentru autoeducare, descopera si invata chestii despre tine, citeste, fii curios. Informeaza-te, du-te in strafundul fiintei tale si vezi ce gasesti, oberva ce roluri iti asumi in relatii ( de familie, de cuplu, de prietenie). Constientizeaza-ti comportamentul. Daca iti doresti relatii fericite, sanatoase atunci este nevoie ca in primul rand tu sa fi asa. Stiu si te inteleg ca primele impulsuri, ganduri este sa il schimbi pe celalalt, crede-ma stiu! Insa singura modalitate prin care poti sa faci asta este sa le arati cum, puterea exemplului!

Tu sanatos = relatii sanatoase

Aici gasesti cativa pasi pe care ii poti urma sau nu:

  • Observa/fi constient de rolul pe care il joci in fiecare relatie si cum te schimbi de la unul la altul.
  • Afla care este rolul dominant, favorit
  • Inceteaza sa te judeci. Accepta ca esti asa cum esti, doar atunci poti sa faci ceva in sensul de schimbare.
  • Iarta-te pentru rolul tau, pentru momentele in care ai suferit din cauza asta si ai facut si pe altii sa sufere. Pana la urma ai fost doar un copil care nu a stiut altceva decat modelul prezentat de parinti. Tu acum ai sansa de a schimba asta, de a rupe lantul in primul rand pentru tine si in al doilea rand pentru viitori tai copii, astfel ei vor avea un model sanatos.
  • Petrece timp cu tine insuti, aceasta este singura modalitate sa te descoperi, sa afli cine esti.
  • Citeste, sunt multe cuvinte scrise pe acest subiect sau pe alte subiecte care te vor ajuta sa iti deschizi mintea, sa iti largesti orizonturile cum s-ar zice.


Pentru Persecutor – Renunta la nevoia de a avea dreptate intotdeauna! Atunci cand te afli intr-o discutie contradictorie intreaba-te Simt asta ca o amenintare sau este pur si simplu o diferenta de parere? Renunta la asteptarea de ” a fi perfecti intotdeauna” din partea celor din jur.

Pentru Salvator – Renunta la nevoia de a te simti superior totimpul doar pentru ca esti cea mai buna persoana din Univers. Vorbeste despre problemele tale, despre emotiile tale negative cu ceilalti in loc sa te focusezi pe problemele lor. Stabileste-ti limite pentru cat ajutor sa oferi persoanelor din jur si incepe sa ai grija de propriile tale nevoi. Citeste carti despre rusine.

Pentru Victima – Renunta la ideea ca va veni cineva si te va salva! Inavat sa faci asta singur/singura! Invata sa gestionezi conflictele, confruntarile si cum sa te descurci cu furia oamenilor. Identifica-ti nevoile si rosteste-le clar. Stabileste limite/bariere cu Salvatorul si Persecutorul si pleaca/renunta la ei daca acestia nu ti le respecta.

Nu am cunoscut niciodata pe nimeni intru totul sanatos, care sa fie perfect, lipsit de probleme. De fapt exact cei care par ca au cea mai perfecta viata sunt cei care sufera cel mai mult.

Prin simplul fapt ca vrei sa pari intr-un anumit fel denota faptul ca exact acel lucru iti lipseste sau crezi ca iti lipseste.

Este dificil sa scoti afara tot ceea ce ai tinut in tine atatia ani, sa realizezi si sa recunosti ca suferi. Nu toata lumea poate sa faca asta, este nevoie de mult curaj sa faci un pas inapoi si sa fi sincer cu tine insuti. Ai nevoie de timp, de rabdare, de iubire de sine pentru a lua o astfel de decizie, decizia de a lucra cu tine insuti, de a trece dincolo de disfunctionalitatea familiei tale, de a iti privi copilaria fata in fata cu ochii plini de adevar, fara perdele. Este nevoie de curaj sa recunosti si sa admiti faptul ca ai fost manipulat si ca te-ai simtit folosit cand erai mic si poate inca esti ca si adult. Sunt multe emotii cu care este nevoie sa inveti sa te descurci si nici nu stii cum s faci asta pentru ca nimeni nu te-a invatat. Dar TU poti sa inveti! Tu poti sa inveti orice! Emotii precum rusinea, furia, vinovatia se afla in tine pentru ca nu iti asculti si indeplinesti propriile nevoi si pentru ca acesta este modelul care ti-a fost prezentat de catre parinti. Stiu ca este greu, stiu ca te simti vinovat intr-un fel, pentru ca simti ca astfel te intorci impotriva lor, simti ca nu poti face asta pentru ca iti iubesti parintii dar acum este momentul sa inveti sa te iubesti pe tine mai mult si asta este singura cale prin care poti sa descoperi cine esti tu cu adevarat, singura modalitate prin care poti sa fi cine vrei sa fi este sa renunti la tot ceea ce te-au invatat ( cand spun tot ma refer la partea negativa, tot ceea ce te face sa te simti nesanatos. Si parintii nostri au fost candva ca noi, invatati de catre parintii lor ceea ce ne-au invatat pe noi (bune si rele) insa diferenta dintre ei si tine este ca TU TE POTI SCHIMBA! Fi curajos si fi altfel! Fa astfel ca sinceritatea sa fie singura limba pe care o sti.


Pentru toti oamenii care citesc acest articol si se regasesc in el vreau sa stii ca EU CRED IN TINE! Stiu ca daca momentan esti nefericit cu viata ta actuala, ai puterea sa te schimbi si sa devi ceea ce iti doresti!

Cu iubire,


3 responses to “Are you The Persecutor, The Rescuer or The Victim? Karpman’s Triangle”

  1. Hi there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects? Appreciate it!

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