Tuesday, August 28, 2012

NO MORE VICTIMS! It's time to wake up!

Most Lebanese usually perceive themselves as victims of their State, political parties, 'other camps', 'local or external enemies', regional and international powers, their social-political system, sectarianism, colonialism, globalization, economic crisis ('ghala al ma3iche'),... and fate (al qadar). 

"Whether we know it, or not, most of us react to life as vic­tims. When­ever we refuse to take respon­si­bil­ity for our­selves, we are uncon­sciously choos­ing to react as vic­tim. This inevitably cre­ates feel­ings of anger, fear, guilt or inad­e­quacy and leaves us feel­ing betrayed, or taken advan­tage of by others".

Therefore, most Lebanese search for a savior and they think that that savior is: 'a powerful man' (no women allowed), the clan, the party, the tribe (with its 'armed wing'), Western or Eastern governments, the sectarian community, etc. 

As I see it (refer to my last post Lebanon a Mental Health Institution that lost its patients), most Lebanese are trapped in the Drama Triangle (refer to Karpman) both on individual and collective levels. This triangle is a model of dysfunctional social interaction. Each point represents a common and ineffective response to conflict, one more likely to prolong disharmony than to end it. Participants in a drama triangle create misery for themselves and others. The victim triangle is a 'shame generator' because through it we unconsciously re-enact painful life themes that create shame. This has the effect of reinforcing old, painful beliefs that keep us stuck in a limited version of reality.

"Victims are helpless and hopeless. They deny responsibility for their negative circumstances, and deny possession of the power to change them. They do less than 50%, won’t take a stand, act “super-sensitive”, wanting kid glove treatment, and pretend impotence and incompetence.

Rescuers or saviors are constantly applying short-term repairs to a Victim’s problems, while neglecting their own needs. They are always working hard to “help” other people. They are harried, tired, and often have physical complaints. They are usually angry underneath and may be a loud or quiet martyr in style. They use guilt to get their way.

Persecutors blame the Victims and criticize the enabling behavior of Rescuers, without providing guidance, assistance or a solution to the underlying problem. They are critical and unpleasant and good at finding fault. They often feel inadequate underneath. They control with threats, order, and rigidity. They can be loud or quiet in style and sometimes be a bully.

Players sometimes alternate or “switch” roles during the course of a game. For example, a Rescuer pushed too far by a Persecutor will switch to the role of Victim or counter-Persecutor.Victims depend on a savior, Rescuers yearn for a basket case and Persecutors need a scapegoat".

Personality Traits of Victim, Persecutor, and Savior
Denial of responsibility
Know It All
Holier Than Thou

The three roles on the vic­tim tri­an­gle are Per­se­cu­tor, Res­cuer and Vic­tim. Karp­man placed these three roles on an inverted tri­an­gle and described them as being the three aspects, or faces of vic­tim. No mat­ter where we may start out on the tri­an­gle, vic­tim is where we end up, there­fore no mat­ter what role we’re in on the tri­an­gle, we’re in vic­tim­hood. If we’re on the tri­an­gle we’re liv­ing as vic­tims, plain and simple!


While a healthy person (and society) will perform in each of these roles occasionally, pathological role-players actively avoid leaving the familiar and comfortable environment of the game. Thus, if no recent misfortune has befallen them or their loved ones, they will often create one. In each case, the drama triangle is an instrument of destruction. The only way to “escape” the Drama Triangle is to function as an “adult” and not participate in the game. Thus, it begins with becoming conscious of these dynamics in order to transform them. And unless we transform them, we cannot move forward on our journey to re-claiming well-being on all levels. We are never victims, except by choice! It's time to know where we stand as Lebanese and be willing to negotiate boundaries when necessary. It's not about being in control or manipulating outcomes. It's time to learn to look closely at our motives with an attitude of curiosity and the desire for deeper self-understanding. We will have a better chance of being based in truth rather than drama. Our challenge is to stay in touch with our truth and allow others the right to have their story. These stories do not have to match for us to be happy. 

In real­ity, how oth­ers see us is not our con­cern. How we see our­selves is what can bring us trans­for­ma­tion. As we lib­er­ate our­selves through self-responsibility and truth telling, we trans­form our lives. 


Anonymous said...

Waw superb analogy Dr!

Rena from Montreal said...

Thanks for this insight! Judicious!

Anonymous said...

Becoming adults. I like it. So most of us are still 'children' or 'teenagers', looking for someone to take care of us...

Dr. Pamela Chrabieh said...

Indeed ;)

Nour Al-Hassanieh said...

I like the post alot especially when you said:"We are never victims, except by choice!"
I'm eager to know more of the drama triangle model,I googled it.
I have a question,aren't Lebanese acting as both victims & persecutors?I mean most of the time they are victims & when they block roads or make conflicts with each other, they turn to persecutors & as you said the clan,party or tribe is the savior for them.I read this statement for Claude Steiner & want to share it here too.He says:
"... the Victim is not really as helpless as he feels, the Rescuer is not really helping, and the Persecutor does not really have a valid complaint."
It is truely our Lebanese case..

Dr. Pamela Chrabieh said...

Thank u for ur comment. Indeed... 3 interchanging roles