What is Triangulation?

Some of this information is from Nicole Arzt LMFT

This is a type of abuse that is used by another person who is toxic or manipulative and often is a narcissists’ or has some of these traits. They will bring in a third party to use against you in the relationship. So that you feel alone and ganged up on.This action is done in order to control and isolate you so you feel anxious and alone with no way out and no support available for you. This is a common tactic used in domestic violence victims so they feel they are wrong and don’t speak up about what it going on for them. The third party will be asked to take sides on who is right and who is wrong without having all the facts of the matter. They will feel pressured to chose the right or wrong person and to ignore or reject one of the persons involved. It is really a form of intentional or unintentional manipulations to divide and to conquer strategy in a conflict. It causes much distress and trauma for the victims of this abuse. It can happen in personal relationships, families, groups, work places and even countries and states. For a conflict to exist there always needs to be a third party involved to cause it. It puts people against each other so they will fight with each other often not even knowing why but just to go along with what is being done and said. All direct interactions are avoided between the parties. We see this happen in family groups, relationships and work places often causing tension, discrediting and devolving one of the people involved for no good reason. It is very harmful to do this behaviour and their are bad consequences on the victim of this. The truth will be hidden from view and their will be no assertiveness so there is fiction in the relationship. It is very demoralizing when it happens for the victim. They will feel insecure, angry, ashamed and humiliated by these actions.  It breaks the trust of these involved in this cycle so they feel they need to be guarded against others. They will not want to be vulnerable in any personal relationships. Some times it is not obvious to others what is actually going on here as it can be hard to spot with friends and family who do this, especially when it has been going on for a long time. It is gaslighting and a form of emotional abuse. so the victim  will question themselves and their reality . They will feel frustrated and not want to trust others or themselves as to what is right. They will feel blame and shame for how they feel for all the problems that have been caused. It will impact the victims wellbeing and all their relationships. They will not feel safe or that they can trust others. It causes intimacy issues as the person can not trust anyone and will stay isolated and alone. It is scapegoating and shifting the blame from where it should be the abuser to the victim of this abuse. The victim will feel that they have to be perfect in order to be loved and accepted and as no one is ever perfect they can never achieve this. They will doubt themselves and their own abilities their own truth they hold. Feeling agitated and frustrated by how they have been treated by other who they should of been able to trust. They will feel very unsafe and alone. it is like a personal attack that is done against you from others to exploit and harm you. So you need to protect your integrity and your self-worth so you stay safe. You will feel unloved and even unlovable under valued dismissed and discredit by others and by those around you.

You need to set clear limits on what you will accept and not accept. Say your truth when when told to go away and shut up.  Warn those doing this as to how you will respond to this abusive behaviour. Those doing this will deny and rationalise or even turn it back on you as being the problem but stand your ground and speak your truth so it is exposed for all to see the truth.  Set clear boundaries on what you will accept from others and block or leave the area when you feel disrespected by them. Don’t take sides with others and stay neutral stay with those who have healthier relationships and are safe. Don’t gossip about others or collude with them in any way. Get yourself lots of support from counsellors or other health and wellness practitioners. Educate yourself so you are aware of what is happening and how to handle it. Label this behaviour when you see it and name and shame it so that it stops happening. Tell others how it makes you feel when it is done to you.


Those who create this situation are to blame not the victim or survivor of it. Those who do this have issues with insecurity which is the foundation of triangulation. These people lack self- esteem and self -worth and are exploiting others for their own personal gain. This is a show of their true behaviour not yours so label it as being that and walk away holding your head high. Honour your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual beliefs and welfare.


Here are the signs of triangulation

Being asked to take a sides in a matter

 Feeling pressured to choose who is right or wrong in a conflict

Rejecting one of the people involved so they don’t feel heard or seen

 Using a child in a marriage to say which parent is right or wrong