Q: I’m confused. Some Dramatica terms seem like they can only be seen as positives, like Help or Morality. Is it really that simplistic?
A: Help and Morality only look positive within a given context. Change the context and anything is possible.
Help may seem positive if shown as a way to solve problems, but what if Help is the problem? What if Help creates conflict instead of resolving it? For example, what if a parent’s effort to help his children makes them unprepared for situations when the parent is not around? What if the parent’s lack of help makes it impossible for his children to make passing grades at school? What if too much parental help gets his children’s work disqualified? In each instance, help is the problem, not the solution.
You may wonder why I treat help, a lack of help, and too much help the same. A lack of, or an excess of something is still that something. What makes it negative is the context in which it is explored. In this instance, the context is seeing Help as a problem. Problems are negative, not Help.
Dramatica’s terms are neutral – neither positive, nor negative. The context in which the terms are used puts the spin on them.