Chances are if you work in the administration sector or run your own Virtual Assistant business you bounce around between Victim, Persecutor or Rescuer, modes and you don’t even realise it. You’ve been in this cycle for years and it is a normal way of life for you. I know that I have been all three modes as a corporate executive assistant. I inadvertently carried my three different personalities into my business, it’s easy enough to do without even knowing it.
How to tell if you’re in this triangle:
Do you ever have days in the office where you feel you can do no right, everything you go to do just breaks away on you? Someone else is relying on you to get a particular job done, and you can’t because you need someone else to do their part first. You follow-up, check on progress but nothing. The deadline comes and goes and you beat yourself up over it. You tell yourself you should have done this or that, been this or that. You vent to others; you share your frustrations around the water cooler, and then go into fix mode, saving the day, so all is right with the world again. So here you have it, you’ve gone from persecutor to the victim to the rescuer and then often, back to the victim again.
So you, being the fixer of all things, the person who likes to make everything better for everyone, go out of your way, whatever that is to make things right. No matter how long it takes or what you have to do to fix it. You just do it. You rescue the situation.
Recognising it’s time to change
I didn’t create my business to be an employee, act as an employee or be treated like an employee. I certainly didn’t start my business to hand over responsibility to someone else. You can’t run a successful business with a persecutor, victim, rescuer mentality. You will always be mediocre at best if you do because you will spend fifty percent of your time going from Victim, Persecutor and victim.
The sad thing is that some people will sit back and let you rescue them, all the time. Why; so they don’t have to do it. I like to refer to these people as the firestarters of the office world. The ones who flick the matches starting little fires everywhere because they know, you will come along and save the day and put them out. When this happens, you’re not given the credit because you’re the admin. It’s your role to fix silently all that happens, so the person you help comes up smelling like roses. The saying ‘It’s your job to make them look good’ comes to mind here. So while they go into ‘How wonderful I am mode’ you go into persecutor mode, and the cycle continues.
How I broke the cycle of the triangle
Firstly you need to recognise this is what you are doing. For me, it was easy. Once I realised that I didn’t need to feel the way I did. I took steps to make the changes I needed to take my life back. Once I realised the change in myself, my behaviours and my decision-making process changed.
How did I break the cycle. I said, “NO”.
Having the confidence to make the changes necessary for you to get off the triangle can be confronting. After all, the triangle has become the norm; it’s become your comfort zone. My advice here is to seek professional help because all it takes is one straw to break the camels back. Don’t do what I did and wait for that straw before I recognised that something needed to change.
Question: What steps will you take to break out of the cycle? Please leave a comment below.