Drama. Conflict. Chaos. Game-playing. As a therapist, I hear countless tales of manipulation; the frustrations that come from clients who are struggling to understand a loved one’s behaviour. Of personalizing what makes no sense, of trying to navigate the very choppy waters of emotional dysregulation.
When we engage in behaviours that are critical of others, or accusatory in nature, we are moving from an insecure position. When we allow ourselves to use explosive language or tone to get a message across to someone, we jeopardize the relationship as we are unable to take accountability for our own feelings of insecurity. When we cut someone off with the silent treatment, we are being punitive, and are avoiding our own responsibility.
Drama works against effective communication. It leaves people feeling lost and helpless in its wake. As one client expressed to me “It really doesn’t matter what I do, the only thing that changes is the target or the topic.”
When we recognize that our feelings of insecurity are leading us to engage in game playing, we need to check in with ourselves and get to the source of the insecurities so as to create an avenue for effective communication in our relationships. And if we are on the receiving end of conflict driven behaviour, I quote:
“Just because some people are fueled by drama doesn’t mean you have to attend the performance.” – Cheryl Richardson