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Are you a bit player in someone else’s drama?

There are many people who only feel alive when they’re having a drama. That would be ok…except they give others a role in it, without them realising!

Maybe you’ve been enrolled into one?

Sala Bibiena Teatro Comunale Bologna / dramaIs there anyone in your personal or professional life whose behaviour is confusing and emotionally draining? Maybe it’s the old friend who has to be centre of attention or they get bored; a partner who gives you the silent treatment and won’t explain why; a parent who never listens to you; a colleague who always misses deadlines and drops you in it.

If you find you’re regularly trying to fathom out someone’s behaviour, there’s every likelihood that they’re pulling your strings. While you’re using up your time, energy, and brain space, trying to analyse what they’re doing, they’re just going on about their business.

Have a look at your relationships to see if this is happening. If it is, recognise it. And stop playing the part!

You cannot change another’s behaviour

but you can choose how you react to it


  • Ask yourself whether you want that attention-seeking friend in your life? If not, then it’s time to move on.
  • Don’t waste time trying to work out why you’re getting the silent treatment from the sulky partner. Let them be sulky for as long as they want, and just get on with your own life.
  • Accept that the parent who doesn’t listen to you is who they are. Find others who will listen to you.
  • Say “sorry, but no” when the colleague tries to dump their share of responsibility onto you.

Prepare for the drama queens and kings to put up a fight when you stop playing your part – worse behaviour, guilt trips, and longer sulks are all likely for a while! Just keep in mind that…

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
Oscar Wilde

You’ve been on the receiving end of inward focus behaviour, and these are classic narcissistic traits. This behaviour is hard to understand when you’re not narcissistic yourself; you wouldn’t behave like that without a good reason, especially to someone you care about, and so you try to work out what their reason could be.

The thing is…

They don’t have a reason. It’s just what they do

So resign from the role, and don’t get caught up in the drama.

Instead, become the lead character in your own life.

And save your time and thoughts for those who really need them, who’ll benefit from them,  and who will value them.


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