I’ve not seen any research about the social and economic impacts of drama-addiction. Have you? Like any addiction, there is a huge cost.
Maybe there is no qualitative or quantitative research because most of us are so immersed in our dramas, we don’t even recognize it’s a problem.
I invite you to step back from your life and be a “conscious observer” of what you hear, see, and sense around you. Does this drama-addiction exist?
1) My friend lives in another part of Canada. She has a small retail business with several employees. Earlier this winter, there was a snow storm and it happened to be when my friend was visiting her parents in another city. My friend received several lengthy emails from one of her employees. The tone seemed to imply that the employee was feeling overburdened due to snow that needed to be shovelled from the walk, an unexpected shipment had been received and needed to be processed, and several other tasks that were a part of her job description.
My friend was upset. She couldn’t simply jump on the next plane to go help. She put a lot of thought into how to handle the situation from a distance in a kind, respectful way. She asked her parents for feedback and advice. I had called her about another matter, and she and I talked about it for 20 minutes, so she could solidify the steps she was going to take.
From a resource-use perspective (time only), there were close to 4 hours of productive time wasted on tasks that could have been completed in less time than it took the employee to write the emails. And, the tasks could all have been done with an attitude of being in service to others, and even joy.
Will the employee lose her job? Not likely, however when my friend got home, she was intending to have an honest dialogue with her employees to clarify expectations.
2) Recently, we were coaching with a couple, who had been stuck in a ruckus for a long time. There seemed to be a history of accusations, silent treatment, inappropriate text messages back and forth, unwillingness to support each other, and other “not-love” behaviour.
I asked them both how much time they spent thinking and stewing about this, as a percentage of their day while at work. One said 90% and the other said 50%. And when not at work, it occupied their minds and hearts almost completely.
Happiness? Not too much.
These were professionals in their fields. If we could relate their drama-addiction to dollars of lost productivity, it would be staggering. Even worse is the emotional and even spiritual cost to them, their children, extended families, and community.
Over time, they began to communicate honestly, effectively, and to build the trust and love again – and even have some fun. They realized much greater focus and productivity at their work too.
3) I invite you read a newspaper, or listen to the news on the TV or radio. I’ve not done this for many months, yet what I remember was a lot of reporting about people caught in their drama-addictions. I’m assuming millions of people immerse themselves in this reporting several times a day, and allow their minds and hearts to soak it in.
What does that do to our collective energy as a society? What is the cost?
From a macro level, I have no idea how to resolve this.
Yet from a micro level, I know that the solution is about accountability. For me, it’s about me “owning” every thought, word, and action I have. It is also about “owning” my results. If the results are not what I want, or it doesn’t feel right and good, I get to choose again.
I slip into the drama-addiction, but I’m getting better at catching myself and doing a quick detox.
What about you?
What might you experience if you:
- started every day with gratitude?
- planned every day with a balance of good food, exercise, meaningful and joyful work, recreation and re-creation, and high-quality time with others?
- viewed every experience (the good, bad, and ugly) as opportunities to learn to forgive and become a better human being?
- searched for ways to be of service, help others, and contribute to the well-being of our environment and society?
What if you consciously owned your every thought, word, action, and the results?
I’d love to hear your take on this and for us to collectively expand the energy of love.