Thursday, January 16, 2014

How To: Stay Out of Drama

It's become pretty popular lately to write posts on how other people should live their lives. And to be honest, that totally bugs me. I'm not quite sure why. It probably has to do with the fact that I'm kind of a know-it-all when it comes to my life. And also because I think every person is different, so what works for you is not guaranteed to work for everyone else, and does not make you a genius. That being said... I'm about to give some advice.

However, this is advice that I personally GUARANTEE that if you do it right, will work for you, and will make your lives easier for the rest of forever! Can't say no to that? Right?

This is advice that came from my mother first, if that's any consolation. And when googling images, I found that it's a really popular notion. So maybe you've heard of it! Let's get down to it. I'm going to introduce you to something called...

The Drama Triangle

When you encounter a problem or conflict in your life, it is natural to become one of three personalities. The Rescuer, Persecutor, or Victim.

My Mom's favorite analogy goes like this: Let's say one day you ask your husband to take out the trash. When you come home after a long day at work, you notice that he has not done as you asked. You are immediately frustrated, and you lash out saying, "I can't believe it! I ask you to do one simple task, and you can't do it. You have had plenty of time since you got home to take five steps to the trash can and walk it out to the driveway! You are so lazy sometimes!" - You're acting the Persecutor. You're accusing, and blaming and insulting. Is anything being solved this way? No.

Your husband tries to get you to back down by saying, "I'm sorry! I just forgot. I had a long day at work." Which immediately puts you into victim mode. You start saying, "YOU had a hard day at work? What about meeeeee??? I had to wake up at 6:30 in the morning and go to school and teach a bunch of whiney kids! And on top of that I had several meetings! I am exhausted. My life is SO busy, and I don't deserve this!" Is this solving anything? No.

Finally, after much arguing, you decide nothing you're saying to your husband is going to fix anything (which, if you're persecuting and being victimized, it's not!). So, you take it upon yourself to save the situation. "Fine. I will take out the trash myself! Don't worry about it. I'll just do it. I'll just do it every time! Problem solved." NO. Problem not solved. Nothing was solved. You gave up and became the rescuer.

The only way to solve your problems is to stay OUT of the drama triangle. Don't get sucked in! Here's where I tell you how (get excited!):

In order to solve a conflict or problem you need to have a real conversation. My mother always says it's better to write it down for yourself first, so that your thoughts are more formed. However, if in the heat of the moment you don't have the presence of mind to grab a pad of paper and a pen, I think you'll be ok.

First you say, "This is what I see happening..."
Followed by, " This is what I think about what I see..."
Followed by, "This is how I feel about what I think and see..."
And finally, " This is what I'm going to do about it."

The use of "I messages" puts all the responsibility on yourself, and also no one can argue with the way YOU see things. Talking this way, you should only speak about yourself. What you saw, what you thought, what you felt. After, you should let the other person do the same. When you have both fully understood each other, the problem can be solved. No drama whatsoever.

And that, my friends, is what I call good advice. (Thanks mom!)

p.s. have you heard of the drama triangle? is this something you could use in your life?


  1. Oh how I wish I had this in High School. Aren't Mommas great?

  2. Remember to think all the way through the "This is what I'm going to do" to make sure that what you say is what you mean and it is something you can and will follow through with. Then DO it!
    This as all about everyone taking personal responsibility for themselves and their actions. You don't do any of this to get a reaction.
    You never know what other people are going to do, you can only say what you are going to do and then take the responsibility of doing it.
    This is very empowering, your mother


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