THE LIFE COACH SCHOOL PODCAST – Episode 214
Living in NYC and London, we didn’t own a car. Our mode of transportation was usually walking. I remember well that day in England, when our three children were finally old enough to ride kick scooters around the city. Each child had one. And eventually Bryant bought an adult sized scooter for me.
This made transporting our family of five from A to B much quicker. But also more precarious. We each took a turn bloodying up an ankle or a shin, or a knee.
The worst was when Ella’s scooter caught a lip in an old crack in the sidewalk, and she flew off, over the handlebars, face first into the pavement. There was some blood, and a whole lot of screaming. She’d chipped her front tooth.
“I WILL NEVER SPEAK CHINESE AGAIN!” She cried.
Ummm. She had’t spoken Chinese before, interestingly. But it had always been a wish and dream.
Today’s podcast is entitled DRAMA.
Let’s look at the stories we tell ourselves … and we tell others:
“I ask them to retell me the exact story in a positive way, without changing any of the facts…turn it into something that is harmless. The brain resists this! Our primitive brains are always looking for danger, and that is how we are literally wired … A lot of us create drama where there really is none… Again, this is because our brains are programmed to do this.”
Let’s try this on Ella’s behalf.
Facts only: I was riding my scooter. Fact. I fell off my scooter. Fact. I chipped my tooth. Fact.
Exact story, not changing the facts, with a positive twist: I was riding my scooter and something happened and I fell off my scooter, landing on my face, chipping my front tooth. A temporarily chipped tooth may temporarily affect my ability to enunciate, especially if I choose to take up Chinese in the next few days. Good thing nothing was permanently damaged.
“When you take those facts and make them mean anything other than the facts, you can create a lot of unnecessary drama…
The way that you will know that it might be happening to you is you will feel a sense of danger and fear and anxiety…it will be acute and it will feel like something needs to be solved immediately and something is dangerous…”
I will never speak Chinese again!
“Whenever you’re in a situation like that, take a breath and say, ‘What are the facts?’.”
Okay. I’m going to give Ella a break. What about other drama in our lives? What about the drama that includes the feelings or the reputation of another?
Story my brain offers me: We were hanging out with friends at dinner. Everyone was talking and laughing. She totally rolled her big eyes at me when I said that stupid thing. She must not want to be here with me. She probably didn’t want to come in the first place. She never liked it here. I don’t think I will invite her over ever again.
Facts: She was with me and with friends at dinner. I said that thing. She rolled her eyes.
Exact story, not changing the facts, with a positive twist: We were hanging out with her and with some of our friends at dinner. Everyone was talking and laughing, and I said something funny. She rolled her eyes at me. I bet that is how she shows her humor. I bet if I would have laughed, she would have laughed, too. I bet if it came up again today, we could laugh together about what I said.
Now, that was a fictional story, but it could have happened to anyone, right? Think about this:
“Think about the stories that you tell yourself and make sure you’re distinguishing those stories from what’s actually happening. Because we create dramas – stories – about other people and about our own situation that are literally fiction.”
And not inviting her over ever again is letting my drama determine my future actions, in relation to this woman. And then maybe I start telling this story to some other friends, and they start not inviting her over, either.
“If you let thought drama drive your actions, you will do some crazy-a things that are not useful.”
Your brain creates drama, and then goes into fight or flight. That is what Brooke is teaching. She rolled her eyes. She doesn’t like me. I will distance myself from her – flight.
What about the times when drama really does happen in our lives? When someone is unkind or inappropriate?
“You don’t have to dramatize things to take actions…(you) just simply take action from a really strong place. If somebody says something inappropriate…there is no way that I’m going to say, ‘Oh that wasn’t a big deal,’ and brush it off. That’s not what I’m talking about. (You) don’t have to go into drama about it. (You) can just be like, ‘That is completely unacceptable…’ That is not dramatic. It is very cut and dry and it’s very clear.”
That’s what I have for you today. I’m going to look for this in my life! I am kind of excited to pinpoint these drama-moments in my life. I am excited because I think I can change this – I think I can eliminate some of the drama in my life. Let’s do this.