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  • Writer's pictureLisa Lanzetta

Triangle of Power: Reclaiming Your Power in Recovery



 

In the journey of recovery, navigating relationships and social interactions can be a minefield. It's not uncommon to find yourself feeling dis-empowered, like you're caught in a loop where everyone seems to play roles that keep you stuck. I want to share with you a psychological model that can help you break free from these patterns and move towards a more empowering way of relating to others and yourself.


The Triangle of Dis-empowerment

This model is known as the 'Triangle of Dis-empowerment', and it consists of three roles:


Victim: The person who feels wronged or oppressed.

Enabler: The one who, often unintentionally, reinforces the victim's behavior or the bully's aggression.

Bully: The one who uses force, intimidation, or passive-aggressiveness to dominate others.


When you or someone else plays any of these roles, it creates a dynamic where everyone feels trapped. You might recognize this pattern in your own life or in the stories you've heard from others in recovery. Here's the good news: there's a way out.


Transitioning to the Triangle of Power

To break free from dis-empowerment, you need to move to the 'Triangle of Power'. This is where relationships are based on mutual respect, accountability, and positive energy. The new roles are:


Creator: Instead of playing the victim, you take responsibility for your own life and choices.

Facilitator: Instead of enabling, you support others in their growth without reinforcing unhealthy patterns.

Activator: Instead of bullying, you encourage and inspire others to step into their power.



My Personal Experience with Dis-empowerment


I'd like to share a story where I found myself in the 'Triangle of Dis-empowerment'. I was dealing with someone who was exhibiting passive-aggressive behavior, and I felt bullied. I blamed them for my discomfort, but the truth was, I was also playing a role—I was enabling their behavior by not setting boundaries. When they became more aggressive, I shifted into victim mode, feeling powerless and blaming them for my problems. It was a mess.


In that moment, I had a choice. I could continue to play the victim, or I could step into the 'Triangle of Power'. I decided to challenge my own patterns, seeing myself as a creator of my life rather than a victim of circumstance. I facilitated my own growth by seeking support and coaching, and I activated my inner strength to create a new story.

 

How to Break Free

If you find yourself caught in a similar triangle, here's a simple process to shift into the 'Triangle of Power':


1. Awareness: 

Recognize when you're playing one of the dis-empowering roles. Are you blaming others? Are you enabling harmful behavior? Are you being aggressive or passive-aggressive?

2. Courage:

It takes courage to step out of these patterns. Embrace the discomfort and confront your own shadows.

3. Transformation: 

Once you're aware, you can transform your role. Choose to be a creator, a facilitator, or an activator. Encourage others to do the same.

4. Ceremony: My FAVORITE!

Create a personal ritual or ceremony to symbolize your transformation. It could be as simple as lighting a candle, creating a sand painting, or writing a letter to your future self. This act helps solidify your commitment to the new path.

 

Reclaim Your Power

Recovery is about reclaiming your power and writing a new story. When you choose to leave the 'Triangle of Dis-empowerment', you open the door to healthier relationships and a more fulfilling life. It won't always be easy, but with awareness, courage, and a little ceremony, you can transform your role in the story and become the creator of your own destiny.


Observe how these roles play out in your life and remember that you have the power to change them. If you're feeling powerless, it's a sign that you're stuck in one of the dis-empowering roles. But you have the ability to shift, reclaim your power, and create a new narrative. Let's begin that journey together, one step at a time.

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