Empathy Disorders – Triangulation and Venting

Triangulation – more on this later site under construction


Dr. Alison Poulsen on Triangulation:

Have you ever felt uneasy when a friend complains about his or her partner? Triangulation involves one person complaining to a third person about a primary relationship in order to vent anxiety, not to gain insight into how to deal with a problem.


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Melanie Tonia Evans on Triangulation, Hoovering, Co Dependency Hoovering


What is Triangulation?

Triangulation is an indirect dynamic of communication and behaviours involving more than two people that are unhealthy and unwholesome.

The trademarks of triangulation are covert operation, deceit and abuse.

The simple definition of triangulation is: one individual attacking, discrediting (smearing) or/ and abusing another person with the use of third-party people or institutions.

There are three traditional parts of the ‘triangle’. These are

1) The Persecutor – top right of the triangle

2) The Rescuer – top left of the triangle, and

3) The Persecuted – bottom of the triangle

Many people, on surface level, believe there is only one person in the triangle acting out unconsciously and unwholesomely. Or at the most two, which of course ‘makes sense’ if we don’t believe we need to raise our own consciousness to change our life, and the only way we can be healthy and safe is to only hold other people responsible.

I don’t endorse this powerless model, and I believe if we choose to remain unconscious we have no ability to detach and heal from toxic situations and create, generate and participate in healthy relationship dynamics.

What I realised, when I previously felt deeply into triangulation, needing to heal the deception of it within my own life, was the ‘gaps’ within myself which had caused me to play out not just one, but two sides of the triangle myself.

I have been the receiver of persecution at the bottom of the triangle, and I have also been at the left hand top of the triangle believing and defending narcissists against other people they were discrediting.

If you are honest with yourself, you may also recognize a time you too bought into the narcissist’s lies and deceit, and believed him or her in regard to discrediting others.



Divide and Conquer


Triangulation – Gaining an advantage over perceived rivals by manipulating them into conflicts with each other.


Some people who suffer from personality disorders, particularly the Cluster B disorders Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder,Histrionic Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder have a tendency to view or judge themselves in terms of how they see themselves in competition with others.

This competitive or “win-lose” attitude occasionally turns malevolent and will lead the person who suffers from the personality disorder to seek ways to sabotage,manipulate or otherwise undermine the position of others whom they see as a potential threat.



One of the key features of a narcissist is their desire to feel like they are in high demand. They like to feel like they have many options and you should be happy they chose you. The narcissist feels an intense euphoria and a sense of power when they can turn people against each other, especially when it’s over a competition for them. Narcissists will manufacture situations to make you jealous and question their fidelity. In a normal relationship, people go out of their way to prove that they are trustworthy—but the narcissist does exactly the opposite. They are constantly suggesting that they might be pursuing other options, or spending time with other people, so that you can never settle down into a feeling of peace. And they will always deny this, calling you crazy for bringing it up.

There are many ways they pretend that they are in high demand. Many narcissist do not want to relinquish their eligible bachelor status. So, they will not acknowledge you on facebook. For example, it will take them forever to change their facebook status. You are not to take or post any couple’s pictures on their facebook page, or tag them in your facebook pictures. When they finally do change their status, they will not mention who they are in a relationship with. Only when you are about to break up with them, do they relent and add your name to their relationship status.

Though there is wide familiarity with the traditional concept of a love triangle: a person simultaneously being romantically involved in two separate relationships with two different love partners, in the case of narcissistic triangulation, it doesn’t always involve another “love” partner. Instead it may involve an excessive obsession with certain members of one’s family, or even certain friends. What all forms of triangulation have in common is that it makes narcissists emotionally unavailable to their actual life partner which is precisely the intent of the triangulation. Their supposed life partner ends up feeling emotionally betrayed.


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