“Having completed another September 11th anniversary, I was thinking about the relationships that country's have with each other and then I thought of the article you wrote called The Three Faces of Victim. I wonder,
“… can entire countries interact with each other on the triangle, just as individuals do with each other?“
What a great question! And the answer is YES, Absolutely! The Victim Triangle applies everywhere relationship happens – on the personal AND a global level. (Read about the Victim Triangle)
If we look at the victim dynamic on the global level, for example, we can quickly recognize that the United States tends to play the part of the Rescuer. Americans,
as a whole, often see other countries as less fortunate and in need of our help …. We rush to the rescue – often without being asked – only to find, much to our surprise and dismay that we are hated for our efforts. This may help explain why we have such a bad reputation world-wide as the “Ugly American”.
True to the nature of triangular dynamics, other countries feel looked down upon by us and resent our “superiority”. Like most Rescuers, the prevalent feeling that Americans tend to have for the rest of the world is pity (“They are SO unfortunate”) and/or guilt (“We feel so ashamed of having so much when they have so little”.)
On the other hand, some of the mid-eastern countries (Iran/Arab countries/N.Korea, for instance) tend to tend to take on a primary Persecutor role on the triangle. It's important to remember that regardless of what role we tend towards on the triangle, we end up in victim. There is not one role that is better or preferable over the other two. (https://www.lynneforrest.com/html/the_faces_of_victim.html#victim)
Countries who lean towards the starting gate persecutor role on the triangle tend to see themselves as having been wronged or victimized by the rest of the world, which – to them – calls for acts of revenge. Seeing themselves as victims, they feel justified in striking out in retaliation for wrongs perceived. They feel vindicated and justified in their pugnacious approach towards other cultures.
Some of the third world countries – Africa and other third world countries … respond to the world from the role of starting gate victim. Seeing themselves as dependent on outsiders to save or rescue them, these countries may feel “left behind” by the rest of the world and unable to catch up. They see themselves without resources or the “know how” necessary to take care of their problems and issues.
As my article on Victim Triangle illustrates, rescuers need victims and vice-versa … and so there is a symbiotic relationship that occurs between these roles – often one that is fraught with blame and general dissatisfaction.
There can be no real winner when relationships are played out on the triangle.