Learning about the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™ roles of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer is often a huge epiphany for people. Once they see these roles play out in their own lives, they dislike the limitations and suffering they now recognize are happening when living inside the DDT. Most people tell us they appreciate learning about more positive ways to respond to life’s challenges through the Creator, Challenger and Coach roles that make-up TED*—*The Empowerment Dynamic.
On one hand, they say, becoming more aware of personal drama is good so they can choose to make more powerful and resourceful choices. But not everyone is happy to be alerted to their personal drama. They start seeing drama everywhere and sometimes report it was easier when they were sleep-walking through life.
This is when we get the question: “When will I be done with my drama?”
We smile when we hear this question because we know the longing to be free of our personal reactivity and limitations. The times when we trigger each other and send snarky looks shooting across the room. We know better, and yet we sometimes slip into the DDT faster than a speeding bullet.
Wanting to be done with drama is natural…and….it’s not going to happen. No matter how self-aware or enlightened you become, you will always have human drama. It’s an inescapable part of life.
But, there’s another way to look at drama. Rather than another problem to fix, your drama patterns can be viewed as a sign-post trying to get your attention. When you are triggered by a situation, the Challenger inside of you is trying to get you to grow and learn. Rather than looking away from the drama, facing what wants to emerge could be your next breakthrough learning.
The rise of DDT roles are important data points and, at times, we have found that – rather than wishing they would “be done” – it can be useful to make friends with them. Rather than resisting and cursing the drama, see it as an evolving upward spiral for the next chapter of your life.
We recently received an email from a colleague and friend who uses the TED* framework in their company’s human resources department. After several family challenges during the last year, and preparing for a company presentation, we received this email:
“I was working on my TED* presentation for next week’s presentation and I am feeling like a fake. I’m going to assume that’s ‘normal’ when we are going through something challenging. I am sliding back into feeling sorry for myself, and guilty about our family situation over the past year. I feel like a Persecutor when I think of my family and…blah, blah, blah. Who do I think I am to get up in front of 100 people and talk about TED*?? I just wanted to share that, and perhaps it will become part of my story, as we’re all human, and this work takes intention and practice. We all slide back and I suppose the good news is recognizing it, take the time needed to reflect, then get back on the horse.”
If you were done with your drama, there would be no reason to get back up on your horse and keep riding forward. Along your journey, life’s trials and learning opportunities would be hidden from your view.
So when drama shows up. See it. Name it. Ask what there is to learn from it. And then, when you are ready, make an empowered choice.