Shame and Core Beliefs

Triangular interaction is the primary way that shame is generated. Each role moves around the triangle in their own distinct way. This is because each starting gate position has a set of core beliefs that tends to set them up for that particular role. These unconscious attitudes are what creates feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy and or defectiveness. The triangle is the way we reinforce and perpetuate those shame producing beliefs.

Rescuers, for instance, believe that their needs are unimportant and irrelevant and therefore do not deserve to be met. The only way they can legitimately connect with others (in order to meet the need to belong and feel important), is by taking care of someone else. Rescuers guilt themselves when they aren’t care-taking others. Their primary myth is; “If I take care of others well enough … long enough, then I will get my turn.” Unfortunately, on the triangle, Rescuers are taking care of life-time Victims who have no idea of how to be there for others. This reinforces the Caretaker’s core belief (“my needs don’t count”), which in turn produces more shame around needing.

Guilt and shame are powerful driving forces for the perpetuation of the Triangle. Guilt is often used by Victims in an effort to hook their Rescuer into taking care of them (“If you don’t do it, who will?). The Victims shame producing belief of not being able to make it on their own leaves them feeling powerless and needy.

Persecutors, believing the world is dangerous, use shame as a primary tool for keeping others in their place. Their primary goal is to feel safe by putting others down. “Get them before they get me!”, is their primary agenda. What better way of accomplishing that, then to judge, moralize or denigrate their victims?

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