The role of the Persecutor in the Karpman Drama Triangle (Dreaded Drama Triangle™—DDT) puts others down by attempting to be “one up” in every conversation. Clinging to the need to be right is one of the fastest ways to persecute others.
Because of the strong drive to succeed in our society, especially at work, we may fool ourselves that winning every point will help us get ahead. When over-used however, the need to be right puts us in a winner-take-all position. Everyday dialogue becomes muddled with conflict and high drama when the need to be right is the measuring stick.
In our own marriage, we recognize our need to be right more often than we like to admit, which sends us quickly into the DDT. We have discovered it is a subtle thread that can run through many conversations.
And here is where the Drama Triangle becomes complex. Rescuers who jump in to save the day, thinking they are helping the situation, also can become attached to being right. When a Rescuer is “righteous” about their way of helping, others will see them as a Persecutor and the dance around the toxic roles of the Drama Triangle becomes even more entangled!
Is your need to be right causing you suffering? Is your need to be right triggering defensiveness in others? Here are a few tips to move beyond the need to be right:
- Begin by observing yourself talking and ask yourself, “Why did I just say what I said? Is the need to be right underneath my statement?”
- Ask yourself, “What is at risk if I am not right?”
- Spend more time with people you find interesting and practice listening to their life experiences. Avoid practicing with people you judged to be bullheaded or someone you want to fix.
This may trigger your defense mechanism and pull you back into “right vs. wrong” thinking.
Collaboration, mutual support and working together as Creators, Challengers and Coaches to accomplish the impossible are essential in today’s culture. The individualistic “I am the heroic leader who knows best” perspective actually diminishes our ability to solve critical problems facing our world.
As Co-Creators we need to tap the best, most resourceful and empowered thinking of all. As the late Stephen R. Covey observed in reaching win-win outcomes, it is not “your way or my way, but a better way” we seek.