Friday, October 1, 2010
i realize that drama plays out in each of our lives from time to time. for most of us, sometime in our mid twenties, we make a developmentally appropriate choice to reduce the noise and the chaos and seek peace and stability. all the theatrics just aren't worth the emotional investment.
lately it seems that drama keeps trying to make itself front and center in my life. where i have control (in my personal life), i can choose who to be around. but at work and on other stages where i am merely a player and not the casting director, certain characters keep reappearing to bait me and make my life miserable.
let's start with the faux victim.
i work in a field with bonafide victims (children) and people who have received the true short end of the stick in life, so i have little tolerance for the oh-woe-is-me segment of privileged society. you know who i'm talking about, don't you? there is always some unfair circumstance or person or tribunal persecuting the poor innocent baby. a new prescription drug ad appears during oprah and suddenly this person is overcome with the malady du jour. the rest of us are simply required to indulge the helplessness, whining and attention-seeking and give endless amounts of sympathy and assistance.
the faux victim intentionally limits the response options we have; the choice is to take care of them (sympathize) or (in their minds) victimize them. when this happens, i politely disconnect and hope that my neutrality sends the message to grow up and move on. because i choose not to join the pity party and become a caretaker, this casts me as uncaring and ruthless. a victimizer by default.
enter, the rescuer.
oh my god: the rescuer. in my book, way worse than the faux victim. this person swoops in (you can actually hear the rush of air) with good deeds and caretaking and baskets of muffins to save the poor victim from the uncaring black heart of evil me. she lives to be needed. she basks in the glory of her superheroness. (insert finger in throat.)
i do my best to disengage and stay neutral, but these two characters can really get under my skin. i've tried to conjure up some compassion, but honestly, there is none to give. my empathy is there for the real thing but i just can't seem to rustle any up for these players. any advice on how to deal?
i hope your days are drama-free.