We are all familiar with the fact that people play games – often cruel games – with each other.The most common games are related to the sharing and stealing of life energy – everybody knows a vampire – someone who just flat out drains you. The games take the form of dominance manipulation. The basis is old psychology. Nothing new here. It has been written about many times with a twist to make it appear new.
Conscious Living will enable you to spot the game well before you succumb.
I taught my children how to quickly recognise these control methods by first playing them as a role then explaining why they reacted as they did. At first they did not appreciate this technique, but soon learned just what I was about, and it became a game.
Now it is nearly impossible to catch them out – they will either call me on it or reverse the game and return the favour. The basis is old psychology. Nothing new here. It has been written about many times with a twist to make it appear new.
The primary “roles” – often called control dramas – are:
- Poor Me
The Interrogator will trap their victim by making a statement that is derogatory. The response is often heated – again a stream of energy is directed at the victim’s tormentor. The aggressor is usually quick mentally and turns the reply into a negative and passes blame onto the victim. This increases the energy flow and the feeding begins.
The Aloof is a person who either is very quiet or grants monosyllabic responses, and so makes the victim do all the work to maintain the conversation or even the relationship thus delivering the energy. They are heavy going.
The intimidator is a bully. He or she will find fault with a victim and threaten them either emotionally or physically. The normal response is a form of fear which “feeds” the bully a stream of energy. This feels good so the bully continues and even increases the strength of the tactic to drain more energy.
The Poor Me is a person who accuses another of doing wrong to them – guilt trips them. The victim either responds with denial or lashes out – again a stream of energy – and someone feeding on the victim.
Where the control dramas originate
It is interesting that these control dramas are paired. Each causes the other.
They usually involve a person in authority and someone in a subordinate role. The most common is a parent and child. Another common pairing is in the workplace with a higher ranking person attempting to feed from a lower or more subordinate person.
Say for example, that a parent is an Intimidator – a bully. The only response a child can make to break the control is to become a Poor Me – to guilt trip the parent.
Similarly, if the parent is an an Interrogator, the child will attempt to stop their parent into stopping by Aloof behaviour – ignoring the parent and making them work harder.
Once someone has faced their opposite regularly, they usually assume the role more permanently and use it as a technique to control others. I have met some people who can use Poor Me or Aloof behaviour quite aggressively.
People often mix and match and as their life changes, they adopt other strategies. I have seen someone who was a Poor Me switch rapidly to Interrogator and then Aloof during the course of an argument. Certainly keeps the other person on their toes!
How do we handle control dramas?
Observation is critical here. Once you have recognised someone’s tactic, you now may choose an appropriate response. The idea is not to respond to the trap laid, but to call the person on their poor behaviour. You may name the technique and state that this is inappropriate behaviour or play the adult and not rise to the bait.
ACT – don’t REACT
Conscious Living will assist you here – clearly the control dramas are usually unconscious behaviours. They are not as effective once recognised. The discipline of constant observation will counter any such behaviour and leave you with the choice, and thus the upper hand.