Let’s face it, we are surrounded by drama in our everyday lives and in our relationships. When dealing with drama in open relationships, things can get complicated fast. Why? Because there are more people involved, more personalities to consider, and more emotions for everyone to have and process. What can be very simple and straightforward for one person can be a nightmare for another. And when one person goes down the rabbit hole, they always seem to take everyone with them.
Learn more about my helpful approach to open relationships
One thing I have learned in my experience being in an open relationship is that it’s not so much the amount of drama it’s how we handle it. When we learn to handle emotional situations in healthy ways, an amazing thing happens: we have less drama.
Below I describe a powerful option to help deal with drama in a healthy way. It’s called “finding the middle ground”
The middle ground is the space between being consumed by a dramatic situation and avoiding it completely. The middle ground is where people put their emotional weapons aside and agree to look at a situation with the intention of finding a healthy way to move through it. In this space, old patterns dissolve, positive shifts take place, and people who were once against each other suddenly feel more aligned with what they need to do next.
Three principles of the middle ground
- Get present with what’s happening in the moment.
- Find ways to express what’s happening in the moment.
- Express yourself in a way that creates a connection with others.
Get present with what’s happening in the present moment
This means we stop what we are doing and we bring our focus inward. We bring our attention to our breath and to the sensations in our body. We notice our feelings and our thoughts. We let them be there and we consciously choose to observe them rather than act them out.
Find ways to express what’s happening in the moment
Using your observations as your guide, use clear and simple language to share your experience with the person you are with. If you are nervous, include this in your sharing. It may look something like this: “I’m aware that I feel nervous to speak because I don’t want to upset you. And, I’m also aware that I feel some tightness in my chest when you mention [insert name]. I know you want to go out with her and I’m feeling a bit needy. Would you be willing to offer some reassurance that you going out on a date with her does not mean you’re going to leave our relationship? Cognitively, I know I don’t have anything to worry about and yet there is a young part of me that feels scared and insecure. It’s that part that needs a little bit of love right now.” Sharing our experience in this way gives others an opportunity to understand us and possibly help us get our need met.
Express in a way that creates a connection with yourself and with others
When we share with our partner how we are feeling, we need to do so in a way that respects their experience, as well. Rather than dump our emotions on the other person, we need to own our experience and do our best to share it without blaming anyone else for the experience. We need to remember that we are in charge of our experience, our feelings, and how we handle them. This can be a growth edge for some. With practice, people are able to drop the blame game and experience a healthier way of being in communication with others.
Taking the time to get present with what’s happening in the moment and express ourselves in a way that creates a connection with others is incredibly powerful. This is where the magic happens when dealing with drama. With practice and awareness, we begin to see more clearly that we are in charge of the emotional dramas and the roles they play in our lives, not the other way around.