We’re now on Day 5 of 30 Days of Drama Reduction and today I’m going to explain Drama Seeking Triggers.
On Day Two, I talked about the reasons why you could find yourself in the role of ‘Accidental’ Drama Seeker which included absent and/or emotionally distant fathers, Drama Queen mothers, feeling second best, or that one guy that pretty much ended up training you for this stuff. What is clear though is that whatever your reasons for creating the need for this behaviour, we continue to engage in it because it works for us.
Much of the behaviour in dysfunctional relationships can end up continuing simply because it works on some level. It caters to everything that you believe about yourself, love, and relationships, hence whatever happens, it’s what you thought was gonna happen anyway, which is the self-fulfilling prophecy, which irrespective of how painful these experiences are, is actually comfortable. Yes, exhausting to read, I know! Now imagine living it!
Your Drama Seeking Trigger is that thing or that feeling that sets you off. Whatever your Drama Seeking behaviour is rooted in, for example, abandonment by a parent, when you get into that zone of being afraid that you are going to be abandoned, it is because something about the situation is familiar, or your overriding fear plays out, and you act on it.
No matter what your Drama Seeking Triggers are, it all pretty much boils back down to FEAR. For example:
Boredom – fear that everything is going stale and that you need to inject some excitement or else the relationship is doomed.
Loneliness – Fear of being alone.
Abandonment – Fear of being abandoned, scared that you’re losing him. You’re wondering what you did to chase him away or scared that you are chasing him away.
Feeling neglected – Fear of being unheard, unloved, not cared for, and not needed. Fear that your efforts don’t count.
In essence, you can pretty much end up having a relationship with your fear.
Say what? Well if everything is motivated by your beliefs and fears, then your fears are taking centre stage. Because we tend to seek out people who reflect the things that we believe about ourselves, love, and relationships, when you have all of these negative things going on in your mind, running around like crazy, you choose a man that exasperates and amplifies every last damn thing that scares the crap out of you!
You want to be loved, cared for, cherished, feel like you matter. You end up with a guy who doesn’t love you or show due care, concern, affection, or pretty much anything. BUT, even if you did find a guy that did actually do all of these things, you are likely to question it because of your fears, hence, you could end up turning up the drama meter just to see what happens to the relationship and prove that your fears are founded. YOU GET TO BE RIGHT.
Fear, whilst it can be handy for giving you the courage to step forward and take a risk, can be pretty derailing to relationships when it pretty much encompasses everything. Whilst I don’t deny that we’re only human to be scared of things, there is something very wrong when fear is behind all of your relationships.
What you need to assimilate is whether your Drama Triggers are rooted in your own fears and insecurities or whether the person that you are with, has inherent characteristics that trigger the fear.
What this means in simplest terms:
Are you going into all of your relationships, irrespective of the quality of the man that you are engaging with, carrying negative beliefs and fears that override the reality of the relationship?
Or do you still have all of these beliefs, plus the guy is ACTUALLY behaving in the negative ways that trigger those fears?
With the first it means that tomorrow, you could meet a wonderful guy – he’s kind, he’s trustworthy, you get on like a house on fire, he is decent, honourable, respectful of you and your relationship and is moving the relationship forward. Will you be suspicious of him and think that he’s too good to be true, and look for the big grey clouds in the platinum lining? Will you act up to create the drama that is missing? Will you write him off as Too Nice To Date Twice? Will you start accusing him of stuff even though there is no basis for it? Will you take out all of your past relationships on him?
With the latter, you meet a guy, he blows hot and cold, you’re not sure when you’ll hear from him next, he tells you that he cares but treats you otherwise; you have to fight to get his attention, he tells you that you’re needy, clingy, expecting too much and pretty much marginalises you. All of the familiar feelings come flooding back and the trigger kicks in and you feel even MORE emotionally invested. You want to win. You want to fight. You want to prove yourself. But you also can’t help but play to the familiar beat of the drama that you know because it is a well rehearsed dance.
Likelihood is, you’re probably doing a bit of both. The point is that in either case, the fear takes precedence and at no point are you ever actually addressing what is triggering your fear and giving yourself a reality check.
Yesterday as I read Cheekie’s post about How to Demagnetize a Drama Magnet and actually cringed but howled with laughter at the same time, I realised that the problem with Drama Seeking is that YOU ACT ON THE FEELING. YOU ACT ON THE FEAR. In a lot of respects, you have no patience.
Much like when we can’t stay away from that frickin assclown or you’re wondering when the hell he is going to call, you just can’t bear the short term feeling and feel like you must REACT to it. Hence, you wind up in bed together, feel good for a day, maybe a few, and then BOOM, the high wears off. Or you call him, maybe twenty times, he doesn’t pick up, or he does and he’s the same assclown he was before you called, and BOOM, high wears off.
But, with awareness of your triggers comes the sanity check because when you are aware of what kickstarts the madness, you can start pulling yourself back to a rational reality. Teach yourself to ride it out and KNOW that you feel like crap right now, but the feeling will pass, because if you act on it, I guarantee that after the initial euphoria, the high of the Relationship Crack wears off, and you are even lower down than you were before.
When the Drama Seeking Trigger kicks in, you have to take CONTROL. Be AWARE. Know that this is the temporary madness and that it is powered by fear and OWN IT.
At the end of the day, is the fear real, or is it tied up in you? If the fear is real, it’s a big indicator that you’re not supposed to be in the relationship!
Coming soon in the 30 Days of Drama Reduction – Help on controlling your urge to act on the drama, The Status Quo, Clinginess and Neediness, Get Real Day, guest posts from Lisa Q, Lance, Cheekie and more.
Do you have a post or tip to submit for the series? Get in touch!
Catch up on posts in the 30 Days of Drama Reduction series.