The Three “Must Ask” Drama Questions | Perturbation Questions

The Techique

I’d like to formalise a technique you can take with you and use on a daily basis. It’s a strategy I was taught by my coach and I’d like to hand it on. It has helped me and it’s something I consistently share with my clients.

This strategy  helped me at a time I was emotionally tested by events in my life. I dropped in to see a friend and was telling him about the crap that was going on and he very quickly held me accountable to myself by popping the questions to me. And from that time on I’ve used it and file the questions into my memory back.

What you do when we’re feeling crappy is to look for sympathy. That’s because you’re living the drama of the emotion you’re feeling at the time. That day my friend help me accountable and not let me stay in my drama glue. I learnt very quickly that being in that space was not helping me or others around me.

These questions are often called perturbation questions. Because when you’re feeling angry, emotional or frustrated it’s likely you’re in perturbation. Check out what Wikipedia says about perturbation.

The Three “Must Ask” Drama Questions

What you need to do is ask the following questions.The Three "Must Ask" Drama Questions | Perturbation

The first question to ask is:

“Knowing the way I am feeling, what’s great about that?”

This is the reframing question and the idea is to recognise that no matter how bad anything that’s going on in your world is, you can always find something good out of it. You can imagine the spirited responses I’ve had in discussions about this. You might ask about the violence in the Middle East or the Japan earthquake. Well I can think of great things coming out of those events, even though in some world tragedies, I may be drawing a very long bow. The point I want to make is, if you think of world wide events, where does that put you and your emotional stuff? Insignificant? Probably.

There’s also a short sub-set question you may want to follow up the above question with and it goes like this:

“How can I make this situation better?”

This is the question to ask if you’re having a few challenges finding that positive answer that doesn’t seem to come to the surface.

Let’s move onto the next question

“When is NOW a great time for me to move out of the way I am feeling?”

You see we have a choice. We can stay in our drama, feeling crappy, getting sick, dragging others down with us, feeling sorry for ourselves or we can change. It’s our choice. Just because you’re feeling down doesn’t mean that a rose’s scent is any different, that stunning sunset is not fantastic, or the sound of a child’s voice and laughter is not beautiful. It’s all to do with your perception and the choices you make in life.

So if you have a choice in how you feel, you also have a choice in how long your going to feel down and crappy, don’t you. If someone says something to you which upsets you, are you going to feel crappy and angry for 5 minutes, 2 days, or 3 months (or maybe for ever)? The choice is yours. By asking “When is NOW a great time……” means that you can set a time limit on yourself.

You know, I have rule for myself. If something goes wrong I allow myself to be in my crappy mood for 10 seconds. Yep. 10 seconds, that’s all, if someone says or does something to me that upsets me (we all like to indulge ourselves a little bit!)’ I count to ten, ask the questions, then it’s gone. It works, traffic doesn’t worry me, bothersome telephone calls don’t worry me, nor do long supermarket queues.

And now we’re onto the final question

“What is the first thing I can do to help myself with that?”

Okay someone’s said something to me that’s upset me, or triggered some response in me. I ask my “Knowing the way I’m feeling …..” question, Then I ask the “NOW” question, then a whole ten seconds later, I ask this last question “What’s the first step I can take to hlep myself with that?”.

What do I do?

I look for my number one step that will move me out of the way I’m feeling. For example, I might go for a coffee, a walk around the block, see a movie, call a friend, read a book, go somewhere quiet to contemplate what’s just happened, anything to get me away from that drama I’ve been in. This is all it takes and it works.

That’s the strategy. Easy isn’t it?

By all means, write these questions down, plaster them around the house, at work, put them into your wallet or hand bag, hire a pilot to sky-write them. Do with them whatever you want.

There’s a Bonus

If you do print them off and post them around the house and/or at work, don’t be surprised if you detect attitude changes from others who inadvertently read them. Words and sentences have power.

It’s all so easy isn’t it.

Have the best outstanding day.

Relevant Links

How to Get Yourself Out of a Bad Mood : Emotional Crap Breakthrough

That troublesome work colleague. Personality clash? Who cares!

Goal setting from the sharp end, the business end….

Get Vulnerable : How to be Vulnerable : Fear of Being Vulnerable : It’s counter intuitive

Who Pays the Piper? Internal Dialogue : Power Questions

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