Drama. Look, we’ve all been there. At the restaurant/wedding/baby shower and IT happens.
Sometimes without warning, sometimes slowly, and sometimes like a neon sign dropping out of the sky.
That’s right, I’m talking about drama. Good, ol’ fashioned, “She did WHAT?!?”
Then, you’re left standing there looking for the exit while planning your Netflix queue.
Because, DUH, who likes drama?
Well, my friend, some people do. Some people thrive off of experiences others would consider stressful and dramatic!
And other people don’t necessarily LIKE drama but they do nothing to stop it either. They always seem to have something going on, as if they are unwilling passengers of their own life.
Oh, and in case you missed it (which would offend me so much I may have a dramatic confirmation with you… kidding!)… we recently dug into how to avoid drama.
In case you missed the first posts in this series, here they are:
Are you ready? We’re about to take action — rip the lid off this can and sniff drama out!
So, how do you know if you need a drama intervention?
Here are 6 surefire signs…
Well, you’re reading this article. No, I’m not kidding. Because here’s the thing, we’ve all been there:
- Leaving a social situation feeling DRAINED rather than ENERGIZED.
- Groaning when you see your friend’s name pop up on your phone. What happened NOW?
- Saying YES to doing things (parties, committees, you-name-it) purely “not to start something”.
- Checking yourself before you post something on social media because you don’t want a certain someone to see it and get mad/jealous/nosy/upset.
- Playing peace-maker between friends/family so you can have a peaceful dinner/party.
- Leaving a conversation feeling frustrated and unresolved.
You see, no one is immune — you can’t get a drama vaccination. Although don’t you wish?!
So you know you need a drama intervention. Now what?
Pour yourself a cup of coffee/tea/wine (I won’t judge) and sit down. Hang out with me for a second, we’re going to get through this together.
Drama Intervention Steps
Pick one recent social situation that came with an unordered side of drama.
Got it? Now, dissect it.
- Where did the drama start?
- Who was involved?
- Has that person (or persons) been involved in similar incidents in the past?
Great! (Well, not great, but great for this exercise…)
Hold on to that name(s) and follow these steps.
Step 1: Admittance
Look, it can be tough to admit that your friend/family member/co-worker is the source of toxicity in your life.
But that’s what drama is — toxic.
You can love someone and still recognize that their behavior is destructive.
This step is one of the hardest — I know.
Admitting drama does NOT mean fully cutting someone out of your life.
Admittance means saying to yourself:
X tends to attract/cause drama. Drama turns me into a stressed, angry, big green monster who snaps at anyone who looks at me wrong. I don’t like being a stressed, angry, big green monster. I need to figure out how deal with X so that doesn’t happen.
It’s important to distinguish that early on.
A lot of people shrug and say, “well, she’s my sister/boss/best friend’s 3rd cousin so I can’t do anything about it.”
You may not be able to cut them out of your life, but you can control how you respond to their dramatic ways.
Once you get a whiff of the empowerment that comes with “I can’t control you, but I can control my response to you” there’s no going back. I promise.
Don’t let anyone steal your wind, you must be your own keeper! (Friends reference, anyone?)
Step 2: Detox
Here’s my favorite part: ACTION! Real, nitty-gritty, action.
I know I just said you don’t need to fully cut the drama-seekers out of your life — but you do need a hiatus.
We’ll start with something easy: social media!
Remember that super nifty ‘unfollow’ button on Facebook we talked about in Part 1 of this series?
Oh yeah, it’s back in a major way.
Slide on over to your chosen person’s profile and do it! They won’t know, I promise.
While you’re at it, make sure to have some things lined up for the next time you see the offender. Don’t be obvious (because yes, that will cause drama, see how that works?) but do be firm.
If this isn’t possible (i.e. it’s your boss) cut contact as much as possible.
Go out to lunch rather than hang out in the break room and be “busy”… no one has to know that “busy” is catching up on Scandal when they invite you to happy hour.
Remember, this is not permanent behavior. You are taking a hiatus until you figure out how to best way to deal with them and their dramatic ways.
Step 3: Do Your Thing
Now that you’ve unfollowed the offender, notice how different your newsfeed feels over the next few days.
Spend time studying yourself and understanding what REALLY makes you happy.
In social situations, at work, at home — focus on YOU and YOU alone.
Think of times when drama overtook your day. What were you really enjoying right before IT crashed in like the Kool-Aid man? Get out and do more of those things.
Bonus: going out and “doing” you will get you some new friends and connections — not such a bad thing right now, right?
Step 4: Adapt and Overcome
Okay. You now know where a lot of your drama starts. On the flip side, you’re noticing what makes you happy.
Ready for the kicker? You need to do what makes you happy REGARDLESS of what the other person (drama offender) does.
I know, and the the Easier-Said-Than-Done award goes to…
But really. It can be so easy to figure out the cause, enjoy some time away, and then be sucked right back in at the next gathering.
Don’t fall for that!
Use your new self awareness and do more of what makes you happy at these events.
Talk with other connections, enjoy the food, listen to the band, do YOU!
When drama rears it’s ugly head, take a deep breath and say to the offender:
“Oh no! I’m so sorry you’re feeling [stressed/upset/let down/frustrated]. I hope everything works out soon.”
And… end scene.
Don’t follow them outside or agree to help compose a text to their boyfriend/boss/sister, don’t… just don’t.
Enjoy what you came to enjoy and then leave. By sticking around and doing you, you’ll make new (better!) connections who won’t leave you feeling drained.
Plus you’ll return from the event a happier you — no more stressed, angry, big green monster. Yay!
Sometimes, our friends/family really need us. Period.
Use your judgment to decipher between drama for the sake of drama and a life altering event.
The great news is, since you’ve been focused on yourself, you’ll be less drained and better able to help your friends/family during their time of need. Win-win.
Well, that’s all I have, friends. I hope you found these tips useful!
Next Read: How to stop attracting people that suck your energy (i.e. psychic “vampires”)