Control Dramas: The Interrogator

Welcome to my interrogation chamber.Together we will uncover all of your secrets and flaws and I will be able to feel powerful and important! Muah ha ha ha ha…

Have a seat won't you?

Have a seat won’t you?

The Interrogator drama is one that know all to well. It is my primary control drama.

What are the trademarks of an Interrogator? They steal energy by judging and questioning. It is far more aggressive than the Poor Me and Aloof approaches. We get right in your face about stuff. We will use criticism to make you feel insecure and thus make us feel more powerful. As Rainbow Reiki Room’s site put it, the Interrogator ” can be similar to the Intimidator, but this individual will use constant and vigorous questioning as their tool to extract their Energy as your attention will always be focused on what you see as a compulsion to answer their every question. They probe, undermine, are sarcastic, needle, have infallible logic, self- righteous and are perfectionists.”

It’s a sick, twisted mind game, and I sad to admit that I’m pretty good at it, especially when I allow it to happen unconsciously.

Let’s hear what Redfield has to say about us,

In the presence of an Interrogator, we always get a distinct feeling that we are being monitored. Simultaneously, we may feel as though we are being cast in the role of someone who is inadequate, or unable to handle our own lives.

We feel this way because the person we are interacting with has pulled us into a reality where he feels that most people are making huge mistakes with their lives and he must correct the situation. For instance, the Interrogator may say, “You know, you really don’t dress well enough for the kind of job you have,” or “I’ve noticed you don’t really keep your house very neat.” just as easily, the criticism could involve how we do our jobs, the way we talk, or a wide range of personal characteristics. It doesn’t really matter. Anything will work as long as the criticism throws us off balance and makes us unsure of ourselves.

The unconscious strategy of the Interrogator is to point out something about us that gives us pause, hoping that we will buy into the criticism and adopt the Interrogator’s view of the world. When this happens, we begin to look at the situation through the eyes of the Interrogator and thus give him energy. The Interrogator’s aim is to become the dominant judge of other people’s lives so that as soon as interaction begins, others immediately defer to his worldview, providing a steady flow of energy.

I really hate that I interrogate. Usually my intentions are good. I truly, truly enjoy helping people, but when they neither need or want your help trying to give advice can turn ugly. I once had a friend tell me, “you know people aren’t broken toys that you are meant to fix.” Ouch. That hurt…but in that moment he was probably right. I was totally interrogating him and I didn’t even realize it!

Nitpickers - a 'nicer' way to think of Interrogators

Nitpickers – a ‘nicer’ way to think of Interrogators

How did I get this way? Well, I think that growing up with a Poor Me and an Interrogator I learned to get energy in my household by looking after everyone. I was the “good child” who got good grades, played sports, and helped around the house. I also became my parents’ unofficial marriage counselor and confidant. As I reflect now (with my BA in psychology and philosophy) it doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to figure out why I developed into an Interrogator.

Here’s Redfield‘s account of how Interrogators pick up their manipulative habits:

Like the other dramas, this one springs from projected assumptions about the world. This person believes that the world is not safe or orderly unless he is watching everyone’s behavior and attitude, and making corrections. In this world, he is the hero, the only one paying attention and making sure things are done carefully and with perfection. Usually, the Interrogator comes from a family in which his parental figures were absent or not attentive to his needs. In this insecure void of energy, the Interrogator gained attention and energy in the only way possible: by pointing out errors and criticizing the family’s behavior.

When the child is grown, he carries with him these assumptions about how the world is and what people are like, and these assumptions in turn create that kind of reality in the Interrogator’s life.

Dealing with an interrogator may be difficult for some people, especially those who like to avoid confrontation. Aloofs and Poor Mes can be annoying and frustrating, but Interrogators can be down right intimidating when they get going. They also leave you feeling insecure which can make you defensive and aggressive. As an Interrogator, I appreciate Redfield’s compassionate and loving approach to handing our drama,

Handling the Interrogator is a matter of staying centered enough to tell him how we are feeling in his presence. Again, the key is to keep from assuming a defensive posture ourselves and to send loving energy as we explain that we feel monitored and criticized by him.

The Interrogator, too, may have several different reactions. First, he may deny being critical at all, even in the face of examples. Again, we must consider the possibility that we are wrong and somehow hearing put-downs when none are intended. If, on the other hand, we are sure of our perspective, then we can only explain our position, hoping that a genuine dialogue can begin.

