Many people go through their lives in a constant hunt for someone else’s energy. It is unconscious in many people. All they know is that when they control others they feel better. What they don’t realise is that this sense of feeling better costs the other person. It is their energy that is stolen.
Manipulation for other people’s energy can happen either aggressively, directly forcing people to pay attention to them, or passively, playing on people’s sympathy or curiosity to gain attention.
So first, let’s look at the main ways control dramas are played out.
If someone threatens you, either verbally or physically, then you are forced, for fear of something bad happening to you, to pay attention to them and so to give them energy. The person threatening you would be pulling you into the most aggressive kind of control drama – the intimidator.
If, on the other hand, someone tells you all the horrible things that are already happening to them, implying perhaps that you are responsible, and that, if you refuse to help, these horrible things are going to continue, then this person is seeking to control at the most passive level – a “poor me” drama.
Think about this for a moment. Haven’t you ever been around someone who makes you feel guilty when you’re in their presence, even though you know there is no reason to feel this way? It’s because you have entered the drama world of a “poor me”. Everything they say and do puts you in a place where you have to defend against the idea that you’re not doing enough for this person. That’s why you feel guilty just being around them.
An interrogator is another kind of drama. People who use this means of gaining energy, set up a drama of asking questions and probing into another person’s world with the specific purpose of finding something wrong. Once they do so, they criticise this aspect of the other’s life. If this strategy succeeds then the person being criticized is pulled into the drama. They suddenly find themselves becoming self-conscious around the interrogator and paying attention to what the interrogator is doing and thinking about, so as not to do something wrong that the interrogator would notice. This psychic deference gives the interrogator the energy he desires. Think about the times you have been around someone like this. When you get caught up in this drama, don’t you tend to act a certain way so that the person won’t criticize you? They pull you off your own path and drain your energy because you judge yourself by what they might be thinking.
Another way of trying to get energy coming their way is by playing the aloof drama. This involves withdrawing and looking mysterious and secretive. They tell themselves they’re being cautious but what they’re really doing is hoping you will be pulled into this drama and will try to figure out what’s going on with them. When you do, they remain vague, forcing you to struggle and dig and try to discern their true feelings. As you do so, you give them your full attention and that sends your energy to them. The longer they can keep you interested and mystified, the more energy they receive.
Passive or aggressive?
Anyone’s drama can be examined according to where it falls on the spectrum, from aggressive to passive. If a person is subtle in their aggression, finding fault and slowly undermining your world in order to get your energy, then this person would be an interrogator. Less passive than the “poor me” would be the aloofness drama.
The order of dramas, from aggressive to passive, goes this way: intimidator, interrogator, aloof, poor me.
Some people use more than one in different circumstances, but most people who try to engage you in control dramas have one dominant drama type that they tend to repeat, depending on which one worked well on the members of their early family. A person goes to whatever extreme necessary to get attention energy in their family. And after that, this strategy becomes their dominant way of controlling to get energy from everyone, the drama they constantly repeat.
Building Immunity to Control Dramas
The first step in the process of becoming immune is to bring control dramas into full consciousness – by pointing them out as soon as they are identified. In order to see how a control drama was formed, each person must go back into their past, back into early family life. Seeing its inception keeps a person’s way of controlling in consciousness. Remember, most of our family members were operating in a drama themselves, trying to pull energy out of us as children. This is why we had to form a control drama in the first place. We had to have a strategy to win energy back.
If you are a child and someone is draining your energy by threatening you with bodily harm, then being aloof doesn’t work. They are not interested in what’s going on inside you. They’re coming on too strong. So you’re forced to become more passive and to try the “poor me” approach, appealing to the mercy of the person, guilt tripping them about the harm they are doing. If this doesn’t work, then, as a child you endure until you are big enough to explode against the violence and fight aggression with aggression.
Imagine you are a child and your family members are either not there or ignore you because they are preoccupied with their careers or something. Playing aloof would not get their attention; they wouldn’t notice. You would have to resort to probing and prying and finally finding something wrong in these aloof people in order to force attention and energy. This is what an interrogator does.
Therefore, aloof people create interrogators, and interrogators make people aloof. Intimidators create the “poor me” approach, or if this fails, another intimidator. This is how control dramas perpetuate themselves. When faced with someone’s control drama, one can stay immune to it by 1) identifying it and pointing it out, and 2) avoid acting in any way which resembles its corresponding counterpart control drama.
Redfield, J. (1994). The Celestine Prophecy. London: Bantam Books.