Updated: Mar 1, 2020
Now I am sure each and everyone of you has at some point in your life experienced the energy of “drama” when dealing with people, whether with your partner, family, friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else you may come across throughout your day.
Every relationship is a mixture of two energies, healthy positive energies and unhealthy negative energies. Healthy positive relationships bring people closer together and allow them to connect, share and love each other whether through having deep conversations, sharing information and insights, hugs, kisses, physical touch, making love, having fun, exploring and taking adventures, spending time together, working on projects, sharing resources and offering help and support plus much more. Whereas, unhealthy negative relationships are disconnected, distant, tense and filled with thoughts, words and actions that come from a place of fear such as arguing, starting fights, tantrums, screaming, insulting, name calling, humiliating, excluding, ignoring, alienating, controlling, manipulating, crying, blaming and shaming, pointing, huffing and puffing, gossiping, lying or hiding the truth, cheating, betraying or putting on a mask or false persona.
“Drama”, unnecessary or manufactured conflict, is one of the most common unhealthy toxic negative energy patterns which can play out and sabotage an otherwise healthy relationship. When someone is playing out or engaging in a drama pattern, they are attempting to manage or cope with fear, anxiety or unprocessed pain (past or present) and are consciously or unconsciously react emotionally to situations or experiences in their life. It is almost like the ‘drama’ allows them to open a pressure valve to gain relief from the emotions that have built up within them that they do not understand how to release and let go of any other way. If someone is projecting their stress, anxiety, doubt, fear or pain, playing out their ‘drama pattern’, on you when you are not the cause it can feel explosive, messy, confusing, disrespectful, unkind, hurtful, abusive, unloving and like a switch was turned on that made things go haywire. This pattern and the level of drama played out can increase when someone believes something profound is happening or perceives that an experience or situation has created too much stress, pressure, emotion or conflict, even if the reality is very different.
Most of the time, people are not conscious of when they are engaging in a drama pattern as they are too stuck in their own thoughts, words and emotions to see how the way they are acting or reacting is affecting those around them. Often, people who have experienced or are experiencing some form of trauma or abuse can have difficulty clearly expressing ad communicating what they are feeling or their pain unless they feel safe and trust the person enough to connect and share with them.
Psychologist Dr. Stephen Karpman suggests people can be pulled into the “drama triangle” where they unconsciously play or try to manipulate other people to play, the following roles:
Victim: This is the “poor me!” role where they see themselves as the victim, overloaded, powerless, helpless, hopeless, ashamed. They often come across as “super-sensitive” and want others to treat them with kid gloves, not taking responsibility for their circumstances and think they have no ability to create change. They will look for someone to rescue or save them and have difficulties making decisions, solving problems, finding pleasure in life or understanding their own behaviour.
Rescuer: This is the “Let me help you!” role where they work hard to care for and help others, often in order to feel good about themselves, while neglecting or not taking responsibility for their own needs. They are often co-dependent and enablers who need victims to help and use guilt to keep them dependent and feel guilty if they are not rescuing somebody. They are often stressed, overworked, tired, playing the martyr while resenting it at the same time.
Persecutor: This is the “It’s all your fault!” role where they criticize and blame the victim, set strict limits, can be controlling, rigid, authoritative, angry and unpleasant. They keep the victim feeling powerless through threats, bullying, yelling and criticism and don’t solve any problems or help anyone else solve the problem. They are inflexible, can’t bend, unable to be vulnerable because they fear becoming the victim themselves.
The “drama” pattern in relationships is unhealthy and bad for everyone involved. If you want healthy positive relationships in your life, you must learn to put your “big girl” or “big boy” pants on and recognise when you are dealing with people who want to pull you into their drama, take responsibility for the part you are playing and get out of the triangle!
I invite you to make a conscious decision today to break free from this cycle and create relationships where you can connect, share and love each other “drama-free”. If you would like help and support, please reach out and book in for a reading or coaching program to help you shift, transform and change your experience so you start attracting and manifesting healthy positive relationships experiences into your life.
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