Entries by Alan Godwin

January 8, 2021

Dear Drama Observers, Some people who fit into the category called Narcissism are more irritating than dangerous. More benign than malignant. My favorite go-to example of a benign narcissist is Michael Scott, the fictional manager of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton Branch on The Office who once laid bare his narcissistic self by saying: Do I need […]

December 25, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, We’re sitting here on Christmas night watching Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and I thought, “Man, this movie has so many good illustrations I could use in The Drama Review,” only to remember I had quoted from it extensively, not only last December but the one before that. So, I thought I might […]

December 18, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, “So, where do you work?” I asked a new client as he sat down in my office after having just walked in from the waiting room. “I work at (name of company), also known as Adult Kindercare.” Another client, a longtime plant foreman, once told me, “When I retire soon, I plan […]

December 11, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, Every psychology student is familiar with the nature-nurture debate. That is, how do we explain why people are the way they are? One way to answer that question is to attribute our make-ups to genetics and biology (nature). Like sharing the physical attributes of a mom or dad, people’s personality traits are […]

December 4, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, I’m often asked the question, “Do manipulators know what they’re doing?” In other words, do they have full awareness of their manipulative ploys and are they doing so consciously and deliberately? I think that’s a good question and I find myself unwilling to dogmatize either way. I suspect the best answer is: […]

November 27, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, This week, I thought I’d re-up something I wrote 2.5 years ago entitled “We Should Argue More.” *** With a title like “We Should Argue More,” it may sound like I plan to bizarrely extol the merits of knock-down-drag-outs, fighting like cats and dogs, or conversational cage matches. Let me explain. Webster […]

November 20, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, When couples come to see me, I typically open by asking some version of the following question: “What brings you in?” This is followed by an awkward silence where neither wants to be the first to speak. But when one of them does speak up, I usually hear them describe some long-standing […]

November 13, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, In his 1982 book, People of the Lie, psychiatrist Scott Peck, wrote, “Lies confuse.” It’s a short statement that’s long on meaning. What peaked my interest in the subject of manipulators (aka, “Drama People) is the number of people I’ve seen in my office over the years who’ve come in distressed and […]

November 6, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, I’ve written many words in this weekly missive about how to understand manipulators. They can’t relate in normal ways because they lack the internal psychological equipment to do so. But what makes the rest of us vulnerable to their manipulations? Below are three exploitable vulnerabilities: #1 Common Naivete We start out naïve […]

October 30, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, Every now and then, I come across something I wrote a while back that seems more relevant now than when I first wrote it. I feel that way about parts of this week’s letter that were originally penned over three years ago. *** In the summer of 1997, I drove into downtown […]