Drama and me – we’ve been really close. We had an intimate relationship for so many years, and although I tried to leave Drama many times, I still keep getting pulled back. Our relationship feels warm, familiar, safe and predictable, and it automatically justifies many of my most fundamental beliefs.
Yes, I know, they are only beliefs and I can change them if they aren’t serving my adult self any longer. I understand that. I’ve been working on it, but it has proven to be a long and often exhausting process, meeting some of my parts that I have kept hidden from myself for so long, looking them in the eye and once we are formally introduced gradually accept their continuous presence and eventually integrating them into my self-image. It all takes a lot of effort and quite a bit of courage, so I get exhausted from time to time, and when I stumble Drama is always there to catch me.
I fall back into its arms, the well-known role of the Victim, feeling like I am never good enough, never as valuable as the next person, no matter how hard I try I will always fail because life is just so unfair. Poor old me… I also like to give into the temptations of the Rescuer. It is so sweet to
know I have to save the world because if I don’t do it no one will. It makes me feel really good… I can help you, let me take care of everything for you, you don’t need to worry about a thing…! Both of these work great for me, and of course after the fact I am happy to play the Persecutor and complain to some strange soul about how awful people are and how alone everyone left me. After all I have to do everything on my own, right?
Drama always offers delicious solutions for reinforcing my most fundamental belief: That “I am only lovable if I constantly please others”. This belief has not served me too well over the past twenty-some years of my adult life, that’s for sure. It has silenced certain parts of me that I now find crucial for being the person I am and never allowed me to recognize and protect my personal boundaries, so a few years ago I decided to adapt a new belief instead: “I am lovable just the way I am.” – This was the point where I decided to break up with Drama. Then came countless hours of self-awareness, reading about Drama, recognizing its many shapes and forms, testing its boundaries and learning new ways to feel, think, communicate and behave that help me stay away Drama free.
Now I spend most of my time away from the choking grip of the Drama Roles. However, I occasionally recognize the slippery slope where it becomes tempting to slip back into its arms – and sometimes I do. But now I know it’s OK because I am working on being a better me every day, and actually all of it doesn’t matter anyway, because I am lovable just the way I am….
Ps: if you are wondering wether any of this is true for you, here is a quick checklist to see if Drama is present in your life:
do things for people when they don’t ask for help?
avoid asking for what you want when you are in conflict?
lose patience when things don’t go your way?
get frustrated with others who aren’t as committed as you?
avoid sharing your feelings in a situation, thinking it won’t
matter or it will cause problems?
give unsolicited advice?
take negative feedback as a sign of negative rejection?
give unsolicited advice to make others better?
chose compromise to avoid conflict??
use fear or guilt to influence behavior?
If you answered YES to at least one question, you are dealing with drama in your
life. The good news is you are not alone. These are the most common behaviors exhibited by
leaders and everyday people from around the world.
The bad news is, now that you know you have a choice to make….
(Checklist adapted from Next-Element LOD workbook)