Home      Intro      Education Series      Advanced Topics      Blog      Giving Back     Services


To have a good drama, three characters must exist: victim, perpetrator and rescuer.  As a society we have become addicted to drama.  For example, TNT has focused their whole programming around old dramas (Law and Order, E.R., etc.).   Drama is like a drug where over time the user becomes acclimated to the effects of the drug (drama) and needs a stronger douse to feel the effects.  I find it interesting that the new drama shows like 24, not only have the main plot (usually someone trying to kill millions of people) but also subplots that can be an entire show on its own (e.g., someone trying to blackmail the President of the United States).  This is done because it is getting harder to get our attention and thus television needs to go over the edge to get our attention.  The old drama shows of a murder just does not peek our interest any more.  The crime dramas today focus on finding the killer using high tech analysis that is not even possible in forensic science today.  This is from our need to have dramas to appear more real and more threatening to get us to watch them.

Drama is not only limited to the television shows.  We bring it into our everyday life in order to make our lives appear more interesting and suspenseful.   How many of us talk about the guy who cuts us off on the road or gossip about the office romances?   Notice how a simple event can take on a life of its own.  We can create a good 15 minute story over a 15 second incident.  When an event happens, it instantaneously becomes history.  We create the energy around the event and bring it back into the present by reliving the event.  This distraction prevents us from accomplishing and enjoying other events in our life.  I will discuss this more in just a bit.  First, think about how you bring drama into your life; are you single or in a bad marriage,  does your boss tick you off, or are your kids driving you crazy?  How much time do you spend talking about the event versus fixing the situation?  The drama is the energy we put into the event (e.g., by talking about it).  It is about reliving the past instead of fixing the present.

Drama also happens in our financial life.  People believing in scarcity of money is the main source of financial drama, for some to be rich others need to be poor.  Thus, one needs to protect or fight for their share of a limited amount of wealth.  It shows up because the wealthy and elderly need to protect the money that they have while lower and middle class workers need to fight for their share.  Some examples of how drama can show up in ones life include,

Wealthy Attend a charity ball to help the starving children in Africa Pay too much in taxes to support lazy people on welfare Increase their salary while cutting back on employees' pay to increase shareholder returns
Elderly They made the world a better place for next generation (fought our wars for our freedom) and paid in their share of Social Security. Rising health care cost  makes it impossible to afford their medications Want to keep their share of Social Security at the expense of putting next generation benefits at greater risk of be eliminated or greatly reduced
Worker Saves a project by working all weekend to meet the deadline Low pay and no recognition for all their hard work Takes long coffee breaks to make up for the being under paid and bad mouths the company by posting an anonymous blog on internet

There is a continuous cycle to the drama.  Financial institutions thrive on drama.  Because someone wants to take your money (government or others), you (the victim) need their help to be rescued. 

Drama can also be played out when we feel we should be rewarded for something (we play the rescuer).  Yet, we may not get rewarded in the way we want and start feeling like a victim (being taken advantage of).  Sooner or later we take our revenge to get even (speeding up in traffic to stop another person from cutting in front of us).  After which, we feel bad and close the loop by playing the hero (rescuer) again. 

What would happen if you were to drop the drama in your financial life?  Well for starters, you would be able to move on from a situation quicker rather than reliving it over and over again.  Americans have made Dilbert a national icon, not because we want to fix corporations and our life at work but because we want to feel sorry for ourselves and make ourselves the victim (and get a good laugh in the meantime).  Getting away from feeling sorry for oneself (the victim) is needed to make effective change.  We can not move ahead if we feel that we are the victim. 

Exercise: Take a few minutes and think of ways that financial drama shows up in your life.  Probably the easiest place to start is where have you made yourself a victim in your finances?  Do you blame someone or something for your situation?

After which, figure out how you contributed to the situation (perpetrated it) and how have you hurt others because you felt cheated.

Lastly, how have you helped (rescue) others because you wanted a reward (higher pay) or recognition?

This may sound hard and one or two parts (victim, perpetrator, rescuer) may seem to fit.  That is because we may stay in one part of the drama more than others.  Yet, each part has its role.

  • Rescuer - What I do that should give me good karma (why I should be reward)
  • Victim - I am being taken advantage of in some way
  • Perpetrator - What I do to get even (revenge)

Phrases that each part could sound like

  • I gave so much
  • I donated
  • I helped ____
  • I busted my butt to help
  • I saved the day
  • I pay too much in taxes
  • I work so hard for so little
  • They stole from me
  • They cheated me
  • I do not get recognition
  • He makes more than I
  • I can't seem to get ahead
  • I cheated ____
  • I withheld my tithe
  • I got my share
  • I did not report income
  • I slacked off at work
  • I am angry at ____

When you release yourself from the drama, your life will become more peaceful and you will open yourself up to new opportunities.  I recently met two friends that I had not seen in a while.  It turns out that they both lost their jobs at the same company last year due to outsourcing to India.  Instead of being the victim and blaming the company, they took their severance pay and used it as an opportunity.  One is in the process of starting her own business and the other is taking an exam to become an insurance broker.

Topic Menu

The material on this website is provided for educational purposes only.  We make no guarantees regarding the accuracy, completeness, or applicability of any material presented on this website.  This website is not a substitute for individual financial or counseling advice.  You should seek the advice of a professional regarding your particular situation.  My Financial Awareness is not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial decisions.

Copyright © 2008 by My Financial Awareness, L.L.C.
E-mail questions and comments to pete @ myfinancialawareness.com