How To Move Past The Way A Person Is Treated
By Art Ramsay, PhD

 When families gather, usually around a holiday or special occasion, personalities clash and ‘taking things personally’ (TTP) is at an all time high. I have written about family relationships before, especially about TTP, and they are in the archives on my site. But there is one aspect of TTP that seems to be more about someone else. It surfaces with something like “he treats her so bad,” and makes ‘him’ a terrible person in the eyes of the beholder.

 What the above complicated-looking situation demonstrates is the ‘drama triangle’, which I have mentioned in other articles; it may look familiar. 


The above situation, with references to the triangle, gives us a complaint by one person, the rescuer, about how someone was treated, the victim, by another person, the perpetrator. The point of the article I wrote, called The Deadly Drama Triangle (in archives), is that you want to stay out of the drama and not play that game. When you get caught up in the drama, you take on one, sometimes more, of these roles. It pulls your energy down, invokes anger and resentment, and leaves you feeling frustrated, because you cannot do anything about it.

 The drama I am referring to here is in your head or in conversation with a third party. While a complaint about the ‘perpetrator’ may not seem like getting involved in the drama, you, most assuredly, are. As far as drama is concerned, it is all in your mind anyway. Since the drama is in your head, guess who suffers from the anger and distraught emotions? Does the ‘perpetrator’ suffer? No. Does the ‘victim’ benefit by your ‘rescuing’ thoughts? No. So why are you doing it?

 We cannot know what a person is thinking, or why he/she did what they did, or did not, do. Since you do not know why the person did what you think she/he should have, or should not have, you are judging that person based on your own subconscious beliefs. This means that the other people, the drama, are reflecting back to you, your own dislike of you. Does that sound farfetched, or something you do not want to believe? Well, get over it, because that is the truth of the event.

 Instead of filling your mind with how terrible a person was treated, know instead, that it is none of your business, and let it go. We are not in control of other people’s lives, nor can we control them. Therefore, judging what they do is similar to judging the weather. The old saying, “no use complaining about the weather, I can’t do anything about it anyway” is exactly what I am referring to here.

 Every time we complain or judge someone, we are digging ourselves a deeper hole. An old Chinese proverb says, “he that seeks vengeance is digging two graves …” While resentment may not seem like vengeance, its effect to your body is the same. If you are ready to admit that your complaints are serving no one and destroying your body, then what can you do about it?

 You can start by practicing detachment. As a coach/counselor I cannot allow myself to become involved in the drama of the client. I must remain detached, yet ready to assist the client toward a resolution. If I allow myself to become attached to the client’s distress, I cannot serve that person. In order to detach yourself from the drama, you must prevent yourself from being drawn into it. To do that you must let go of TTP each time it arises.

 The sequence is something like this: you observe or remember a situation involving two people, it triggers a subconscious belief, you take it personally, and then blame the alleged perpetrator for your discomfort. The first step is to work on the belief that was triggered. Ask yourself "what is it about the event that would cause me to react the way I did?" Your judgment is that it should have been a certain way. Why? Because that certain way is how you would have handled it? Have you thought of putting yourself in each of the other person’s shoes and getting their perspectives?

 In order to resolve any situation stemming from long held beliefs, it takes deep reflection and steps toward a solution. It can happen in a moment, or take days or weeks to determine the cause. But it is up to you and no one else. It is about willingness to do the work and determination to see it through. When you finish it, you will feel lighter, happier, and more detached from drama than you have ever known.


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