Years ago, a woman came and began talking. In mid-senteñce a man walked in. They started talking to each òther as if I wasn’t there. I was totally ignored. Ouch! I chose to observe their behaviors and understand. My goodness! It was a textbook case. What behavioral science claim is true. I said to myself, “Don’t take offense you might learn something.” They stood up and walked out. No goodbyes???.
We, human beings, are so broken we can’t see our own brokenness.
Another behavior of brokenness is triangulation.
Triangulation is a form of manipulation. A toxic person uses this to exclude and or recruit using threats of exclusion or manipulation to gain control. The goal is to divide and conquer. It involves the use of indirect communication, often behind someone’s back. In the list of toxic behaviors, triangulation may be the most well-known.
From the smallest, seemingly irrelevant choices to the big ones will either bring chaos or peace. This is true for everyone, regardless of lifestyle, circumstances, or employment status.
But what I really pondered on was the decisions we make each day while in toxic relationships. I recalled some of my counseling clients I’ve worked with over the years. Many of them thought they could manage the dysfunction, that nothing too bad could happen…but sadly, many of them were proven wrong.
In the 1950s, psychiatrist Murray Bowen identified this problem of triangulating and used it to develop his approach to family therapy. He found that normally two people in a relationship can’t tolerate much stress before involving a third person. This alliance family triangle is stable but damaging.
Picture this – you went to visit your parent or sibling or a friend. She begins to confide in you about your sibling or your mutual friend. You have been recruited to be her ally. Before you recognize her tactic to reel you in, you’re already hooked into a toxic relationship. Me ko melaes and you feel favored. It’s a good feeling to be favored and chosen but something has taken place in your soul. She just completed her triangulation. Then you leave and your brother goes to visit and you become their topic. What is being done here is to divide and conquer.
When someone experiences triangulation, they may fear what other people think and feel humiliated, concerned, and self-protective. You might feel the need to set the record straight, or you may even want to confront the other people involved.
I choose silence. Forgive them for your own peace of mind but don’t trust them. Understand that when you are being detoxed, you are being processed to love yourself correctly, you’ll lose friends. I look at it thus way… sel molechong e ke blechorl el di kau el tang. Take heart you can learn to detox by being alone. You might learn a thing or two about yourself..
So choose silence. It’s not only golden but empowering
Lord, what we know not, teach us, what we have not, give us, what we are not, make us. For your Son’s sake. Amen.