Another reaction the Interrogator might have is to turn the tables and call us critical. If this happens, we must again consider whether the accusation is true. However, if, as before, we see this is not happening, then we must return to our discussion of how the other person makes us feel in his presence.

A third reaction that the Interrogator might have is to argue that the criticisms are valid and need to be given and that we are avoiding facing up to our own faults. Again, we have to consider the truth of this statement, but if we are sure of our position, several examples can be given to show that the Interrogator’s criticisms have been either unnecessary or inappropriately given.

Each of us will face situations in which we sense that others are doing something that appears not in their best interest. We might feel that we should ‘intervene to point out the error. The key factor here is how we intervene. We are learning, I believe, to make very unassuming statements, such as, “If my tires were bald like this, I would buy a new set,” or “When I was in a situation like yours, I quit my job before finding another and later regretted it.”

There are ways to intervene that do not take the person out of his centered viewpoint or undermine his confidence, the way the Interrogator does, and this difference must be explained to the Interrogator. Again, this person may sever the relationship rather than hear what we are saying, but this is a risk we have to take in order to stay true to our own experience.

Interrogators, like all dramas, seem to think their world view is the only perspective worth looking through. The problem is that because they are more aggressive they push others to seeing things their way, too. I struggle to find ways to truly help people without stealing their energy or pushing my views on them. I also struggle to stop judging others. I’m getting better. Slowly. 🙂

Fellow good-intentioned Interrogators here is my final message:



3 responses to “Control Dramas: The Interrogator

  1. Yup….I am an interrogator. After coming out of an 8 year relationship and now into a healthy one I am realizing these traits because I don’t want to put this behavior onto my new love. I really respect him and think that although we aren’t exactly alike it is this difference that balances us. I was an interrogator in my past relationship. My ex was a slacker… but it is not my job to change him, he needed to change for himself not me and I left because I found myself unhappy all the time trying to “perfect our relationship”. I was trying to be better because I am a perfectionist and then I would yell at him or tell him he was not doing this or that right. He would tell me he felt like he was “never good enough for me”. I thought I was helping because I thought “I know you are better then this, I am just calling you out so you realize it and eventually live up to your potential.” But it is not my job,,,and if I don’t love someone for what they are then I don’t love them…. My new relationship is running so smooth it is almost scary, yesterday I watched myself interrogate. My love is someone who takes his time with everything. it is one thing I love about him because I am such a busy body he brings me back down to earth and helps me see that I need to live in the moment and not rush through everything. BUT we had a baby shower to go to at 2pm. He was at his parents house while I was teaching a private yoga session for a family. This was all fine, we would meet back at the house at 1:30 and it takes 20 minutes to get to the shower…He shows up at 1:50 and still needed to take a quick shower. I of course in a rush and frenzy now because I hate being late, call him out. “You are late for everything, you have such a poor perception of time.” He says “my father starts a new job tuesday I won’t see before then so I wanted to talk to him about it.” I say “Yeah well you haven’t seen Chris (father of baby) in two months and you’re perfectly fine showing up late and spending less time with him.” AM I A JERK OR WHAT? What I love is he is so confident and perfectly okay with it that he doesn’t give in to me…this is great because it makes me realize what I am doing…We got their 15 minutes late and before half the other late people that showed up (hippie friends) haha. No one was upset that we were late..When we got home I apologized for what I said. Of course he wasn’t mad, he says ” I know you didn’t mean it you just get frazzled if we run late.” I acknowledge that and we talked about the fact that with my behavior I feel the need to be early for everything and get everything just right as if the world is depending on me…And I told him in hindsight it is so sweet to me that his family is so important to him. He is very close to his father and he was right to talk it out with his dad about the new job. Anywahys….20 pages later…I am realizing more and more when I do it and what’s great is even if I don’t notice at that moment and stop in time, I am making it a point to analyze the situation and making sure to patch up anything that I tear apart….

    • Sara I am so proud of you for being so reflective and compassionate with yourself. You are already perfect the way you are, but you can always grow through increased self-awareness.
      I can’t wait to meet Alex.I love the way he balances you. Erich does that for me. He definitely grounds me too. I just listened to this great QA with Ram Dass the other day and it is helping me be “gentle with myself” as he puts it. I hope you guys can listen to it together sometime. It’s got some really wonderful information:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s