They psychologically cut a deal: The rescuer says that I will agree to be big, strong, good and nice; the victim says I will agree to be overwhelmed and unable to manage. While everyone gets to move among all the roles, often one will fit more comfortably in one role more than another.
This has to do with personality, upbringing, and learned ways of coping.
Essentially he takes the position of "I'm happy if you're happy, and I need to make sure you are happy." He gets rewarded for being good and his head is filled with shoulds.
What works for the child, however, doesn't necessarily work so well for the adult. Rather than just two or three important people to pay attention to, the rescuer adult has many more - the boss, the IRS, the President of the local Rotary Club or VFW.
At the bottom, the tip of the triangle is the letter V.The person in that role essentially has "nice guy" control. The person in that role feels overwhelmed at times. He suddenly blows up - usually about something minor - laundry, who didn't take out the trash - or acts out - go out a spends a lot of money, goes on a drinking binge, has an affair. He gets tired of being looked down on because the rescuer is basically saying, "If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't make it." Everyone once in a while the victim gets fed up and Bam, moves to the persecutor role.He feels that problems are falling down on his head. He feels he deserves it, look, after all, he says to himself, at what I've been putting up with. Like the rescuer, the victim in this role blows up and gets angry usually about something small, or acts out. The rescuer hears this and moves to the victim position.What he missed in growing up were opportunities to develop the self confidence that comes from learning to manage problems on your own.Now, as an adult, he easily gets overwhelmed, feels unconfident, anxious.