Have you ever been in a relationship, and suddenly started feeling your partner pulling away? In this situation, the most natural response is to try and get closer to them, as we don’t want to lose them. But, as you did that, did you find that your partner pulled away even further and now you had no idea what to do?
If this ever happened to you, you might have been left thinking about what was wrong with you, that pulled your partner away. For starters, if you did, know that this doesn’t have to do with you as a person. In fact, people pulling away from each other is quite common. The truth is, the problem didn’t have to do with you as a person; the problem had to do with the fact that you made one innocent common mistake and didn’t realise it.
You see, when it comes to relationships, most people are still just trying to figure it out. There’s no manual on how to get it right, no cheat-sheet to it. So, most of the times, we end up simply copying the behaviours of the people around us and of the examples we have. (Click here to learn how the Media has been secretly harming your relationships) And, the sad truth is that these examples, more often than not, set us up for bad relationships.
So, if you want to develop the best possible relationship of your life, and make sure it stays that way, you have to be aware of this one mistake:
The 1 Mistake That Makes People Pull Away
When you go into a relationship, why is that? It’s likely because you care and want to connect with the other person, right? Now, let’s be realistic, is that the only reason why most people go into relationships? In reality, no.
You see, most people go into relationships because they feel they are lacking something that their partner can provide. This can be love, affection, attention, etc. And so, when they enter the relationship, the other person suddenly is expected to provide those things “because that’s their role” or “because that’s their obligation”. In a funny, sad way, it kind of resembles a contract: “You do this for me, and I’ll do this for you”.
The truth is, love shouldn’t have to resemble a contract. Love should be about unconditional acceptance, deep appreciation for our partner and a free and open connection with them. And this means that both people would be there for each other because they want to, and not because they have to.
So, the real mistake that everyone makes without realising it, is expecting the other person to fulfil their needs. Because this mistake leads to certain behaviours that are what ultimately drives people away – called the “Control Dramas”.
The Control Dramas
A Control Drama is an ego-driven behaviour that people use to get energy from the person they’re interacting with. By energy, I mean attention, affection, validation… Essentially, feelings that are motivated by ego due to insecurities and by expecting the other person to fulfil our needs.
Now, there are 4 control dramas. 2 which are considered “aggressive”; and 2 that are considered “passive”. What this means is that, the aggressive ones demand energy actively by forcing you to give that person your attention; and the passive ones make it so that you have to get out of your way to reach out to them or solve their problems. Basically, you have to give up your energy for them.
These 4 are as follows:
When you were a kid, did you ever have an interaction with your mom or your dad, in which they said you had to do something “Now! or else…”? Well, that is the epitome of what this control drama is. Essentially, it’s about making someone give their energy (do what we want them to) through somewhat aggressive methods, such as manipulation, blackmail, ultimatums or even violence. If you’ve ever encountered a bully, this is the control drama they were acting on.
Before thinking this doesn’t apply to you, keep in mind these behaviours that everyone does at some point, are all examples of this control drama (except for the 2nd – that’s Victimization).
This one is all about demanding energy, especially through criticism. The person acting on this control drama will have no problem questioning your choices and decisions and making you feel inadequate. The classic, well-known version of this is the nagging wife, always undermining and second-guessing the decisions of the partner. Although, of course, this applies to both genders. By making you second-guess your decisions, this either makes you need their approval (in which case, you’re giving them the energy they want), or cause you to become aloof and distant – which is the next control drama.
Although, this isn’t the only way this happens. When someone wants us to answer right away, for example, they’re also acting on this control drama. Think of this like someone constantly poking your arm to get your attention. For one, it’s annoying. And, after some time, it may even start to hurt.
This one is very different from the two above. Essentially, a person acting on this control drama will become more distant, aloof and mysterious. This will normally make it so you have to keep trying to reach them, which will deplete your energy and, in turn, feed their sense of control. Has it ever happened to you to be interacting with someone and feel ignored, like if you weren’t there? It probably made you a bit frustrated you weren’t being acknowledged, right? That’s how you know you’ve encountered this control drama.
You can also identify it in situations in which the person withdraws from the conversation and you have to constantly find a subject to continue talking to them (which, consequently, gives place to the Interrogation control drama in you).
