Addictions come in many forms, and rarely do we see, or acknowledge them within ourselves. We all know about the usual ones, like drugs, alcohol, eating, etc., but what about the non-visual ones like the addiction to drama, grief, victim hood? Usually we don’t stop to consider that our thoughts can be addictions as well.
Addiction is: “anything that compels you, in actions or thoughts, and you don’t feel you have control over it.
The mind creates a perceived element of survival to some aspect of our ego, in all addictions.
Look at the addiction to drama and conflict. Have you ever noticed how you dwell on conflicts, whether just continually thinking about it, or talking about it, like a broken record? We have the goal of being declared the “victor”! We also want to punish the perpetrator. Conflict has a way of creating winners, and losers. As the winner, we have the power of feeling superior and right, and punish the loser.
The addiction to drama stems from the need to feel right. Feeling right gives us a feeling of power. A prime example of this is the situation that happens that seemingly is out of your control, and you feel helpless, angry and frustrated. This situation gives you the perfect excuse to complain, because after all, the situation is wrong, and you feel right, which in turn, feels good. Sometimes we go so far as to create drama and conflict, to get our next fix. There is also the addiction to the adrenaline rush associated with drama.
We even relish in reading about, and watching other people’s drama; tabloid magazines, Jerry Springer, to name just a few. Television, movies and the like, make big bucks on society’s addiction to drama. Many people admire the success of celebrities, and to see that even though they have wealth and beauty, and the knowledge that they can’t get their lives in order, makes us feel better about ourselves. Sometimes we even use other people’s drama as a way to justify our own actions.
There is also a personality disorder called Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD), which is described as, the need for constant attention, and approval; excessive emotionality and attention seeking; and inappropriate seductiveness.
Symptoms according to Wikipedia:
• Constant seeking of reassurance or approval.
• Excessive dramatics with exaggerated displays of emotions.
• Excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval.
• Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior.
• Excessive concern with physical appearance.
• A need to be the center of attention (self-centeredness).
• Low tolerance for frustration or delayed gratification.
• Rapidly shifting emotional states that may appear shallow to others.
• Opinions are easily influenced by other people, but difficult to back up with details.
• Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are.
• Making rash decisions.
• Threatening or attempting suicide to get attention.
• Refusal to speak when confronted.
Every conflict within our lives, whether the conflict is within ourselves, the situation, or other people, stems from the feeling that one, or more, of our needs not being met, or attempting to have one of our needs met, and a feeling of scarcity. The problem lays, however, in our desire to look to outside sources in our search for fulfillment of those needs. Another problem lays in the fact that many of us aren’t aware of our psychological needs and what they are.
- Self – esteem
- Emotional safety
• Think about a time when you had a conflict with someone that made you angry or anxious.
• Write down what you were hoping to get out of the conflict and what your position was within the conflict.
• Write down what you understood or perceived to be the other person’s position.
• Then relax yourself, close your eyes, and ask yourself why you wanted what you wanted, and write down everything that comes to mind.
• When your done, look over what you have written. One or more of the things that you wrote will designate stronger than the others.
• Now ask yourself why that is important to you. Your answer may even revolve around a tangible need such as; food, clothing, shelter.
• Many times you need to ask yourself “Why is that important”, or “What will that give me that I don’t already have?”, several times before you will come to the core need or value.