Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers

Part 4: Rescuer/Coach Energy: The Drama Triangle & Empowerment Dynamic

June 13, 2024 MaryAnn Walker Episode 112
Part 4: Rescuer/Coach Energy: The Drama Triangle & Empowerment Dynamic
Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers
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Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers
Part 4: Rescuer/Coach Energy: The Drama Triangle & Empowerment Dynamic
Jun 13, 2024 Episode 112
MaryAnn Walker

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Not everyone needs rescuing. In fact, sometimes when we jump in to help, we are enabling more than we are helping. This week, we conclude our series on The Drama Triangle & Empowerment Dynamic by delving into the transformative shift from rescuer energy to coach energy. We’ll explore how this change can lead to greater independence, critical thinking, and self-efficacy for those around us. Understanding the difference between rescuing and coaching can profoundly impact your relationships and your own well-being.

What You'll Learn:
-The negative impact of rescuer energy and how it fosters dependency.
-The benefits of adopting coach energy, including fostering empowerment and resilience.
-Key differences between rescuer energy and coach energy.
-Practical strategies for shifting from rescuer to coach energy.
-How to set boundaries to support your own well-being while empowering others.

Shifting from rescuer energy to coach energy is crucial for fostering independence and resilience in others. By becoming a coach rather than a rescuer, you enable others to develop their own problem-solving skills and emotional resilience, ultimately leading to healthier and more balanced relationships.

If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to subscribe to our podcast for more insights and strategies on personal development and empowerment. If you’re ready to take your growth to the next level, come and work with me. Click below  to learn more about my coaching packages and how we can work together to achieve your goals..

Get your copy of The Power of TED: https://amzn.to/3x6FDLk
Apply to work with me: https://maryannwalker.life/contact-me
Connect with me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maryannwalker.life
Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maryannwalker.life/
Connect with me on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@maryannwalker.life

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Not everyone needs rescuing. In fact, sometimes when we jump in to help, we are enabling more than we are helping. This week, we conclude our series on The Drama Triangle & Empowerment Dynamic by delving into the transformative shift from rescuer energy to coach energy. We’ll explore how this change can lead to greater independence, critical thinking, and self-efficacy for those around us. Understanding the difference between rescuing and coaching can profoundly impact your relationships and your own well-being.

What You'll Learn:
-The negative impact of rescuer energy and how it fosters dependency.
-The benefits of adopting coach energy, including fostering empowerment and resilience.
-Key differences between rescuer energy and coach energy.
-Practical strategies for shifting from rescuer to coach energy.
-How to set boundaries to support your own well-being while empowering others.

Shifting from rescuer energy to coach energy is crucial for fostering independence and resilience in others. By becoming a coach rather than a rescuer, you enable others to develop their own problem-solving skills and emotional resilience, ultimately leading to healthier and more balanced relationships.

If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to subscribe to our podcast for more insights and strategies on personal development and empowerment. If you’re ready to take your growth to the next level, come and work with me. Click below  to learn more about my coaching packages and how we can work together to achieve your goals..

Get your copy of The Power of TED: https://amzn.to/3x6FDLk
Apply to work with me: https://maryannwalker.life/contact-me
Connect with me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maryannwalker.life
Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maryannwalker.life/
Connect with me on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@maryannwalker.life

