The first control drama I’d like to explore is the Poor Me. In this drama the individual will play the victim to get attention and energy from others. They also induce feelings of guilt and responsibility. This is the most passive of all the control dramas.
Eeyore is the perfect example of a Poor Me. He is sad most of the time, no matter how cheerful his friends are. He finds fault in himself easily. He complains constantly. A dark rain cloud follows him wherever he goes! Despite his gloomy disposition it is obvious he enjoys the attention and company of the rest of the gang of Hundred Acre Woods. He’s also quite sweet and lovable (once you get past all the whining!).
I have a few close family members that fall under the Poor Me category. The moment I see them I can immediately feel myself losing energy. I usually leave their company feeling deflated, like a week old balloon. On more extreme encounters I will feel frustrated, even angry, as if I spent that time beating my head against a wall!
We can always tell when we enter the energy field of a Poor Me because we are immediately drawn into a particular kind of dialogue in which we are pulled off center. Out of the blue, we begin to feel guilty for no reason, as though we are being cast into that role by the other person. The individual might say, “Well, I expected you to call yesterday, but you never did,” or “I had all these bad things happen to me and you were nowhere to be found.” He might even add, “All these other bad things are about to happen to me, and you probably won’t be around then, either.” James Redfield
The Poor Me drama evolves due to a lack of support and nurturing at a young age. At some point in the individual’s past he likely experienced some form of trauma or neglect. Redfield writes,
To the Poor Me, the world is a place where people can’t be counted on to meet one’s needs for nurturing and well-being, and it is too scary a place to risk pursuing these needs directly or assertively. In the Poor Me’s world, the only reasonable way of acting is to bid for sympathy through guilt trips and perceived slights.
Unfortunately, because of the effect on the World of these unconscious beliefs and intentions, very often the same kind of, abusive people the Poor Me fears are exactly the ones that they allow into their lives. And the events that befall them are often traumatic. The universe responds by producing exactly the kind of world the person expects, and in this way, the drama is always circular and self validating. The Poor Me is caught unknowingly in a vicious trap.
The Poor Me strategy is fairly simple to identify, but how do we deal with a Poor Me without avoiding them altogether? Here are the best tips I have found, and they are directly from author of the Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield:
Dealing with the Poor Me
In dealing with the Poor Me, it is important to remind ourselves that the purpose of the drama is to win energy. We must begin with the willingness to consciously give the Poor Me energy as we talk with him; this is the fastest way to break the drama. (Sending energy is a precise process that we will discuss in Chapter 9.)
The next thing we must do is to consider whether the guilt trip is justified. Certainly, there will be plenty of cases in our lives when we should feel concern over having let someone down or sympathy for someone in a difficult situation. But these realities must be determined by us, not by someone else. Only we can decide to what extent and when we are responsible to help someone in need.
Once we have given the Poor Me energy and determined that we are facing a control drama in action, the next step is to name the game – that is, to make the control drama itself the topic of conversation.2 No unconscious game can be sustained if it is pulled into consciousness and placed on the table for discussion. This can be done with a statement such as, “You know, right now I feel as though you think I should feel guilty.”
Here we must be prepared to proceed with courage, because while we are seeking to deal honestly with the situation, the other person might interpret what we say as a rejection. In this case, the typical reaction might be “Oh, well, I knew you really didn’t like me.” In other cases, the person may feel insulted and angry. It is very important, in my opinion, to appeal to the person to listen and to continue the conversation. But this can only work if we are constantly giving this person the energy he wants during the conversation. Above all, we must persevere if we want the quality of the relationship to improve. In the best case, the person will hear what we are saying as we point out the drama and be able to open up to a higher state of self-awareness.
If you identify yourself with the Poor Me strategy fear not! Like any habit it can be changed! Awareness is the first step. The second step is making small positive changes, a little bit at a time. I recommend positive affirmations. I recite, read or write a positive affirmation on a daily basis. I leave myself positive messages on sticky notes, on calendars, on my fridge etc…This website offers daily positive messages and would be a great place to start if you feel you need an energy boost! The trick is learning to get energy from yourself and the Universe, rather than getting it from others. When you do this you will be amazed at how people respond to you! You will actually get more love and attention by taking care of yourself. Plus, your friends and family will no longer be acting out of guilt, but sheer love for you!
I also believe that eating right, exercising, watching less television, creating things, doing yoga, practicing meditation, and simply taking time to stop, be quiet and breathe can also make a world of difference when you’re feeling low on energy! The most important thing is to remember to love yourself and adopt an attitude of gratitude for all that you have! You are unique, wonderful and creative! Start acting like it!
“Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.”
― Lao Tzu