• Eimear Stassin

Day 10 ~ Crisis Averted

It's Day 10 of the Be Yourself Writing Challenge. 

Today our writing prompt is to write about a time you brought a crisis upon yourself, big or small, and what you learned from it.

It was a choice of 'being bored' or work himself up into a frenzy of raging anger.

We were on way to the airport only yesterday when this crisis (drama) happened.

A relatively short journey. All of us packed into the car amongst our piles of luggage and ski gear. He wanted his gadget so that the journey wouldn't be sooooo boring.

Look at the beautiful sunrise. Lets play i-spy. Lets count all the red cars. Oh look at that unicorn over there.....Nope. He was focused on what he wanted and that was for us to give him what he wanted.

We opted for tough parent stance and encouraged him to just be bored. That was ok. That's where creativity is borne out of. It was a short journey.

No, that was not ok. That was just making him angrier.

His anger reached a crescendo just as we arrived at the airport. Just when we thought we would all explode in the confines of the car and feeling rather frazzled.

It reminded me of all the times I have created dramas in my life. Out of seemingly nothing. Out of, sometimes, the fear of being bored. Out of wanting something, thinking that I was entitled to it. And it was someone else's job to hand it to me on a silver platter. Whether at home or in work.

The times I have danced, moved, waltzed and cha cha'd with the Drama Triangle (Karpman), where I take on the role of either Persecutor, Rescuer or Victim. All three roles at once sometimes, like a fine actor. Because just sometimes, I like a good bit of drama in my life! I have felt like those things that needed to change were the responsibility of the other person.

My husband. My kids. My family. My boss. Oh just anybody please?

But actually what really needs to change is my reaction to the situation. That is in my control. That's empowering.

As the late Dr Stephen Covey writes;

'Between stimulus and response there is a space. It is in this space that you have the freedom to choose your response. To be proactive.'

I see this play out in almost all aspects of life & work. On teams; the dynamics of hierarchy; around leadership and expectations. All of these places where conflicts seem difficult to resolve. Do you recognise this in your life?

It's the new BSE crisis ~ Blame Someone Else for the drama that you are in.

My son certainly was persecuting; blaming us, his parents, for his apparent boredom. I could have retaliated through persecution, or I could have given in and rescued him, yet I was feeling a bit like a victim by this stage. The rest of the family was. This was the start of our holiday. We had put a lot of preparation into this trip. And here we were in this situation.

When clients seek me out for coaching, they are often stuck. Stuck in a problem, a crisis, with no apparent way out. I start the coaching session with the question;

'What would you like to have happen in this block of coaching sessions?'

When I recognised that I was stepping into the drama triangle, I asked myself, what would I like to have happen now? I couldn't stop his anger. I couldn't change his reaction in that moment. I chose not to rescue him. Instead, what I wanted to have happen right at that moment, was to breath, lots of breaths.

Who holds the power to step out of drama? You.

My answer helped me to focus back on myself, on what I could control about this situation. Rather than responding angrily back which would have created more drama and which I very easily could have done, but not this time!

So, the next time you are in a car/at work/at home and someone (or you) is working themselves into a crisis drama, ask yourself, what would I like to have happen now?

And notice what difference that makes for you and in turn, them.

If you would like to learn more about the Drama Triangle or coaching individually or in a work setting, please get in touch with me.

#21DaysOfReflections Day 10

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