Well, hello and welcome back. So today we're going to be talking about the third point in the drama triangle slash empowerment dynamic. But first I wanted to remind you of a few things. At the end of this month on June 28th at 11:00 AM. I am going to be speaking at the largest energy healing conference in the world. My class is going to be specifically for the empoaths, I'm going to be teaching empaths, how to deepen their own sensitivity and how to do that in a way that doesn't deplete their own personal energy. So, if you are interested in learning more about different modalities, I encourage you to come and attend that event. I am super excited about it. So if you are in or around Utah, Come and say hi to me. And if you would like some free tickets to that event, email me at maryann@maryannwalker.life and I will see what I can do. I have a limited number of tickets, but I do have some free tickets to give to my listeners so that you can come for free to the energy healing conference. This is a$125 value per ticket. And I am so happy that I'm able to gift these to you for free. So email me and let me know if that is something that you're interested in. All right. So now onto the third point in the drama triangle, And empowerment, dynamic. this is what we're going to be talking about. The rescuer or energy versus coach energy. Rescuer energy is the number one favorite point for the helpers, the healers, and the people pleasers... those that listened to this podcast. It feels so good. I have a lot of rescuers that listen to this podcast. And so I hope. If you haven't listened to the other ones yet, make sure that you, for sure listen to this one, because this one is definitely for you. We really like being the rescuer, right. It feels so good. We feel so valued when we're able to be in a position to help other people. It feels amazing. It feels really good to be in the service of others. So today we're going to talk a bit about what the rescuer role looks like for this population. As well as how to shift that energy into something that is actually helpful. Now I get it that when I say rescuer, that sounds like a very good thing. But remember when we're talking about the rescuer or we're talking about it through the lens of the drama triangle. And so that is going to create kind of some conflict in relationship if we're showing up in rescuer or energy, but we can alleviate that conflict by instead shifting it into coach energy. Now, as I have mentioned here on the podcast, multiple times, I am a recovering people pleaser. And that means that I am very, very familiar with rescuer energy. Rescuer energy it really wants to seek out problems to fix. And that's not a bad thing, except for when it is. So to illustrate this point, I want you to imagine for a moment two lifeguards. Now, both of these lifeguards are sitting vigilant on the top of their tower watching for any signs of struggle. But one of the lifeguards is especially diligent so much so that they will not let anybody even go near the deep end of the pool ever. In fact, if they see a swimmer who is waist deep in the pool, then they will blow their whistle, they will jump in the water and they will go to rescue them. And pull them back to the safety of the shallow end of the pool. They may even go to such extremes as putting floaties on the swimmer, or maybe putting a life jacket on them, just to make sure that they're going to be safe at all times. But the thing is that this kind of rescuing... the swimmer is never going to actually experience what it's like in the deep end. And subsequently they're never going to learn how to swim. We learned through the doing right. Now let's imagine the second lifeguard, this lifeguard acts a little bit more like a swimming instructor. They check in with the swimmers to see how they're doing. And also they allow the swimmers to see how far they can go in the pool and still touch. They allow them to practice putting their face under the water. They let the swimmers decide if they're ready to go into the deep end or not, or if they want to hold onto the side. And this lifeguard actually allows the swimmers to learn through the doing, as it pertains, to learning how to float and learning how to swim. We all learn through the doing, we all learn through the struggle and we even learn through the failing. Now notice that there is a big difference between the lifeguard that refuses to let anybody go near the deep end and the lifeguard that serves essentially as more of like a swim coach that allows the swimmers to see how far they can go to touch and to practice floating, to see if they're kicking and they're splashing can actually create some forward momentum. There's a big difference between these two lifeguards one allows space for the swimmers to actually even ask questions. If they want to like, Hey, can you show me how to do a backstroke? Or maybe they'd say, Hey, it's my first time. Can you stay close in case I need you? Right. And that's the key is in case I need you. Sometimes the lifeguard is not needed. And that is a very different energy than somebody who is just jumping into the pool to save people that don't even necessarily need saving. So playing with this metaphor even a little bit further, let us remember that rescuing somebody in the pool that doesn't actually need rescuing... it will actually increase the odds that both of you are going to drown. If you jump into the pool and you're trying to save someone that doesn't need, or doesn't want saving, it's going to be pretty problematic. They're probably going to lash around. They're probably going to put both of you at risk. So just be aware of that, of if you are helping, if you are enabling and if your form of helping might actually be doing more damage than it is good. So keep this metaphor in mind, as we talk about rescuer energy. Because sometimes we think we are being helpful when really we could potentially be hurting or limiting either ourselves or others. So, yes, there are times in life when somebody truly does need rescuing. But as we're discussing, rescuing through the lens of the drama triangle, we are talking more about this unhelpful kind of helping. So let me share a few examples of unhelpful helping through the lens of the rescuer and the drama triangle, as well as how we could maybe approach that instead through the coach energy that comes from standing in the light aspect, standing in the empowerment dynamic. So the first example is micro-managing at work. So through the lens of rescuer energy, a manager constantly micromanages their team and they're stepping into fix every small issue and every single little decision that needs to be made for everybody, they are right there making it. They believe that they are