Have you ever spent time with someone who zapped your energy? It might not even occur to you until later when you realized that you are mentally and emotionally exhausted.
I hope you also have people in your life who energize you too. People who pick you up are fun to be with.
We’re all energy. We’re giving and/or receiving energy every time we interact with others. At times, it might feel like you’re competing for energy to make yourself feel better. This shows up as approval, attention, love, recognition, support and other disguises.
When we are with those who “zap” us instead of fuel us, it’s almost always surrounded by drama. Control dramas are easier to manage and avoid, when you know what to look for.
Here are the most common examples.
Intimidator – These people are aggressively forcing others to pay attention. They use fear, verbal threats and in worst cases, physically threaten others to “give” their energy to him/her.
No doubt, you know the type. He’s the loud person at the ball game who makes everyone accommodate his need for attention. In a family dynamic, they might order others to do their bidding operating from an egocentric “the world revolves around me” attitude.
Creates poor me people with this behavior.
Interrogator – They question everything. Often seek to find something wrong with you and/or your behavior.
While they are less threatening, they will break your spirit by questioning everything. Your activities, your motivations; looking for ways to make you wrong. The more you engage by explaining or trying to prove yourself, the more energy they gain.
They might initially seem engaging with wit and intellect. They often start by criticizing you in the guise of being “helpful”.
Creates poor me and aloof people with this behavior.
Aloof – The quiet ones who draw you in by being vague, mysterious, even secretive forcing you to expend energy to try and understand them.
The effort here is for the attention to be solely focused on them. You might be in the relationship, but only one person is benefitting. They want you to spend lots of time and energy trying to “figure” them out but will never return the same level of inquiry into who you are, or what you like.
Detachment is a defense and you might hear things like “no one understands me”, or a version of “I’m not like everyone else”.
Creates interrogators and can get into dramas with poor me’s as well.
Poor Me or Victim – Passive, but expert at using sympathy or curiosity to gain attention. Willingly dives into horrible situations and become inconsolable; but they want you to keep trying!
This person actively elicits sympathy. They walk around sharing the horrible details of their life to anyone who will listen. They may use crying, staring into space or dramatic sighing to draw desired focus and attention. While recounting all sorts of problems, slights and terrible stories – they don’t want solutions since that would end the need for on-going attention. They also have issues with boundaries. They may tell things that are much too personal, and conversely try to get involved with the problems of others as a way to become “put upon” and once again disappointed.
They attract intimidators with their victim stance.
We all have emotions and feelings. That’s part of life.
I encourage you to look at why you do some of the things you do. When you take the time for self-reflection, you become a conscious participator in life.
- What is your motive to do the things you do?
- Are you adding to the drama?
- Do you often feel misunderstood, or taken advantage of?
- When managing emotions can you create boundaries around what is okay and what is not okay?
We only know what we have learned and experience in life thus far. Often, we’ve been raised in a family dynamic that expected us to take on one of these roles. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.
You can take a step back and evaluate what part you play in life’s big (and little) dramas. From there, you can choose to change your behavior which will change how others react and respond to you. You can end the drama cycle in your life.
For help with drama control situations, contact me.