I believe that it is essential to recognise the moment in which we have to listen to people and their problems, and when to separate from their drama in order to preserve our well-being, as well as to avoiding falling prisoners of a dynamic of toxic energy that leaves no room for any positive outcome.
Years ago a friend was going through a very depressive period. She couldn't see anything positive about herself. Even though one could say she had reasons to feel in such a way, it was also an illusion, as there were also many reason she had to celebrate life. For weeks I met with her every evening and weekends for as long as it was necessary, and sometimes after meeting she would call me late in the evening to discuss some of her issues.
Although we never discussed it, from the beginning it was clear to both of us that I wouldn't allow her to use self-deprecating language or to maintain that attitude while working together. She was depressed, but she was also hammering herself down with every belief and expression she voiced. There is only one possible outcome to lingering in the energy of such behaviour and that is to feed low vibrations and remain depressed.
While talking about everything negative in their lives is normal behaviour in people who cannot see anything positive, the purpose of giving support, time, love and energy to others is to help them improve the situation; never to help and validate their current state. I also believe that it is important for people to express everything they are holding within, and we must allow for this to happen, as long as they can expand on it in order to find the root of the problem.
One of the problems that people face and I see on a daily basis working with clients is that most of them do not know how to identify or express a feeling or emotion. Instead most people concentrate on the details of their situation. Whether it relates to a bad relationship, money, work or any other issue that most of us must face at one point or another in life, one of the main problems remain in the inability to express emotion.
In my friend's case, she was looking for answers and to feel better, so after a couple of days she could see that holding on to drama was not the right answer. She was willing to listen. The principle is that they begin listening to someone else with a very different perspective of life, so eventually they can listen to a more positive voice within themselves. But this is not the case with everyone at all times.
There is a different type of behaviour that represents a serious danger to everyone involved. It is when the person holds on to their drama in order to perpetuate it. What they seek is someone who serves them as a container in which to release the negative energy of their situation. When this happens, any conversation is always identical to all previous conversations. When we buy into this, all we are doing is to enable them and their drama. It is a trap that we must be able to recognise.
It might seem unkind to cut short someone who's going through hard times, but in the end this is the kind thing to do. There's no need to be rude about it. A simple: "I can't do this anymore" should suffice. No explanations required. If you are experiencing a similar situation, do not hesitate to stop it. The reason for this is to let them know that they have to find a different way to deal with their situation.
Since I made my work public, I have been contacted by numerous people with all sorts of problems. It is not essential for me to listen to all the details of someone's drama for an hour. Five minutes is usually enough for me to see the situation, although it never takes five minutes to solve the problem. My approach is always the same. I focus on providing solutions, not in talking endlessly about anyone's drama. My friends also understand this. No drama, only solutions. For as long as we concentrate on drama, there is only drama. Nothing else.
A few months ago I was contacted by a friend whom at the time was going through heartbreak after the abrupt end of her relationship. The first thing I told her was that I was going to tell her the opposite of what she wanted to hear and suggested what she had to do in order to come out of the experience empowered. At no point during the conversation she insisted in talking about any drama, other than to tell me that "it hurts".
She didn't particularly like the fact that she couldn't follow the steps her mind was telling her to do, but she went along with it anyway. Only a few weeks later she got in touch again to tell me how wonderfully she was feeling. While I probably played an important part in her recovery and empowerment, the essential factor was that she was prepared to go through it and did all the work necessary that allowed her to feel in such a way. And this is credit that only she can take.
Today she is in a new relationship, feeling loved and valued for who and what she is. Even though I haven't heard from her in months, I know that she's well and that going through heartbreak not trying to run away from her feelings has changed her life forever. I have no doubts that if in the future she faces a similar situation, she will deal with the it herself from a much stronger stance and that she will succeed once again.
When I see such beautiful stories of recovery, knowing that taking responsibility for our lives,- which includes our feelings and emotions-, I cannot enable anyone whose only intention is to keep sucking the energy out of me or anyone else to continue doing so. When those who feel trapped by their personal dramas talk about it, they do not even change a comma from previous conversations and will try and find as many people as possible so as to enable them in order to continue existing in the position of the victim. As long as they find an outlet, they will feel validated. If they are doing it to you, do not doubt for a minute that they did it to someone else before and will continue doing it to others for as long as they can.
The last time I stopped someone from trying to do this to me, I received all sorts of abuse one can imagine and they an attempted to blackmail me emotionally. If you were to take this step, be ready to hear a few unpleasant things and then let it go. It is better to suffer this once for a few of minutes than to be the only depository of someone's negative energy over a prolonged period of time, which eventually will have a detrimental effect on your health.
There are other ways in which we can help our friends and family. This is by focusing on a solution, never buying into their drama. For something to change, the person affected must be prepared to make a change in their lives. There is a time to talk, and there is a time for action. Action is what solves problems. Talking alone is avoidance. And avoidance is nothing but fear of change and fear of what might find within.
The reason why certain people insist in perpetuating drama is because it is familiar and for as long as they're allowed to continue doing so, they don't have to sit down and face their feelings and emotions, as when they do; they know they have to face their demons. And that is the scariest mirror to look into, as the only way to succeed is to face their demons alone. But only when we do we can find the courage that we all have within and that undoubtedly will help to overcome any fears we might have.
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