helping their team to avoid any mistakes, but really this is going to create a lot of work for the manager and it's actually going to make it harder for their team to learn how to problem solve. Now, if this manager instead shows up through this coach energy, then the manager adopts a coaching approach by really asking open-ended questions to guide their team members, to help them to find their own solutions. For example, instead of fixing a problem themselves and they might say, Hey, what do you think are some potential solutions to this issue? And this actually empowers the team to develop further problem solving skills. It helps to build their confidence. And again, it frees up a significant amount of time and energy for that manager. All right. Over protective parenting. Now the parents showing up through that rescuer energy, they're going to be constantly stepping in to prevent their child from facing any difficulties or challenges. This might mean doing their homework for them solving all of their problems, not allowing them to learn through the struggle. And of course, by doing this, the child, isn't going to learn how to do their own research to find their own answers. So I'm not going to learn the information that is needed for tests. They're not going to probably be a successful with life in general, because they're going to be used to. To their parent coming in and doing all of that for them. It is creating adult children basically. Right. Whereas when the parents shifts into that coaching role, then they're encouraging their child to tackle challenges independently. So they might say things like, Hey, what do you think might be the best approach, for this homework assignment, or, Hey, how would you like to budget your time in order to make this happen? Or, Hey, how can you solve this problem on your own? And this helps the child develop resilience and problem solving abilities. And again, notice it's going to free up a significant amount of time and energy for the parent. It requires a lot of energy to jump in as the rescuer and it's kind of pointless, right? Because so often these ways we're showing up as a rescuer, we're not actually needed. We're creating busy work for ourselves. All right. Here's another example, the friend who is always giving unsolicited advice. So a friend who is frequently giving unsolicited advice, they might be believing that they know what is best for others. And so they're stepping in to just solve their friend's problems. And oftentimes they're doing this without even being asked. And I get it. It really comes from a good place. We want to help. We don't want those that we care about to experience any discomfort. But this might not always be helpful. In fact, if they're never learning how to solve their own problems, we might actually be creating a situation where they're going to be experiencing even more discomfort because they don't know how to do it themselves. So the friend who is practicing, leaning into the empowerment dynamic, then they're practicing active listening, they're asking more empowering questions to help their friends find their own answers. For instance, instead of actually giving advice, then they might say, Hey, what do you feel is the best way forward? Or they might ask questions, like how do you think that you can handle this situation? And that approach, it respects their friends autonomy, and it really helps to foster that self reliance within the friend. Now I was recently talking with a friend who is back on the dating scene. And so she's dating a few people and she asked me the question. She said, well, should I tell this particular suitor that I've also been out on a date with this guy? And instead of telling her my opinion on it, I just asked her a question. I just said, well, what would your motive be for telling him. And what would your motive be for not telling him. And she just said, okay, thanks. And that was the end of the conversation. She didn't actually need my feedback. She just needed somebody to ask her the question so that she could make the decision based on her own values. And coach energy. It allows space for that. All right, the next one, the partner who takes over all of the responsibilities. So this might look like in a relationship one partner seems to take on the lion's share of the work, which is essentially sending the message to their partner that I don't believe that you can do this. And I'm choosing to take all this on. You don't have to do this. So they're choosing to cook, to clean, to manage the finances. And they're doing all of this without the input from their partner. And more often than not soon, they're going to start to feel resentful towards their partner for not sharing the load. It feels in the moment, like we're doing a good thing, giving our partner break, but eventually we're going to hit our breaking point where I say, okay, I'm getting really burned out right now. And now I'm experiencing that resentment. But the thing is they have now made it the expectation that they will take care of it. And this is really a prime example of enabling rather than actually helping. We think we're helping the other person, but really we're not helping them. And we're not helping ourselves when we're overstepping. And when we're taking on more than our share in relationship. The partner can shift into a coaching approach by involving their partner in decision-making and task management. So they might ask questions, like how do you think that we can best divide these responsibilities? Or what are your thoughts on managing our finances together? How do you think that we should parent in this situation? And this promotes collaboration. As well as mutual respect. And it can create a more balanced relationship rather than a relationship that kind of has a one-up one down position or essentially a parent child relationship, because let's be honest, nobody wants to be in relationship with their child. So you're doing yourself a favor by actually making you co-partners in the relationship. All right. Next example, the teacher solving all of her students problems. So this might look like a teacher jumping into solve every problem that their students encounter, and this might be academic challenges, or it might be personal issues and they think that they're helping them to succeed. But really the only thing that the kids are learning in this situation is that"oh, teacher will fix it." It creates a dependency upon the teacher and it creates an actual lack of learning in that environment, both academically and socially, because the students are not given the opportunity to problem solve themselves. Now the teacher adopts a coaching stance by instead encouraging students to think critically and solve