People tell us the reason they like learning about the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™ and TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)™ is because it helps them to become more aware of themselves in the moment. If they can catch themselves in the moment, they tell us, there’s a better chance they will choose a more resourceful way of living.
We experienced a funny story recently when facilitating an in-person Power of TED* workshop. On the first day of our 2-day workshop, a gentlemen introduced himself as someone who had studied the TED* roles for several years.
On the second day of the workshop we facilitated a check-in process from each person. The night before we had asked them to “stay tuned” to how the DDT might show up overnight. The gentleman who had studied TED* for several years was one of the first people to check-in the next morning. He shared this story:
“While driving to the workshop this morning, a woman in a silver car was tailgating me. I was getting more and more frustrated because she wouldn’t stop tailgating. I finally slammed on my brakes to teach her a lesson. I saw in my rear view mirror that she slammed on her breaks, throwing her hands in the air. I threw my hands in the air to mock her. In that moment I realized I had felt victimized by her tailgating and became a Persecutor to her. I forgot everything I learned the day before.”
With laughter from fellow workshop participants, we all acknowledged how easy it is to forget how we want to behave, especially when we are frustrated. We also acknowledged him for his honesty and willingness to share his DDT story.
If you can catch yourself in the act of drama, it helps you to see how your DDT roles are keeping you from being the person you want to be. When you are able to notice what you are doing in the “now,” you expand your awareness and insight.
Analyzing past behavior is useful but it is not as transformative as catching yourself in the moment. If in the moment you can become “witness” to your drama behavior, you begin to have some distance from the behavior you exhibited just a few seconds before.
Just knowing about these roles is not enough. When you can catch yourself in the act of living out the drama roles you will gradually learn to choose more empowered alternatives. If you cannot catch yourself in the act, you are almost guaranteed to continue your reactivity habits.
Learning to stay with your expanded awareness in the moment, you may feel a little embarrassed or even ashamed. Gradually, we believe, you will learn to laugh at yourself as you begin to see yourself from a distance, and simply say: “There I go again.”
We later learned from the gentlemen in the workshop that the next day a different driver in a silver car was tailgating again. He said this time he caught himself in the moment, relaxed and said to himself: “I get to do this one over. I think I will relax and let it go.”