When we started using the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) to help us observe our own drama, both personally and in our marriage, we started asking some basic questions like “How does this drama get started in the first place?” “What is a better way to relate to ourselves and one another?”
As we researched the drama triangle, all we found were statements like: “Just don’t play those roles.” “Don’t get into the DDT in the first place.” Or, “just stop the drama.”
We even saw “no drama” stickers on computers and whiteboards. This approach denies the reality of being human. We all go reactive and have unresolved issues that are buried and, once triggered, can come out in a split second.
We continued to think deeply about how to transform and learn from our drama and discovered there are positive antidote roles that correspond to the DDT roles of Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer. That’s where TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)® comes in, with its positive roles of Creator, Challenger, and Coach. Once we discovered the positive roles, we realized as human beings we now have a “place to go” with more empowering roles that are representative of our true essence as socially connected beings.
Here’s the paradox—spending more time in the TED* roles and your true essence requires that you embrace your drama, not push it away. If you push it down and insincerely tell yourself and others that you shouldn’t have your drama, you are in danger of causing more suffering and harm by denying and repressing your feelings.
Acknowledging your drama is where your power lies, as a sign that you are open to some aspect of yourself and your experience that you want to recognize, learn from, and transform. When your drama comes up, and if it is not looked at and worked with, the pain that caused your reactive drama will go underground and stay there until there’s another triggering moment when it arises again, often with more power and force.
If you say to yourself and others, you only want to be happy and you want everyone to get along all the time, you are suggesting an impossible situation for humans. Therefore, denying drama works against the desire to transform drama.
We want to be clear here. We are not talking about wallowing in drama and using it to manipulate others or avoid taking responsibility for your actions. Instead, we are challenging you to see your drama sooner, so you can transform it faster.
As you have more compassion for your own drama, you may become kinder toward others who are having their drama moments. If you first embrace the idea that drama is a Challenger that has something to teach you (and your team or family) then you will have more patience and understanding to be “with it.” This is your first step to transforming drama.
It is often said, “Unless you have experienced hunger you cannot know what it feels like to be hungry.” Unless you allow yourself to experience your own drama (rather than suppressing it) you may not be present and able to support others when their drama arises.
When drama hits, pause, notice, and inquire: “What just happened that triggered me to go reactive?” This question will put you on the path to observing your drama moments. You may also ask: “How do I relate to my drama moment?” and “What is here for me to learn from this drama moment?”
What we have learned is that drama helps us to understand and listen to one another, to have compassion for what is arising. For this reason, it is vital that you learn to be with drama when it arises, so you can transform it and, as a Creator, choose more empowering ways of living and relating.