problems on their own. So they might ask questions like,"Hey, what strategies can you use to tackle this problem?" or"how can you approach this challenge differently?" Or they may even ask,"what do you think might help you to resolve things with this classmate?" Now this encourages students to develop independent thinking and self-efficacy. It helps them to increase their critical thinking and self confidence that guess what you are totally capable of learning how to solve your own problems. And again, it is going to save that teacher so much time and energy. People pleasing is another form of rescuer energy. We oftentimes rescue people from a negative emotion or from an awkward situation. We're allowing other people to save face. It can show up in lots of different ways. I was coaching a client recently where they were making monthly purchases from a friend for products that she didn't even use. She would purchase the products and then they would just sit on her shelf, but she thought, no, this is how I'm supposed to show support for my friend. But these monthly purchases, they were really starting to put her into financial distress. So it is a wonderful thing to want to support your friend. But if you're throwing away money, because you feel a sense of obligation to rescue your friend in their business, then you may be running some of this rescue or energy. It is not your job to be your friends paycheck. I mean, yes. If you like the products and it's mutually beneficial, great. Go for it. Make all the purchases you want well, or that you can afford. Right. But it is actually doing your relationship, a disservice by continuing to purchase products that are just going to be sitting on your shelf. And it's probably not creating the warm and fuzzy feelings that you're wanting right in the moment. It might feel really good when you can see, oh, my friend is so happy that I'm buying from them, but if you're experiencing some financial strain because of it, you're no longer having those positive feelings, that's going to lead to resentment and then you're essentially going to be making yourself the victim. In the triangle and then become the persecutor because I can't believe that my friend is making me buy all of these products. Right. So just notice the emotions underneath it. And what is coming up for you? If you are making these purchases with a happy heart or a resentful one, just notice that, and it will tell you if you're in the drama triangle or the empowerment dynamic. Now, because I am a small business owner myself. I know that there are many, many, many ways to support your friends in their businesses without even putting money on the table. And that all comes through that coach energy. It feels so much different. Right? So for example, you could like and share their posts. You could share their podcasts, wink, wink. When their line of work comes up naturally in conversation, then you could share their name and say, Hey, I know somebody that has an amazing product that could help. Or you could say, Hey, I know a life coach that's pretty awesome. I think that she could help you with that. Let me share their contact information with you and again, you can do all of this without putting any money on the table. Plus, it feels so much more genuine and sincere when you're able to support your friends in this way. So you could ask them about how things are going with their business, what their personal goals are, how they plan to achieve those goals and then cheer them on as they accomplish those goals. Continuing to invest in products that you don't actually use is going to create a less authentic and more codependent relationship where now they are actually relying upon and dependent upon you for their success. And that kind of relationship is more than likely it's not going to be sustainable for either of you. More than likely you're probably going to be experiencing some feelings of resentment, maybe even wondering, oh, well they're probably only being my friend because I'm their paycheck. It's not going to be a positive thing for the relationship. So check in with yourself, notice if you're sliding into that drama triangle and step instead into the empowerment dynamic. Another example of this, it might be not taking your child driving because you're worried that, okay. Well, if I take my kid driving and then they actually get a license, they're probably going to get into an accident. So this is another form of rescuer energy where we're trying to make sure our child stays safe, but this is very much like the lifeguard who won't let anybody go into the pool more than waist-deep. Because if your child never practices driving, then they won't be able to learn the tools that they need in order to be a good driver or a defensive driver. They won't know what they need to know in order to drive safely, meaning that your form of rescuing it has now created a situation where they are even more at risk and so is everybody else who's going to be on the road with them. One other thing to notice around rescuer energy is the silent resentment that can really sneak in and settle in. Givers like those that listen to this podcast, they love to love. They are an amazing person to invest in and be in relationship and be in friendship with, because you are going to get an amazing return on your investment. And also their level of loving is really, really hard to match. And deep down, even the givers know that. In fact, They know there is no possible way that somebody with giver energy would ever ask anybody else to do all of the things for them. That they do for other people because they know what a big ask that is. And they know how unsustainable that is for any one person. And also they really neglect to see that this level of loving and serving and giving it is also unsustainable for them. And they might not even see it until the burnout and the compassion fatigue has settled in. And once those settle in resentment is close to follow. Rescuer energy, it gives and it gives, and it gives until it becomes burned out. And then it becomes angry and resentful, which means that now the rescuer is now becoming a victim of self-inflicted circumstances, as well as the persecutor of others for not being as sensitive to their needs as they are to theirs. So now they may find themselves saying things like I do so much for everybody else. Why can't I just find more balanced reciprocation in relationship? How come they're not showing up for me? I always do this for them. Why can't I find a relationship with another me. I need a relationship with another giver. If you are feeling burned out, or if you're experiencing compassion, fatigue. Or noticing an imbalance in relationship, this is really good information