Old habits die hard, but drama dumping is one we should definitely work to eliminate.
Whether you're the "dumper" or the "dumpee," it's safe to say that everyone involved feels pummeled after a an argument, disagreement or worse, breakup. So why does the drama continue? Why does a communication block always feel so bad? My answer? Habit. It's just a habit that's been developing over years of dating and relationships.
Have you ever seen a child throwing a tantrum that ends in mom or dad eventually giving them the attention they crave? It might be a swat on the behind, harsh words, or the thing they really wanted in the first place, but either way, they get the attention they seek.
If "drama dumping" is one of your relationship habits and you admit that you — or the person who dumps on you — feel pummeled after an "incident," would you be interested in a way to "dump" the drama out of your life?
Replacing negative habits with more positive ones that will get you want you want out of life is a primary part of what I teach at KaraOh.com. Here's a quick lesson in how to begin the process: since "drama dumping" is developed over time (actually, over many years), then it stands to reason that it will take a bit of work to get rid of the habit.
First, if you're the "dumpee," you need to request the "dumper" stop dumping their drama on you. Or, better yet, remove yourself from the situation or the relationship. If they're willing to admit they should stop the negativity, then here's the advice I offer to any drama dumper, whether it's you or them.
First, our psyches don't do well with removal. That's because when we remove something, if we don't put something new in its place, the original thing we were trying to get rid of just comes right back. Have you ever noticed that? What's going on in this scenario is that there's a void when you attempt to remove it (in this case, the drama), but a void will always be filled with something. If you don't have something to fill in that void, the old habit will automatically return.
So instead of simply stating "Out, damned drama, out," (pardon the paraphrase) and expecting the bad habit to magically disappear, you need to come up with a plan for what to put in place of the drama. It's time to decide what kind of habit you'd like to replace for your "drama dumping" habit.
You might be wondering how you should go about deciding. Luckily, it's not as difficult as you might think. Remember back to the past few outbursts. What needs were you trying to have met from your partner?
- To be heard?
- To be respected?
- To be loved?
- To get your way, regardless of what the other person wanted or needed?
- To create a deeper bond?
Now think back to how you felt after you performed your "drama dump." What did you actually end up getting? Now that you have an idea of what you were hoping to gain and what you got instead, what might be a better way to get your needs met? Here's a hint: Make it loving, compassionate (remembering that the other person has needs too) and respectful (for yourself as well as them).
Now, here's the tricky part. This will take practice. You will forget and get caught up in the moment and ugh, fall back to the old habit of "drama dumping." That's okay. It's human. And no fair beating yourself up! Just say to yourself "Well, it looks like I have a little more work to do."
The main thing is that you're becoming aware of behavior you'd like to change. Just remind yourself of what you really want the outcome to be.
Then, each time you begin to get triggered, you'll remember sooner and sooner that you're working on changing. Eventually, that old useless habit will be replaced with your new, loving habit. And guess what? When that happens, your life will be much sweeter, more fun and filled with more love.
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P.S. If you'd like to be guided toward developing new habits that will help you enjoy more happiness, love and peace of mind, find out how I help the members of my Inner Circle to transform their lives. Try it for $1.00 for the first month.
More breakup advice from YourTango:
- How To (Finally) Get Over Your Breakup And Move On
- Help! My Last Breakup Scarred Me For Life
- How To Get Over A Bad Breakup