When it comes to a relationship there are typically two people involved. And what goes on in this relationship is primarily between these two individuals. This could be between: lovers, friends, colleagues or family.
And this relationship it is almost certain to lead to moments or stories being shared and expressed to other people.
This is a natural part of the human experience; what is shared could be to do with the good times that have been experienced and even the challenges that have been faced together.
The Good Times
When the good times are shared with other people, no drama is likely to be created; with there simply being an exchange of what has happened with another person. Of course, if the good times are shared to elicit a negative reaction from another person, then this may not be the case.
Perhaps one is trying to make the other person jealous or desirous of the experiences that have been shared with another person. However, when it comes to sharing the good times or the times that are functional to one’s life, it is usually with the best of intentions.
On the other side of the equation, there will inevitably be moments that are challenging. And this could range from mild to extreme abuse; to a situation that has caused annoyance or stress.
With one then talking about what the other person has said; to how another has acted and their behaviour. Relationships are where our growth as humans begins is; so this is normal and not something to feel ashamed or gully about.
Here one could be asking for another’s advice or opinion on how to respond or deal with a challenging situation. Or one might be just looking for another person to listen and mirror back what they are feeling.
And if this is done in a way that results in a solution being achieved and not in sides being taken; then it should result in one’s well being and internal equilibrium returning.
When this doesn’t happen, it will inevitably lead to a relationship triangle. And what this means, is that instead of a solution or progress being made; things will probably get worse. And although it originally started or as a two way problem there is not another person involved.
And it doesn’t have to stop there; it could also extend into many more people. This is a recipe for drama and dysfunction to ensue. Drama is the operative word here and this is because relationship triangles will often only create more problems. One of the primary reasons these types of relationships exist, is due to nonexistent boundaries.
Boundaries are what allow one to know where they begin and end and where another begins and ends; this is one’s own personal bubble and sacred space. Here one knows the difference between others thoughts and emotions and their own thoughts and emotions for example.
When these don’t exist or have not been developed to a certain degree; it will lead to people not being able to recognise another person’s boundaries and personal space. And just like when there is not a fence or marker around someone’s garden or property; violations are going to happen.
This also means that due to the other person only hearing what the person says who is creating the triangle; there will be very little objectivity and awareness around the whole story. Here one will be seen as the victim and the other as the perpetrator.
And this then elevates one to the level of being innocent and the other as being at fault; which in turn removes the triangle maker’s responsibility.
Our ego mind has associations of what everything means. And these associations will be coloured by everything that has occurred up until this point in our life. The relationships we have had, the pain and pleasure we have experienced and the type of childhood that we had; will all play their part in influencing our associations.
What a word means, what an action means, and the behaviour others are all being interpreted through our ego mind. The challenge here is that the associations one’s mind has are not the truth. They could relate to what is going on, but they can just as easily be completely wrong.
This is another reason relationship triangles create more drama. Here the third person is highly unlikely to understand what has happened, especially as there are only hearing one side of the story. So at best they are working with incomplete information.
And with relationships being a vital part in one’s life, it is clearly important gain as much clarity as possible and to look at both sides. The third person will interpret everything they hear through their own ego mind and this means that their projections will be thrown into the mix.
However, in order for this person to get involved in a triangle in the first place, it shows that they have boundaries problems themselves and are not very aware. So this triangle becomes an opportunity for them to release all of their emotions onto something else and to avoid taking responsibility for them.
What should have been between two people has extended out and has ended up including more people. This shows that there are communication problems to begin with. And as a result of this, one has looked outside for assistance.
This could be due to many reasons: perhaps this person doesn’t want to face what is happening and so looks to others for support. It could be that their ego mind has held onto a story and will therefore cause one to seek only people that will agree with their version and to avoid anyone who will disagree.
The ego mind will do this because it has associated ones version of the story as what is safe and to see another side will then feel threatening to their ego minds sense of safety and survival.
The ability to be objective and to see another person’s point of view will then be lost. And the ego mind only cares about being right, as being right means surviving.
To be a conscious human being means that we are the observers of our mind and that we don’t have to be trapped by it. Of course we are only human and can’t do this all the time. But by being aware of how our ego mind works we can chose another way.
One can hold onto their ego minds view and create triangles, that ultimately create drama and pain or one can seek proper assistance through a friend with functional boundaries, or a psychologist or therapist or even a book. And this assistance will lead to a resolution and this could mean that end of a relationship or a deeper and more fulfilling one appearing.
The reason one creates these triangles in the first place is probably due to observing their caregivers when they were younger and then copying this behaviour. This then becomes the only model they have. These models can change and this is why awareness is so important.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.