So, I’ll say it again:
The first step to stepping out of the Poor Me Control Drama is to realize that you’re in it (or heading that direction).
The second step is to acknowledge your own feelings. State out loud, or in writing, “This is how I’m feeling” without any blame or shifting responsibility to anyone else.
Step 3: Asking, “What do I Need?”
Recall that the Poor Me Control Drama is a manipulation for energy. It is attempting to “take” or “steal” energy from another person through playing a victim role. In contrast, being transparent about my needs is stating my truth at this moment. Taking a moment to address the need for energy, or to notice how I’m feeling, or to take care of my body is important to authentic communication.
One way to take that moment is to remember the HALT acronym. I love it that Halt means “pause” or “take a moment” while the letters themselves remind me of some internal cues to help me feel better.
HALT = Hungry? Anxious? (or Angry)? Lonely? Tired?
After noticing that I’m heading towards the Poor Me game, (step 1), and acknowledging my feelings (step 2), asking myself “What do I need right now?” can help me remember to step out of poor me and then address the need.
So, obviously, if hunger (or thirst) is the biggest problem, getting fed and hydrated will make a big difference. If tired, a nap, good night’s rest, or at least a break may be the best answer. If Lonely, calling a friend, signing into Facebook and finding someone to chat with, or going and visiting someone might be the best response. Even writing a letter to thank those you love for the things you love about them can help alleviate loneliness.
If anger is the issue, taking some time to write that out might help you feel better and solve the problem that is underlying the anger. If feeling anxious– Taking some deep breaths, using progressive muscle relaxation, or doing some meditation, exercise, or singing might help you feel better.
Sometimes, what I most need, when falling into Poor Me, is just to be heard, to feel that my feelings matter and that someone cares enough to sit with me through whatever misery I’m going through at the moment. If this is the case, being able to own my feelings, and to sincerely respond to the question of “What do I need right now?” with the honest answer of “I just need someone to sit with me and listen to me whine for a bit til I’m done whining.” – or put another way, “I just want to feel like someone cares enough to validate my feelings.”
And the way out of Poor Me- is also for me, myself to be able and willing to acknowledge and validate my feelings — without attempting to make anyone else responsible for having “made me” feel the way I’m feeling, and also without having the expectation that they are responsible for fixing me.
Once I’ve taken those three steps:
(1) Acknowledge the Poor Me is happening,
(2) Acknowledge, honor, and own my feelings,
(3) Ask myself – “What do I need right now?”
Then I can move on to addressing the needs and solving the problem. Trying to move into problem-solving and “Fixing” the issues before these steps often results in frustration, disconnection and feeling more hurt than helped by the ones who would offer support.
Having said all of that, I’ll also say that there are some helpful and healthy ways to respond to someone else who is having a Poor Me episode.
Transparency and disclaimer:
My expertise in this Control Drama does NOT come from being so awesome that I never fall into it, but from lots of experiences of falling into it (over and over again). Sometimes, I notice it as I’m heading in that direction. Sometimes I notice it as I’ve been sitting in Poor Me for a minute (or an hour, or a day, or a week… or longer). The point of writing the article was to share my experiences of noticing and stepping out of the Control Drama to help others who are finding themselves there. I can say that with practice, I’ve gotten much better at noticing and stepping out more quickly. (often in minutes rather than months). Be patient with yourself in your own growth process. Nobody (that I know, so far) has come to the point of NEVER falling into Control Dramas. We just keep working on getting better at authentic communication, healing the hurt spots, learning from the challenges, and trying to live our lives holding the Celestine Vision. Blessings to you on your journey!
Thank you to Amanda Salsman for the great Memes!! To see more from Amanda, check out her blog:
SEND YOUR THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ABUT THIS ARTICLE TO: Candella@celestinevision.com
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