Exit The Drama

668. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Sitting in the Philadelphia airport I’m thinking about Drama. I watching them unfold all around me.

Drama is the first level of Alan’s elegant and oh-so-potent model, the 4 Levels of Engagement. Drama is story without a root, otherwise known as a victim story. Gossip is drama. Drama is predicated on enabling, there is a self-righteous gravity spinning at the heart of a drama story. I just heard this: “Can you believe what they did to me… Look what they made me feel.” Drama stories are easy to tell and often feel really good; victim stories are like sugar and are addictive. They are only tasty if shared and over time you will find that you need more and more drama to satisfy the need. They are hell if they dominate your thoughts. Literally. You are without power if you give credence to or invest in your victim story, “Can you believe what they did to me!” is another way of saying, “I need to pull someone down to feel powerful.” Drama creates power-over scenarios. Drama is usually carefully crafted to relieve us of the reality and impact of our own choices. Drama blinds us to our participation and that is precisely the point of all Drama stories. Life is happening to you.

You can never know another person’s story. You can never know their point of view, their circumstances or intention. You can never stand in their shoes. It is an easy game to make another’s story about you especially when you have no way of seeing through their eyes. We see their story through our filter. We distort what we can’t possibly know. There is one thing certain, a bet you can bank on with a Drama-teller: they will never ask the other about their story because it threatens their Victim status. They will accuse, they will blame, they will concoct, they will imply, they will manipulate, but they will never ever ask.

To exit the level of Drama requires some modicum of self-awareness and willingness to own your story. It requires acknowledgment of participation; an inward looking eye at your choices. It requires a greater concern for the story that you live than the story you tell about others. Assuming positive intent is great place to start. Asking others about their point of view before whipping up a Drama tale is another healthy technique. Practice challenging your assumptions. Practice listening. Practice focusing on your story more than the story you tell about others.

Being a participant in life requires surrendering your Victim role. It engenders generosity of spirit, an open mind and more importantly, an open heart.

One Response

  1. Bang on! Thanks for listing some practices too David. I’ll be circling this around the office so the drama queen can perhaps self-identify… I can hope!

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