The Control Dramas-A Lesson From “The Celestine Prophecy”

Have you ever heard of the control dramas?

Recently, I decided to sit down and read “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield.  I’ve been thinking about reading this book for years actually, but last week the timing seemed right, so I sat down and got to it.  It’s a real page turner, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in topics of spirituality!

Now, to be clear, this book is a work of fiction, so I cannot claim that anything here is scientifically accurate (then again, is anything really scientifically accurate anyway? That’s a whole other can of worms, perhaps a good idea for a future blog post!).

This book is basically an adventurous tale of a man on a spiritual journey, and the lessons he learns along his trail.  Though it’s a fictionalized and dramatized account of a spiritual awakening, I will say that I felt a number of parallels to my life experiences, and those of other people I’ve spoken with.  One of these parallels was the discussion of what Redfield called “the control dramas.”

In the Celestine Prophecy, one of the insights the protagonist gained during his spiritual awakening was that people often “compete” with each other for energy using these control dramas. As I’ve actually noticed this energy competition before on numerous occasions, I found this insight highly clarifying!

As the Celestine Prophecy explains, we each (as spiritual beings) have the ability to be connected to a source of higher energy.  When we are connected to this source energy, we feel loving and joyful. Though we each have the ability to connect to this energy, however, many of us do not know how to connect with it on a consistent basis.

Unfortunately, through our social conditioning, our limiting beliefs, behaviors and expectations about the world and who we are often prevent us from connecting to this higher energy source.  As we grow up, we come to believe we are limited, rather than infinitely powerful. As a result, many of us end up feeling disconnected, stressed, tired, anxious, and depressed.

We need energy from the higher source to feel good, and we crave it, but we just don’t know how to connect with it routinely.

So, as a coping mechanism to this disconnection with source energy, we often unconsciously “compete” with each other to “steal” each other’s energy.  We aren’t well-connected to the stream, so to speak, so we use these dramas to siphon what little “water” the people around us are carrying.

So control dramas allow us to “steal” energy from each other when we are feeling low, giving us a little boost here and there.

How do we do this? Well, essentially, when other people pay attention to us, we get to absorb some of their energy, therefore control dramas are all about getting people to pay attention to you.

In Redfield’s book, the argument is that each of us has a default “control drama” strategy.  Some of us oscillate between several dramas, but usually we have one we rely on the most when we are feeling disconnected.

Here are the control dramas:

1.“The Intimidator”

The Intimidator is an individual who steals energy by force.  In order to get an energy boost, the Intimidator may be very loud, may yell, or may use violence. Ultimately, the Intimidator gets his or her energy by forcing people to pay attention to him or her.

This tactic draws more energy to the intimidator because when we are treated violently or yelled at, we cannot help but focus on the intimidator. All of this fearful focus passes our energy over to the Intimidator. This is the most aggressive of the control dramas.

Naturally, after a hostile interaction with an Intimidator, you will likely walk away feeling defeated and deflated. The Intimidator, however, feels empowered, boosted by the energy he or she has stolen from you.

2. “The Interrogator” 

The Interrogator, like the Intimidator, also has an aggressive approach to stealing energy.  However, the Interrogator does not rely on overt violence or intimidation, but rather uses excessive questioning and judgment in conversations.

When you are around an Interrogator, you will often feel highly criticized. The Interrogator will question your decisions, your motives, and your effectiveness.  This strategy, in turn, keeps you sucked into the interaction, paying attention to the Interrogator.

In these interactions, you will feel the need to constantly explain yourself, and you will feel the need to justify your choices and actions. This extra attention sends your energy over to the Interrogator.

After spending prolonged time with an Interrogator, you will likely feel very drained, and walk away from the conversation feeling beaten down, even though the Interrogator did not use violence against you.

3. “The Aloofs”

This one here is my personal default control drama…

Aloof people do not use a hostile or aggressive approach in their ability to siphon energy from others.  Instead, Aloofs rely on being vague and distant to capture attention and energy.

An Aloof is more likely to keep information from people. This, in turn, causes other people to be interested in them and approach them to “pry” information from them.  It is a highly passive way of getting attention from other people.

