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Keep The Puppy Out of My Garden!

Spring is here! Yellow daffodils are everywhere and the pear trees in Kansas are in full bloom. It’s a beautiful sight! I usually plant a garden, and this year I wonder how it will go with a new puppy in the family. Will Milo dig up the seeds before they sprout, chew off the sprouts before they grow, or eat the veggies before they produce?

Drama can hamper human development just like Milo interferes with my garden.

Failure to Sprout

Playing the Victim role in Drama causes failure to sprout. If you don’t believe you are worth it, there’s no point putting yourself out there and living up to your potential. Openness, on the other hand, allows you to claim your worthiness, ask for what you want, and spout! Protect and nurture yourself and others like you would a newly planted seed.

Failure to Grow

Paying the Rescuer role in drama inhibits the growth process. When we interfere by giving people unsolicited advice or doing it for them, we deprive them of the ability to learn and grow. Propping up a new sapling too long causes the trunk to be weak. Resourcefulness, on the other hand, encourages growth by helping people build on success, leverage their own strengths, collaborate in problem-solving, and learn from mistakes.

Failure to Produce

Playing the Persecutor role in drama prevents people from producing their best fruits. Fear, intimidation, blame or manipulation only produces compliance and the minimum to get by under the radar. If you want a bumper crop this season, focus more on consistency, healthy boundaries, and compassionate accountability.

Things to Ponder

  • Do you suffer from a failure to sprout, grow, or produce? What gets in the way?
  • What can you do in your life to set yourself up for a bumper crop?
Keep The Puppy Out of My Garden!

Nathan Regier

Nate Regier, PhD is CEO and Co-founding owner of Next Element, a global leadership communication firm specializing in building cultures of Compassionate Accountability®. A former practicing clinical psychologist, Dr. Regier splits his time between writing, speaking, training, consulting, and developing Next Element's global network of certified trainers. He is co-developer of the Leading Out of Drama® training and coaching system for positive conflict, and has authored two books on drama and conflict; Beyond Drama: Transcending Energy Vampires, and Conflict Without Casualties: A Field Guide For Leading With Compassionate Accountability. Nate is a certifying master trainer in the Process Communication Model®. He lives in Newton, KS, is married and has three daughters. Learn more about Conflict Without Casualties here.

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APA Reference
Regier, N. (2019). Keep The Puppy Out of My Garden!. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 23, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Apr 2019
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