How TED* Became My Rescuer
We are delighted to share this week’s TED* Works!® blog, written by long-time colleague and 3VQ Certified Trainer, Jennifer Herold.
In the early years of my introduction and work with the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) and TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) ®, I was clear that living more of my life in empowerment was my goal. I knew that it was a better alternative. However, as I practiced this new way of operating, I discovered a pattern that was at play that was not serving me well.
This is what would happen: I would get spun up about something; I could easily identify my roles in the DDT and think, “Great, now I can shift!”; I would move quickly into the roles of Creator, Challenger, and/or Coach. Yeah, Me!
The healthy side of that was being confident in my ability to identify roles and make a shift. The unhealthy side was that I could become a bit self-righteous about it. “Look at me and how evolved I am that I can so easily make this shift!” I said in my inside voice. I was energized by the change and felt pretty proud of myself.
Over time, I noticed that the shift was often very temporary, and I would easily end up back in the DDT. What was that about?!
What I have come to learn over the years is that I had made TED* my easy button…my Rescuer. Ugh! Right back in the DDT. That Rescuer role can be so sneaky and is often dressed in good intentions. What I was doing was merely performing the empowerment roles, but was I embodying them? Was it really, truly a shift?
Once we learn this framework and have this language, it can be so tempting to make being in the DDT “bad” and moving to TED* “good”. Those roles of Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer can be painted as unhealthy ways of showing up in the world that need to go away. In reality, we all assume these roles, regularly. That is just part of the human operating system.
The real growth is when we are able to notice our roles and, when experiencing that we are going reactive, to get curious as to what it is about. Why am I feeling victimized? What is it that I really care about? Why do I feel compelled to rescue someone else or myself from discomfort? Why am I trying to take control, and could I be persecuting myself or someone else?
Who wants to sit in that space? Doesn’t it feel better to move into empowerment? Yes! It does feel better, but many times only for a short while. The reality is, when we use TED* to rescue us from the difficult emotions of living in the DDT, we aren’t really growing and changing. It just becomes our quick fix.
When we are stuck in drama, it is okay to stay there for a bit. Feel the feels. It’s okay. You have permission. Get curious, not furious, as they say. Seek to understand what has you stuck and when you are ready, get clear on how you want to shift and why. Just remember that staying in the discomfort is not an excuse to treat others poorly in the process.
I have found in my life that this new pattern of recognizing when I am in the DDT requires that I sit there long enough to understand and learn from it. Being thoughtful about my shift has given me great insight into myself and tools to rebound more effectively from hard things while sustainably improving my relationship with myself and others.
TED* will always be your friend but doesn’t need to be your Rescuer.
You may learn more about Jennifer Herold and her work at: https://www.vaughanherold.com/