“Playing hard to get” is the game of the Aloof. An Aloof will frequently leave you feeling that he or she is playing games with you, and must be chased.

4.  “The Poor Me”

The Poor Me, like the Aloof, relies on a passive approach to gaining energy from others, but in a different way. 

Poor Mes capture our attention by making us feel guilty and responsible for them.  They often complain about their problems and issues in life, but not for the sake of getting solutions. Rather, the Poor Me complains for the sole purpose of gaining our attention.

When dealing with a Poor Me, we often feel like we have to “take care of” the Poor Me or we must help them in some way. We may feel we have to listen to his or her sob story over and over again, and that his or her problem is our fault somehow.  This is how the Poor Me steals energy from others.

Resolving the Control Dramas

The Celestine Prophecy argues that resolving the control dramas can be done in a few ways.

First, and foremost, you have to learn how to connect with source energy on your own if you wish to resolve your control drama.  This way, you get the energy you need without having to “steal it” from others. Observing the beauty of the world and focusing on gratitude are effective methods to help you connect with the source.

(Of course, raising your vibration is all about connecting with source-so here are a few other ideas to help you connect with more regularity!)

Secondly, it helps to become aware of the control dramas, and to be mindful of when you are relying on yours. For example, as an Aloof, I’ve coming to understand that when I’m being closed off, it’s an excellent opportunity for me to practice being more open and authentic with others.

Lastly, when you are dealing with someone who appears to be using their control drama on you, the book suggests that you “call them on it”  (but in a polite and respectful way). 

For example “I wanted to know what you thought about this-why are you being so distant?” to an Aloof. Or perhaps “Why are you asking me so many questions?” to an Interrogator.

I’m still new to this idea, and I haven’t yet tried out this theory on “calling people out” on their control dramas yet, but it sounds like it has merit.  Of course, if you’ve have success with this strategy, I’d love to hear it!

So, I know today’s post is a little different than my average blog post about the Law of Attraction and conscious living, but I really did love this book and just wanted to share these insights, as they resonated so strongly with me when I read them.

I can see how we often compete for energy and attention from each other, and how it can be an “unhealthy” way of getting the energy we need to feel uplifted and joyous.  Of course, it feels good to be empowered, but I for one would prefer to gain my power straight from source, rather than steal it away from someone else.

Ultimately, if we were collectively able to ascend to a higher state, I imagine we would all win, and competition would fade away. 

It’s an interesting idea, at least!

If you have any thoughts on these “control dramas” feel free to comment below and share you perspective with me! Also, if you’ve never read it, consider picking up “The Celestine Prophecy” because it’s a great read for the spiritually conscious.

XO, Andrea

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Image Source: Cameron Gray, ParableVisions. This image was reproduced with permission from the artist.


  • Bobby
    Posted June 14, 2016 11:34 pm 0Likes

    Your articles are on FIREEEEEEE!!!! I really really love these. Generally I am very happy but I too am for sure an Aloof if at all. But I don’t believe I intentionally try to steal attention but the play hard to get one … eeeeek! I’ve been blowing off this guy I suppose I should just tell him right?? We’ll both feel better?

    Also how long is this book? Im crossed between 2 right now, have 1 on deck, and 1 I want to re-read so I am just curious

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted June 15, 2016 11:46 am 0Likes

    Thanks for all the comments Bobby-so very appreciated!! As for your question about this guy, do you like him or not so much? If you like him, a more authentic approach may be a good idea, but if you want him to go away perhaps your aloofness might serve you LOL!

    Anyways, the book is great, so read it at your leisure. It’s not too long, I think under 200 pages. It’s an easy read:)

  • Bobby
    Posted June 15, 2016 1:50 pm 0Likes

    LOL your right … aloofness it is! Ok awesome under 200 is pretty managable i shall check it out. *add to list* Speak soon xxo

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted June 15, 2016 6:07 pm 0Likes

    Haha! You’re funny:) Let me know what you think of the book when you get around to it XO

  • NV
    Posted August 3, 2016 2:50 pm 0Likes

    Hi Bobby,

    Please dont be aloof especially in the matters of heart or in relationship/love issues as you will be hurting people unintentionally.
    Thank you for considering my request.