to have. So please try to just see it as information and not as a judgment. See it as information so that you can consciously step out of those roles. You do not have to be a victim. You can be a curious, conscious creator. You have been listening here on the podcast and you have now learned all of the roles and you've learned how to shift those roles from the drama triangle, into the roles of the empowerment. Dynamic. And this will help you to find more peace within yourself as well as within relationship. One of the big traps of the rescuer energy is over commitment. When we jump into the pool to help someone, and then we see that somebody else is struggling and then someone else is struggling. We like to think that we can save them all. But they're all in different ends of the pool. We couldn't possibly do it all. So we have just made ourselves the victim, trying to rescue everybody. So be very mindful of your time of your energy, of your financial constraints and be mindful about not biting off more than you can chew. I find it helpful to wait at least 20 to 30 seconds before responding to any situation, give yourself a little bit of time to think through."If I say yes to this, what would I be saying no to?" And maybe somebody has made a specific request or maybe you have just observed something and you think, oh, I think I want to help this person out. That's great. And also take 20 to 30 seconds. To check in with yourself and identify if I say yes to this, what will I be saying no to? Give yourself some time to think about what energy you were making your decision through. Are you making your decision through the rescuer energy? And if so, notice that you might be enabling rather than actually helping. Or notice if you're making your decision through coach energy, remember that coach energy empowers both parties. And it encourages all to become their best and highest self. We sometimes like to romanticize the rescuer role. In fact many children's stories, they talk about the white Knight riding in on his stallion to save the damsel. The thing is a white Knight has to have a damsel to save. So this means that the damsel never learns how to navigate her own life. She must be escorted everywhere so that she doesn't trip and fall, or she doesn't talk to a less than savory character and get into trouble. Right. Because those damsels they're always taking food from strangers and getting themselves into trouble. And so we have made the damsel completely inept when it comes to navigating her own life. So, yes, the knight may feel really great about his initial rescue, but ultimately it's unsustainable the night, the damsel and the dragon. Are the rescuer, the victim and the villain. And let's be honest, wouldn't it be exhausting to have to rescue a damsel from a dragon every single day. Eventually the knight is going to get to a point where he's either exhausted or he's just going to be shouting."Hey, stop putting yourself in towers. Haven't you learned yet? What happens when you do that?" Now as we talked last week, as we choose to take on these roles. It's usually because we have an underlying need. And the underlying need of the rescuer is usually to feel a value or to feel needed. It's all about how we think it's going to make us feel in the moment. The rescuer has come to equate their worth and their value with what it is that they do for others rather than who they are. You do have worth. You do have value. And I totally get it that sometimes it can be hard to separate out those things. You have been a rescuer working to prove your worth through the doing for a really long time. And if you're listening here on the podcast, you're probably starting to feel really tired of that role. But you can break free of that narrative. And step into something that's more supportive like that coach energy. So in closing, let's kind of compare and contrast the rescuer energy with the coach energy. Rescuer energy, it seeks to prevent negative emotion. Right? The worst case scenario is somebody is going to have a negative emotion and the rescue wants to make sure nobody has a negative emotion, but then ultimately it's going to be creating a lot of negative emotion. Whereas coach energy. It helps people learn how to navigate their negative emotions, which is awesome. Because as we talk about here on the podcast, life is 50 50 learning how to navigate the hard emotions is going to make life so much easier. Rescuer energy enables. Coach energy helps. Rescuer energy creates a dependent damsel. Coach energy creates empowered Kings and Queens. Rescuers often become resentful when their help isn't received in the way that they want it to be received. Whereas coaches are more detached from the outcome and they lead with curiosity about, okay, how are they going to choose how to rescue themselves? And how can I truly support them in a way that is helpful rather than enabling. Coach energy waits to be asked to help rather than jumping in at the first sign of struggle. Coach energy is brave and it allows other people to experience their own emotions. A coach is willing to put themselves out there regardless of if they are or are not going to be received. They know that yeah. Some people are going to like it, some people aren't, but I'm going to show up in ways that are actually helpful and supportive rather than detrimental.. Coach energy is non-reactive. It's curious about how other people are going to overcome their challenges rather than judging preemptively that they won't be able to overcome their challenges or that there's somebody that really needs help and that they're just never going to be able to do it themselves. Coach energy recognizes the difference between helping and enabling. Coach energy knows that somebody can only learn how to swim if they are given the opportunity to learn how to swim and to actually struggle in the water. Now, if you need help finding your own inner coach, consider hiring a coach. In fact, I hope you consider hiring me as your coach. I would love to work with you. I'm currently working with my clients on a six week basis. And so my clients are always kind of coming and going. So, if you would like to work with me, I encourage you to come to maryannwalker.life and apply to work with me now. And I will see how quickly I can get you in. And as usual, I will have all of my contact information linked in the show notes, as well as the link to the power of Ted book. If you'd like to purchase that, I also have a link for that in the show notes. And if you would like free tickets to the energy healing conference happening in Sandy, Utah on June 28th and 29th. Let me know. I do have a few tickets left for you. All right. I hope you have a great week and let's talk soon. Find out.