4 Ways We All Create Drama

Image Credit: Photoverse.co

Image Credit: Photoverse.co

We don’t see with our eyes. We actually see with our hearts.

We look with our eyes but we see with our hearts.

The condition of our heart colors the filter of our perspective and reality.

This is why the Bible says to guard your heart above all else. (Proverbs 4)
This is probably why the apostle Paul prayed that the “eyes” of our heart would be enlightened by the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1)

Our minds process incredible amounts of traffic every day. The litany of thoughts and virtual scenarios create major drama in our minds.

It’s not a matter of if we deal with this, but how we  deal with our own “mental-movie- factory”.

This Hollywood happening in our heads impacts every relationship in our lives.  

Drama feeds a culture of suspicion and undermines trust. 

Relationships thrive on trust and die from suspicion.

In May I attended a truly life-changing event. I don’t use those words lightly, but it’s true.

Image Credit: Christian Del Rosario Photography

Image Credit: Christian Del Rosario Photography

Paul Martinelli, President of the John Maxwell Team and leader of Empowerment Mentoring (along with Roddy Gailbraith), held an event in Atlanta called Turning Point. This 3-day experience actually over-delivered on what it promised.

Paul shared, one of the most valuable relational teachings I’ve ever heard called, “The 4 Pillars of Drama”

“Every drama requires three things: a villain, a victim and a good conspiracy.” @paulscanlonuk

Guess which we often make ourselves out to be? You got it...the victim.

“Offenses are lenses. Offense is an event. Offended is a decision.” @robertmadu

It’s vital that we think about what we think about.  

Image Credit: Christian Del Rosario Photography

Image Credit: Christian Del Rosario Photography

The Four Pillars of Drama

1. Jumping To Conclusions.

This means that.

We are all prone to connecting dots that don’t belong together. We interpret real content in an imaginary way.

We misinterpret someone’s tone in an email or body language.

We think someone arriving late for a meeting is a passive aggressive statement of disrespect to us. In reality, the person may have been pulled over on the way to the office or held up by an important family issue.

We walk into a room and people in the corner begin giggling with each other and we think they are laughing at us.

As a preacher, I often think people laughing in the audience or looking to each other whispering are commenting on me or what I’m saying in some negative way. They may just be planning what they want for lunch or who to invite over for the big game!

We’re all guilty of misreading real evidence.  

“Assumption is the lowest form of understanding.”

Don’t worry, we’re not alone. This is certainly not a new problem.

Back in the Old Testament some of the tribes of Israel jumped to conclusions-real bad. They saw a pile of rocks erected and assumed their relatives were worshiping other gods. They riled everyone up for battle and armed themselves for war.

They marched over to fight those other tribes for this terrible idolatry-only to find out they were completely wrong! (Joshua 22)

The “idolatrous” tribes erected the rocks as a sign for future generations to always remember to worship the One True God. The rocks were also a symbol to future generations that those tribes on the other side of the Jordan River, living in the Promise Land of Canaan, were still their relatives.

Whoops!!! Boy did these Israeli leaders connect some dots and jump to conclusions!

Their mental drama almost started a war!

If unchecked, our mental drama can create relational wars all around us. It can sabotage our deepest relationships if we allow it to run wild and untempered by reality.

2. Making Stuff Up.

Not only do we misread content, we create content. We add to the narrative. We become writers, producers and directors on the movie set in our minds.

All the while, we leave out the main character [the other person who’s offended us] or the Author of their story [God Himself].

We make ourselves, Pete Jackson, and become the director of a whole new narrative.

We not only say, “This means that, but this leads to that.”  

The Bible calls this vain imaginations.

The three dots that appear while someone is typing a text to us...we naturally fill in the blanks before their text comes through. We create content on behalf of another person.

We have imaginary conversations with a boss or friend that’s frustrating us. Sometimes this mental shadow boxing can happen dozens of times before an actual face-to-face conversation takes place.

In our minds we not only jump to conclusions but make stuff up like we’re caught up in a Direct TV commercial.

Those old commercials are some of my absolute favorites. Check out the link at the end of this post for a great laugh and picture of how “this leads to that” in our minds.


3. Ignoring Noble Intent.

If left unchecked, we won’t stop at creating content, we’ll even try to read the motives of people’s hearts.

We go from connecting dots to making stuff up to projecting motives onto other’s hearts! This is a slippery slope!

To us, our personal suspicion is as accurate prophetic discernment.

We want to be judged by our intentions not just our actions, but we judge others by their actions and often ignore their intentions.


4. Looking to be offended.

The longer we let these pillars of drama stew in our minds, the more our energy is sapped, drained and misdirected.

We also subconsciously look for information or further evidence to confirm our conspiracy theory.

Our mind works like an internal lawyer trying to interrogate and prove our case.

We’ve built up a case in our mind that needs evidence to justify our internal feelings and mental narrative.

Again, be careful drama is incredibly dangerous!

“Drama is the story in your head that can quickly lead to unhealthy emotions, mindsets and behaviors.”

And every good drama needs an audience.

Sadly, we often share our story with others to feel more justified for building our mental case against someone.

What we don’t realize is that we also begin to attract the very offense we are looking for.

People say, “Every time I talk with this person they ______”

“Any time I eat at that restaurant, I get the worst service!” One question that begs to be asked is, “Why do you keep going to that same restaurant?!?” “Why do you keep subjecting yourself to the same anticipated circumstances?”

The other question that really needs to be addressed is, “Do you realize that you are attracting negative circumstances into your life by subconsciously looking for them?”

“Our eyes can only see and our ears can only hear what our brain is looking for.” -Dan Sullivan

As a man thinks, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7)

“Our internal reality dictates our external experience.” -Bill Johnson

We were all designed to live from the inside out. Mindset trumps circumstances every time.

Don’t worry. You don’t have to let drama devastate your work flow, team culture, personal energy or precious relationships.

The wisdom and liberating power of Scripture teaches how to take thoughts captive.

In an upcoming post, I’ll share with you 5 Practical But Powerful Things To Shutdown Hollywood In Your Head.  Stay tuned.

Image Credit: Christian Del Rosario Photography

Image Credit: Christian Del Rosario Photography

Check out the Empowerment Mentoring Community on Facebook.
Paul and Roddy host facebook LIVE teachings almost weekly (on Mondays). Tune in from wherever you are. It will help you hold your God-given image. This group has helped me tremendously in the area of mastering my mindset.

Thank you Paul for the coach training and relational GOLD!

Join the Conversation. Leave A Comment.

  • How can you relate to these 4 Pillars of Drama?

  • At which pillar do you normally catch yourself and try to stop the process from fully playing out?

  • Where could you use the most help?

  • And as promised…enjoy this hilarious compilation and scary illustration of what goes on in our minds! Direct TV Commercial Compilation…LOL.  


Joshua Finley4 Comments