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted August 3, 2016 6:24 pm 0Likes

    Hi NV, as an aloof myself, I’d say you are right about it hurting others. I suppose, all of the control dramas hurt…which is why we lean on them, to put ourselves in a higher position by pushing the other person down <3

  • NV
    Posted August 4, 2016 1:16 pm 0Likes

    Being Aloof in other matters is fine coz i am too but not in the above case.
    I wish your website should have LOVE and WOW and HAHA buttons under the comments or articles.

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted August 4, 2016 5:02 pm 0Likes

    Aww thanks NV! 🙂 XO

  • NV
    Posted August 5, 2016 10:09 am 0Likes

    Hey Andrea,
    How to call upon “The Intimidator” ?
    I personally feel, if someone behaves like an intimidator as described above, my voice doesnt come out of my throat or i start crying or i will just leave the scene feeling defeated. How can i call upon this intimidator ? This is helpful. Thank you in advance.

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted August 6, 2016 11:28 am 0Likes

    Hi NV!

    Ahhh…the intimidator! The most fear-inspiring of the drama types:)

    The book suggested that you (pardon my language) “call them on their shit.”

    So, if you are being treated abusively, you could simply take a deep breath, look the intimidator square in the eye and say “why are you yelling at me” or “you are making me uncomfortable, please be more respectful.”

    I’ve also found it’s best to stand your ground. Often an intimidator wants to push you into doing what he or she wants you to do, but it’s always best to do what YOU feel is best. If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it. If you do want to do something, do it.

    Let your own guidance steer your words and actions, and realize that the only control an intimidator exists if you allow yourself to be intimidated.

    Easier said than done when you feel fearful, isn’t it? But something else you can do is to start small. I used to have a hard time with this myself, until one day when I gathered the courage to be blunt with an intimidator.

    There was a rude guy cutting in line at an ice cream shop I was at with my kids. I was tired and overwhelmed with a toddler and a baby, and I just decided I would confront him. I said to him “There’s a line here and we’ve all been waiting. Please go to the back of it.”

    Funnily enough, he apologized and shuffled to the back of the line. It was so easy! I couldn’t believe it. I’d spent my whole life fuming at line cutters and getting frustrated and letting them ruin my day. In one action, that totally changed. I realized that by standing in my power I would feel good about myself AND I would even end up feeling better about the line cutter. I would be happier in the long run if I stood my ground.

    This was something small that taught me something really important: if you stand your ground people will fall in line for you.People will follow your lead. If you act as if you believe you deserve respect, you will get it.

    So, start small with “little” intimidations. The confidence to speak up will grow, and you’ll learn that intimidators are really just people like you or me, they don’t have any extra powers or anything:)


  • NV
    Posted August 8, 2016 10:35 am 0Likes

    Thank you my spiritual friend for your advice. I love it and will implement this when necessary.

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted August 8, 2016 2:45 pm 0Likes

    You’re welcome NV:) XO

  • Lisa
    Posted May 5, 2018 6:23 am 0Likes

    How do I stop using control dramas in my relationships? I think that’s all I do!

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted May 6, 2018 3:14 pm 0Likes

    The big one Lisa is starting to see people as connected to you, rather than separate…and making choices based on love and compassion first and foremost 🙂

  • Karon
    Posted February 4, 2020 4:38 pm 0Likes

    Where does sadness fit in?

  • Rich
    Posted September 6, 2023 11:20 pm 0Likes

    I read this book 30 years ago and I took this part to heart. Just being aware that people can steal your energy was eye opening. I felt empowered to know I have control over my own energy. Aware to not let people steal my energy is amazing. Much easier said than done!
    My most useful thing I learned over the years is not dwelling on the past or being angry a long time. That is someone stealing your energy who is not even there to steal it. You are just giving your energy away. Redirect your energy as positive back to you!

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