If you’ve read this article, the second mentioned mistake is victimization in a nutshell. Basically, it is when we fail to acknowledge the responsibility for what we do and how we feel and we put it on someone/something else instead. The classical “You made me feel jealous” argument. This is clearly an example of victimization because the person saying it doesn’t realise jealousy stems from their own insecurities and unresolved inner feelings, and not their partner. Keep in mind that you hold the power over what happens to you. And if you can’t do something to change that – you can still change how you feel about it.
Hint: If you start to think “I felt this because she/he did [insert here]”; or if you start an inner dialogue telling yourself it was someone else’s actions that made you [insert here] – you’re taking responsibility out of yourself (aka victimization). External events have an impact, but it’s your perception and internal state that gives it meaning – and these things you control.
What You Really Need To Know About Control Dramas
Now, as you probably noticed, control dramas create control dramas. Think of it like this: When you’re having a fight with someone and that person says something hurtful, it’s almost automatic to say something that hurts them right back, isn’t it? Well, when someone acts on a control drama with us, we’ll likely do the same unconsciously. And this is what causes so many fights in relationships!
People are so caught up acting on the control dramas they have, they will eventually create control dramas on the people they’re with. Here’s a list of examples so you can understand it better:
Because this is an aggressive control drama, it will lead especially to victimization, intimidation, or apathy.
Think of a bully – because they’re trying to dominate the other, that person will either rebel against them, or begin to fear them – paving the way for one of the two control dramas mentioned above. Of course, it could also lead to apathy, in certain people, which will simply cause the bully to demand their attention even more.
It either leads to apathy, interrogation or victimization.
For example, imagine that one of your parents has always been very critical of you. This could lead you to create a victimization control drama, in which you feel sorry for yourself for the way they treat you; lead you to create one in which you simply distance yourself and ignore them altogether; or you could even create another one in which you act the same way as them for the sake of payback.
This usually leads to intimidation, interrogation or victimization.
There are three ways people usually respond to an aloof person: 1 – they try to get your attention by force, in which case it creates an intimidation control drama in them; 2 – they criticize and nag you until you give them the attention they need (interrogation); 3 – it makes them wallow in self-pity because you “don’t care” (victimization).
And, lastly, this one will likely lead to victimization, apathy or interrogation.
If someone is constantly trying to blame you for everything that happens, it’s normal you start blaming them for blaming you. – This is victimization; You can also decide that you’re fed up and distance yourself, in which case, it will have to be the other person coming after you – Apathy; Finally, you could also begin to criticize the person for constantly putting responsibility out of them – in which case, you’re going to be creating a interrogation control drama in yourself.
Get how this works? Basically, every time you act on a Control Drama other people will too; and vice-versa.
What You Can Do
Okay, now, you already know what the mistake that damages and breaks relationships over time is; you already understand Control Dramas… Now, it’s time you learn what you can do to stop being controlled by them.
So, here’s the thing: the real problem isn’t that we demand others to fulfil our needs, or the Control Dramas; The real problem is that we aren’t nurturing ourselves enough. See, all these behaviours come from someone trying to get energy from someone else. We try to get affection, love, validation from those people, because we haven’t been able to get them on our own. And this means that we aren’t working on ourselves enough. You see, because once you start developing this deep, inner love for yourself, you stop needing someone to do that for you.
And that’s what we’re going to focus on, right now. So, in order to avoid the above mentioned problems and control dramas, here’s a list of things that you can do:
Connect with Yourself.
You can do this by meditating; spending time in nature; doing things you love for yourself, like taking the time to nurture yourself in a hot bath, read an amazing book, work on something you love… So long as you relax and allow yourself to be in the moment, that’s already helpful.
Develop Self Love.
I realise this sounds like the cliché phrase that comes in self-help books, but the truth is, we can’t love another truly, until we find a way to love ourselves unconditionally. This often requires that we learn more about ourselves and that we begin to take responsibility for where we are in life, and what we can do to change that.
Work On Your Ego.
Ego is the primary reason why we keep acting on Control Dramas. By working on ego, we’ll finally be listening to what our hearts are telling us and this will, ultimately, not only improve our relationship with our partner and loved ones, it will also substantially improve our relationship with ourselves. Here’s an awesome article written just so you learn to master your ego – and stop acting on your control dramas.
So, with all of this being said and done, I wish you the best possible relationships of your life – the one with your partner, and the one with yourself.