Wednesday, May 27, 2015

LEARN: Managing Triangular Communication

This is a practical blog post to correspond with the video of the same name. Learning this skill can make your world much, much better.  It will also baffle your adversaries! 

Do you recall a conversation with one person where a third person inserted themselves into the discussion?  Did you notice that the conversation rapidly became frustrating as your one-on-one conversation became a two-against-one situation with another agenda?  Triangular Conversation is in play... where you previously had a direct conversation.

                          Person 1 <----------------------------> Person 2

Certain people regularly use Triangular Communication as a means of manipulation and control. It's a good idea to manage, alter, or avoid these conversational events.  We see it early in life, when two children playing together enjoy themselves; but when a third arrives, the dynamic may be competitive and adversarial.  This challenging discussion style may be found whenever people communicate.

Triangular conversations have the potential to take on a difficult dynamic and alter the previous one-on-one communication.  If the person is simply nosing into your discussion and offering unsolicited advice, the triangle is merely annoying, but still creates a Villain, a Victim, and a Hero.  If there is a negative intention, you now have a toxic triangle, where you may feel the effects long after the discussion.  In either case, which one do you think you will be?  No doubt, you don't need this in your day!

                                                           .   .
                                                         .       .
                                                       .           .
                                       Victim   ...............   Hero
Learn to recognize this destructive communication style and then intentionally remove yourself from the discussion. This happens among family members, the care team, children, and peers.  Awareness is key.  Once you've recognized the situation as a triangle, extricate yourself, disengage, and then re- engage when you can discuss the matter one-on-one.   

This is a drama you can identify and avoid. 

Linda Kreter & the
VeteranCaregiver Team 

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