A mother wrote me recently, “How can I heal the conflicts with my daughter?” Her family feels that they are walking on eggshells so as to not upset her. This mother believes her daughter is using the “Poor Me” control drama to get things she wants from her family. Her daughter tries to gain power by guilt tripping, and she usually gets what she wants in the end. But as a family, they are hurting.
This circumstance is an example of a classic control drama. And everyone in the family has one. When you are living with someone who is working to gain control by manipulating other people, you are dealing with a power struggle.
In this case, there are two drama’s most likely in conflict here, each working as a way of gaining control. The Poor me drama, (making everyone feel guilty for not fixing their problems) and the Interrogator drama, (criticizes everyone to become the most powerful). So there is only one simple start to a solution:
Name the GAME. This is where everyone in the family sits down and says how they feel while they are with each other — not out of spite, but love so the interactions in the family can become authentic. When you name the power game, control drama begins to fade away.
Together, commit to sitting down once a week, and better yet, any time a problem arises. By practicing a way of lovingly pointing out each time the dramas occur, everyone will become aware of how they each naturally work to gain energy. Over time, people will self-correct because they can feel the drama’s before they turn into a power game. And the honest conversations will begin.
It is important to remember, each person probably has a completely different perspective of the argument. Committing to be authentic in each moment ensures a real conversation about how each person is feeling. Ultimately the struggle and competition for power are replaced with love and a desire to explore one’s higher dreams. A family in conflict can move to one that embraces mutual support and uplifting love. Now you will be open to the beautiful family connection for which God designed all of us to experience.