Learning about the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) roles of Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer is often a huge epiphany for people. Once shared, the DDT roles are easy to recognize because they line-up with the flight, flight, freeze, or appease reactive mechanism that is built into the human psyche.
Becoming more aware of personal drama is empowering because, once recognized, you can choose to make more powerful and resourceful choices. But not everyone is pleased to be alerted to their personal drama patterns. They start seeing drama everywhere and sometimes report it was “easier” when they were sleep-walking through life.
This is about the time we hear: “When will I be done with my drama?”
We smile when we hear this question because we know the yearning to be free of our reactive drama—like 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 as fast as anyone.
Wanting to be done with drama is natural. Spoiler alert! It’s not going to happen.
No matter how self-aware or enlightened you become, you will sometimes have human drama. It’s an inescapable part of life.
But there’s an alternative way to look at drama. Rather than seeing it as another problem to fix, your drama patterns can be viewed as sign-posts trying to get your attention. This is when the TED* (*The Empowering Dynamic)® roles become so useful. Knowing that you also have the Creator, Challenger, and Coach capabilities waiting to emerge as your best self will support you as you learn to transcend the drama roles when they arise.
For example, when you are triggered by a situation, the Challenger inside of you is nudging you to grow and learn. Rather than looking away from the drama, facing what wants to grow within you could be your next breakthrough.
The rise of DDT roles can be important data-points. It can be useful to make friends with such experiences. Rather than resisting and cursing the drama, see it as an invitation to an evolving upward growth toward the next chapter of your life.
We 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, they wrote:
“I am working on my TED* presentation for next week and I’m 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, I can take the time needed to reflect, then get back on the horse.”
If you can learn to see and understand your ways of thinking and relating that keeps you in the drama, you will learn to be free of it. Being free does not mean you won’t ever experience it. It means you can work with it rather than be ruled by your drama.
So accept that your drama patterns will shows up. See it. Name it. Ask what there is for you to learn. And then, when you are ready, make an empowered choice.