Triangulation – Social Manipulation That Goes Unnoticed


What Is Triangulation?

triangulationTriangulation is a common form of social manipulation. However, most people are not aware of it by name. Even still, most of us have used or been a victim of triangulation somewhere in our social interactions.

Triangulation is when you have a conflict with a person, and instead of going to that person  you go to a third party with the intention of getting them to side with you. The other person may be used as an intermediary to relay information to the person being avoided. However, this is not the same as using an intermediary. The intent is to divide. The person using this tactic (needs) the other person to validate their feelings in the conflict that they have with the other person. Typically this is done by persuading the other person that they also have an issue with that person.

In order to achieve this, the person typically tries to appear like a “victim”. Our society LOVES a victim! The Victim is the “good guy” in all scenarios. So they are preserving their own self image by getting other people to see them as good and the other person as bad.

Identifying this in your interactions…

Identifying triangulation in your interactions may not be as easy as it seems. It’s not as if the person using this tactic is going to come out and admit their actions. The very nature of this manipulation is covert! And because its used in all types of relationships( romantic, platonic, workplace etc).. it can be very difficult  to identify.

One thing that is consistent is that they typically come to you as people who want to (help). They use other peoples insecurities as a vehicle to try and heal themselves. They are very skilled at using others to get their needs met. By perceiving what peoples unmet needs are and meeting them, they are trying to get their needs met in return. This is only the first step in the manipulation. They use the insecurities of the party they are “using to validate themselves” against them. Making them feel as if they agree so the other person must be at fault. Therefore successfully creating a conflict between the third party and the person they truly have a conflict with.

How Do You Avoid Triangulation?

Figure out your needs and Meet your needs directly- Triangulation is a form of manipulation. Manipulation is only about getting ones needs met. Get to the root of the problem!

Deal with conflict direct ( Even Small)- When not dealt with it turns into resentment
Many people are 2 faced but aren’t aware that they say one thing in a persons face and one thing out of it. This article paraphrases information researched online. For more insight on Triangulation continue reading here.


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