DRAMA: Tips on how to cope with & avoid it in the future

Drama has taught me hard life lessons. Admitting to having and creating drama was probably the biggest lesson. In my present life, drama usually serves as amusement or annoyance. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that my life is so relatively drama-free that when actual drama happens I get a little freaked out trying to protect my zen.

Here are some of my tips on dealing with & minimizing the drama.

Feeling like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day? Remember that every time you are in the middle of a dramatic situation you have an opportunity to learn how to better deal with challenges and avoid reccuring nonsense.

Is it me? If there’s drama all around you then you are the constant. Think about why you may need drama & address those issues head-on.
Look at things differently: A lot of the drama takes place in our own heads, and it’s usually because we’re so deeply immersed in things that we don’t see the ‘forest for the trees.’

Don’t feed the beast: Be calm, listen to your friends, but try not to make the situation into a pity party (unless you can do it in fun, which can go a long way to diffuse dramatic feelings).

It’s important to have supportive friends that we can ‘unload’ our stuff on. There is a line between supporting & enabling. You are being a better friend when you can let someone know when their drama is throwing up roadblocks to happiness. Offering help in finding constructive options on how to move forward in a situation should be enough of a hint to anyone that it is time to move beyond the drama and get into solution mode.

* Remember that some drama is normal & needed sometimes to sort our feelings out. I find releasing thoughts (no matter how crazy) to a trusted person helps us decipher what is going on so we can smite the drama before it does too much damage.

Reconsider unhealthy relationships: To live drama free, get as many drama creators out of your life as possible.

Think about which people in your life leave you feeling stressed and unhappy more often than not. Do you really need that? If you don’t want to or can not completely remove a toxic relationship, try to spend less time with that person. Work on recognizing and avoiding drama triggers with those individuals.

Heresay, Theirsay: When you listen to heresay, you are asking for a few stories about one situation. Drama increases exponentially & whatever you end up hearing may not be what really happened. This has the potential for explosion.

Be a straight shooter: The vast majority of drama (and sorrow) is caused by poor communication and the confusion it creates. Say what you mean, mean what you say. It takes some bravery sometimes, but it will save you much heartache in the end. Being honest & open should inform others that you expect the same of them. Allow it. Maybe people will think they have free reign on ripping you a new one, but those people aren’t really friends.

Watch your labels & assumptions: I used to name anything I didn’t want to deal with as drama. That was me being dramatic.

I’ve found that the less time I spend trying to label things, the more time & energy I have for creating solutions & being awesome. What you observe someone doing is fact – no assumption there. If the fact creates a problem for you, deal with it. When you make assumptions about motives you leave reality behind & can work yourself into fairy tale territory. If you want to be drama free don’t make assumptions, but deal with observable behaviour.

Be upfront: If you have a problem with someone, talk to them. If you believe that someone has a problem with you, talk to them about it. Passive aggressive behavior and indirect communication destroy trust and end friendships. Period.

Sometimes honesty will blow up in your face. This happened to me not too long ago. Someone was gossiping maliciously about a friend. I was worried & warned her to be careful. This friend made it clear she’d rather be friends with the people laughing at her than me, the person being honest with her. I had to step back and decide not to take that one personally. I also had to realize that person isn’t really my friend.

Choose your friends wisely, choose your battles wisely and practice detachment when you need to.

REMEMBER: If you truly want to live drama free, then you need to be willing to be the bigger person and let things go.

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