The Karpman Triangle

It has been called a ‘trap’ that the Evangelical extremists set for Americans, with accusations against those who demand actual separation between Church and State. It is meant to put their perceived adversaries on the defensive, to use the fairness intent of politcal correctness to promote the sense of the Evangelical extremist’s being treated badly, unfairly.

This conservative, evangelical “Christian” program of absurdism bases its argument against secularism on the unconsidered assumption that morality is only achieved through religion, and specifically, THEIR religion.

What nonsense!

This kind of “Christian” is so profoundly invested in being victimized, in being the underdog, in being conspired against and persecuted… They can’t stand the idea that anyone might simply not care about them or their world-view, that as long as they stay in their own lane, they are of no particular interest.

So here they are, jumping up and down, setting their little ‘trap’ that only takes in the suckers who are caught up in the dysfunctional dynamics of the classic Karpman Triangle.

Which is, in fact, a lot of Americans. It is cultural with us, to root for the underdog, to side with the oppressed, so much so that we do it without looking into histories or more complete pictures, or even giving a situation much actual thought. We assume that the weaker is more deserving of outside support. Seeing the need, we provide, because we are the Good Person. And when the one we’ve judged the oppressor is brought low, we are so Good, we immediately, automatically forgive them and help them up without regard for whether or not they have learned from their embarrassment and suffering.

We don’t stop to wonder if this is part of the underdog’s necessary learning process. Or if it’s fair consequences because last week, this person was oppressing the person who is now oppressing them.

In the Karpman Triangle, the participants constantly shift from one role to the next: Oppressor oppresses Victim; Rescuer opresses Oppressor to rescue Victim, becoming the Oppressor and making Oppressor into Victim. Original Victim becomes Rescuer, attacking the former Rescuer, now Oppressor… And so the triangle rolls on jerkily down the hill, a game, a self-perpetuating negative social dynamic.

And the only way to win the game is not to play.

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