A pathway through the drama trauma
Sometimes, someone I know, work with, or care about, says or does something that hurts me. And, I’m 100% sure that I’m not the only person who experiences this.
Sometimes, I know for certain that they care about me. This isn’t a typical response for them and it’s not their heart to go out of their way to hurt someone.
But they just did. I just got hurt.
So, now what? Because despite Mercury being out of retrograde, there’s a tremendous amount of high intensity energy for change right now. Change often causes us, or those around us, to feel off balance and respond out of our hurts. So, you might be bumping into this more than you expect.
l can lash back and out and scorch the earth behind them. “Well, let me tell you about you, how you just hurt me, and everything else that has ever come up between us.” That typically exacerbates things and creates more drama trauma.
I can stuff it down. Ignore it. Pretend it didn’t happen. If you’re like me, you know how well that works. It festers and then this pent-up resentment, anger, or frustration comes out sideways and creates a lot of drama trauma. Usually in the least helpful moment, as well.
In times like this, I try to remember Brené Brown’s quote: All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.
If I can start with, ‘everybody is going through a lot, they are probably trying their best, and part of this is about them, not me’, then I am more likely to approach the situation in a way that is going to be helpful and not create more drama trauma.
I also try to remember that if something triggers me, it is because I have a trigger. There’s a bazillion things around me on any given day that could trigger me but, most days, most of them don’t. So, I what’s up with this one? I probably have a wound, a hope, or an expectation around it.
So, they’re not off the hook for what they said or did, but I also try to recognize that I might have something in me that is contributing to this situation.
So, this is where I try to dredge up some emotional intelligence.
I might start by telling the person, “Hmm, what you what you said hit something in me, and it hurt a bit. I clearly need to work on me and what got triggered, but I’m wondering if you would you consider phrasing that differently in the future or, if I’m doing something that bothers you, could you bring it up earlier so perhaps we could talk about it differently?”
As you can imagine, this is best when it comes out in fairly level, calm tone. [Ha!]
Also, sometimes, I need to walk away to dredge up this emotional intelligence. If I can (and I can’t always), I try to say something like “I need some time to think about that and I’ll circle back to this conversation later.”
I find that when I approach things in this way, I usually get some pretty quick information. Sometimes the person responds with a negative or antagonistic response. It feels like jab, jab, jab. Unless they come back with an apology and acknowledge the work they need to do to change their own behavior, that’s a relationship I need to rethink. If they’re stuck in trauma drama, they’re not someone I can grow with on my own journey. And, if I think I should stick with them to help them change, that codependency is gonna drag me down [and that’s a whole another topic!].
But if they respond with something like “oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you but you’re right, I did say/do something hurtful. I value our connection and so I do need to figure out how to do/say this differently.”, well then this is a relationship everyone can grow in. We can support each other.
And even more than that, we can have fun and find joy.
And gratitude, peace, play, and joy are going to be big topics this season.
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