Are you on an emotional rollercoaster? Finding it difficult to manage your relationships? Always stressed out? You may well be getting into drama and acting out one or more drama roles - possibly without even knowing it. In our new book, So you want to be... #DramaFree, we present 24 #DramaFree skills to help you learn about your dramas, find out how to deal with them more productively and turn your life into a #DramaFree zone. And in this first of a series of articles, we take you through the first two skills: (1) Detecting drama and (2) Knowing who is in what drama role...You may want to grab a notebook to jot down your thoughts as you read.
#DramaFree Skill 1: Detecting Drama
We define a drama situation as any time you are not getting what you want. This can be 'high-level' drama such as:
- Road rage
- Finding out your partner has been having an affair
- Getting the sack
- Being in an abusive relationship
- Learning your employee has been stealing from the company
Or relatively 'low-level':
- Being irritated by someone coughing in the cinema
- Being buried in paperwork
- Drinking too much at the office party and saying something you later regret
- Not being thanked when you have helped someone out at work
- Missing the bus
Or anything in between.
This first skill is just about noticing when you are in drama. This might be with yourself or someone else.
Take a few minutes to think about it.... What are some dramas you are currently involved in?
#DramaFree Skill 2: Knowing who is in what drama role
Once you've defined a drama, consider which of these three roles you may be taking:
- Victim? Are you complaining about your situation?
- This always happens to me.
- It's alright for them.
- No one knows how I feel.
- Persecutor? Are you blaming yourself or other people?
- It's their fault.
- I should never have ...
- He's absolutely useless
- Rescuer? Are you trying to sort out other people's problems even when they haven't asked for help?
- I'm always the one who has to...
- Can I just suggest...
- Don't worry, I'll do that for you.
This Drama Triangle was devised by Steven Karpman in 1968. He analysed the different roles in fairy tales and realised that there were only these three roles - and that as a situation progresses, people often switch roles. For example, Cinderella starts out as a victim, persecuted by her mother and stepsisters. She is then rescued by her Fairy Godmother and, later, the Prince. After midnight, she becomes a victim again, and then is rescued again by the Prince.
Think about the dramas you're involved in.
- Which role(s) are you taking in each one?
- What happens just before you switch roles?
Now you have started getting to know your drama situations and the role(s) you play watch out for the next post in this series and more #DramaFree Skills - coming soon. Or buy the book. :)