Our family is the source of much of who we become as adults. Much of what we learn in our families is good and wholesome and creates an important foundation for how we will form lasting relationships with other people in our lives. Unfortunately our families also are the genesis of patterns that may not be productive or helpful in our later lives. As adult children we often play a kind of ‘game’ with our parents and our siblings – the origins of these ‘games’ are often patterns we began in our childhood that we extend into our adulthood. We would like to focus on three such ‘games’ in this section: Stereotyping, Scapegoating and Drama Triangles. We will briefly describe these ‘games’ in this section, but if you would like to know more detail about how each of them play out, we invite you to look them up on our website.
Stereotyping has a lot to do with the ‘roles’ we played in our families when we were growing up. Examples of these roles include ‘good girl/bad girl’, ‘good boy/bad boy’, ‘screw-up’, ‘spoiled brat’, ‘baby’, ‘geek’, and so on. Often these ‘roles’ will ‘stick’ so that when events occur when we are adults we are perceived through the ‘lens’ of this stereotype.
Scapegoating often begins as stereotyping but it goes a step further to our blaming someone over and over again for circumstances that may or may not have been caused or even related to them, because of how they were once viewed in the family.
A drama triangle is also related to ‘roles’ that we play in our family. The roles in a triangle are often rescuer, persecutor and victim. Rather than speaking directly or conflicting directly with another person, a game ensues where a third party is invited into a conversation that probably should have been a direct conversation between two people. When that happens people often assume the role of victim, persecutor or rescuer.
Learn more in this slideshow:
Dear John Exercise An Exercise in Conscious Communication Non-verbal communication is arguably the most important component of a communication, whether that communication is verbal or written. What makes it problematic is that it cannot be seen, and it can only be approximated by tone, gestures, punctuation, or descriptive language. It is what makes communication imperfect. […]
When we hear the word argument we think a disagreement between two or more parties with an end result of one person being “right” and the other person being, obviously, “wrong”. An argument is not necessarily meant to attack or criticize anyone, rather to support a person or people’s view on a specific subject. In short, […]
Have you wondered why sometimes when talking to your family what you meant to say gets lost? Or that people do not react as you thought they would? This segment briefly explains many of the aspects that contribute to communication and its varied factors. Also includes a Slideshare presentation defines each game, gives examples of how it can be used in a family and tips to stop ‘playing’ the game.
Are you sometimes unsure how you ended up in a miscommunication with someone? Do you often wish you could understand when things went awry? This exercise asks you to think of a disagreement or miscommunication with someone and provides you with prompts to see exactly where things fell apart’.