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Payoffs and Traits

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The Payoffs Of The Victim, Rescuer, And Persecutor
in the Drama Triangle


The Victim's Payoff

  • You're the one responsible for what happens to me.

  • I'll never succeed at anything. Why try?

  • I'm a failure because of my Mom and Dad. It's their fault I'll never get it.

  • You cause my pain and suffering.

  • I blame you for my suffering.

  • I'll never "get it".

  • I have a right to be afraid. Who do you think you are to tell me to be brave!

  • I deserve your sympathy. Look what "they" have done to me.

  • I'm no good.

  • You're damn right I feel sorry for myself. You would, too, if you knew what I've been through.

  • I can't.

  • It's not fair.

  • I need help - I can't do it myself.

  • I'm not enough.

  • Why shouldn't I complain! Would you like to be in my shoes?

  • Every time I speak up for myself, you put me down. My thoughts/feelings don't mean anything to you.

  • Nobody ever gave me a chance.

  • Mom and Dad loved my sister/brother more. That's why I'm the way I am. It's not my fault!

  • See? I told you I couldn't do it.

  • Oh, pooor me.

  • I always have to do it!

  • I don't have to change. You're the one with the problem!

  • You're going to give me a heart attack.

  • Just as long as you're happy, it doesn't matter what happens to me.

  • You said you'd love me forever.

  • I never have enough time for myself. There is always something I have to do for you. (A long, suffering sigh)

  • I have no choice; I have to take care of my parents now that they are old.

  • You always make me worry about you. Why don't you just behave?

  • I make all the sacrifices in this family.

  • Where did I go wrong?

The Rescuer's Payoff

  • If I help you, you won't be able to hate me.

  • Look at me, I'm better than you.

  • It feels sooo good to rescue.

  • When I jump in and protect or save you, you'll depend upon me.

  • Look how important I am - I've rescued you.

  • I'm powerful when I can figure out how to save a bad situation.

  • When I'm busy with your problems, I don't have time to worry about mine.

  • I love the adoration you give me when I help you.

  • I'm better than you when I can rescue you from your problems.

  • I'm superior and holier than you because I can "fix" your problems.

  • I make a difference because I know how to solve problems.

  • I put everything else on hold while I solve your problems.

  • My parents are old, and I'm dedicating my life to them.

  • I'm such a good guy. Look how I got you out of that scrape.

  • All this attention really feels great.

  • Let me do it. I know how to do it right.

  • I was born to help others. It's no big thing.

  • I know I make a difference.

  • You can't get through this without me.

  • I will always come when you call.

  • Aren't you impressed?

  • Now will you approve of me?

  • I told you once, but you just wouldn't listen to me. See, I was right all along.

  • You owe me your love because I saved you. Where would you be without me?

  • I'm really good at helping others. It's just a knack I have.

  • I have all the answers.

The Persecutor's Payoff

  • I'll make you sorry you ever did that. Then you'll think twice before you ever do that again.

  • I always have to watch you to make sure you do it right.

  • Do as I say, not as I do.

  • I wash my hands of you. You'll never get it.

  • You are so stubborn. Why did God saddle me with you!

  • You deserve this whipping! You must be shown right from wrong.

  • Things were different in my day. Children respected their mother/father.

  • Don't lie. I know you're lying. You never tell the truth.

  • Stand up. You act like you have something to hide.

  • You asked for it. Now you are going to get it.

  • You're such a fool. Don't you get it? This is part of your karmic debt.

  • Be like your sister. She knows what she wants and goes out and gets it.

  • Quit your crying or I'll give you something to cry about!

  • Look at me when I speak to you. Speak up. Stand up straight.

  • How do you expect me to take you anyplace?

  • You're so sloppy - You're so dumb/stupid - You're just like your father/mother/sister/brother.

  • Don't you dare walk away from me.

  • Why do you make me hit you?

  • You'll just never know how much I've given up for you so you could be happy.

  • I didn't want you in the first place!

  • What's wrong with you?

  • You're not enough.

  • You should…

  • I'm so disappointed in you.

  • I thought you were better than that.

  • What have I taught you? You know better than that!

  • Why do you look like that? Do you want to embarrass me?

  • You'll make your mother sick/cry.

  • I don't care what you want - you do what I say!

  • What makes you think you know anything?

  • It serves you right. You didn't listen to me.

  • You're the one with the problem. How dare you expect me to change!

  • If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times!

  • Tsk, Tsk, Tsk…


Personality Traits of Victim, Rescuer, and Persecutor

Victim
Helpless
Hopeless
Complaining
Denial of responsibility
Blaming
Dependent
Whining
Reliant

Rescuer
Pompous
Superior
Know It All
Righteous
Holier Than Thou
Contemptuous
Demanding
Condescending
Arrogant
Self-important

Persecutor
Intimidating
Caustic
Vicious
Poisonous
Degrading
Demeaning
Bullying
Nasty
Condemning
Controlling
Manipulative


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Last updated: 07/11/09

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