(If you don’t already have xkcd on your daily feed, you are missing out.)

I have talked to a shrink before, more than once. I am one of those people that very early on understood that all you can control in life is yourself… and even then it is an uphill battle because well, that croissant is just so dam tasty, even though I should not eat it. When I encounter a situation filled with drama, the first thing I try to determine, is this something I am in some way causing?

Avoiding drama is an art. The thing is that any time that you have strong views about anything drama is waiting just around the corner waiting to pounce.

I remember after a couple of failed relationships I decided to see a shrink again. One failed relationship might be bad luck, two its you for sure. I explained to the shrink what my shortcomings were, how I grew up, what I expected out of a relationship. I also explained the relationship issues I had, what I saw as not working and her prognosis was simple. “Stop dating crazy people.” A shrink said that… and it was a she.

We are all a little crazy and I can safely say that I know where my crazy comes from. I am a very logical thinker for almost everything in life, but when it comes to relationships I am extremely emotional. I can turn the emotions off completely and make compassion something that other people feel for puppies. I was that person for a long time, and it helped me deal with life as a teenager in a very dysfunctional home.

I never wanted that as an adult, and I have done everything in my power to avoid being the source of drama. I do fail miserably from time to time, because in the effort to avoid it, I seem to spin it into high gear.

Funny enough, this is probably one of my most drama free times of my life. While I had no shortage of it in the beginning of the year with my uncle passing, recently I am pretty drama free. I do have plenty of drama close to me, but I am now more of an observer than a direct participant.

The top water mark came some months ago when a bully feared by many tried to start something in a setting was bad. No, not the multicolored troll showing naked pictured of the conquest in a church in front of children, that one is a story for another time and another day. I engaged the bully, held my one and realized something. By standing up to said bully, even though I did it for the “right” reasons, I was simply perpetuating the drama.

In a conversation over lunch with coworkers recently the talk of leadership came around. The person making the statements is someone that has been around the world actually getting paid to give leadership seminars. I asked the question I always ask when people talk about leadership, is innate ability or learned skills better. He answered both, but the best are the ones that come with the innate ability, the ones that want to learn the skills are the ones that kept him employed. He also added that one of the things to learn is that you should never try to guess motivation, that it is always easier to just ask the person.

It brought me to a new understanding on a lot of things. Drama, for the most part can be just a lack of communication. I think a lot of drama start when one person tries to guess what motivates another to do something, and then people formulate things in their heads from that thought. Sometimes a person just wants to be listened to, and drama seems to be the only way to get someone’s attention.

Trying to ignore drama is not the answer. Trying to avoid it can create more of it. So at this point in my life I think that trying to just listen more is probably the best way to avoid it. I have been very good at removing people that cause drama to get attention out of my life, however it never really made me drama free. Now, it seems that trying to just understand people’s motivation by gathering information rather than guessing seems to be the best antidote to drama.

3 comments on “D.R.A.M.A.

  1. See a psychiatrist or psychologist has always been something I’ve wondered if I should try, simply to attempt to work out some personal problems in my life. But I’ve never done it – partially due to ignorance about where to even start looking for one at all, much less looking for a good one that would be a good fit. But more than that is the (perceived) stigma that simply going to one signifies a personal failure in my life. I have trouble even making myself go see my pastor to talk over my troubles. It’s almost like going through with actually seeing a shrink is worse than any real or perceived problems you may have.

  2. Life is drama. Drama happens. In a relationship? Drama. Family member died? Drama. Changing jobs? Drama.

    It’s how people react to drama that is interesting. Some people quietly navigate the tides of drama, resolve anything required, and calmly sail on with life. Some people engage drama, like a fight. They create more drama by doing so but it gives them a fleeting sense of superiority when they come out of it. And some people revel in drama, these are the people that I think you are talking about.

    Don’t get me wrong, they still approach drama either calmly or combatitively but they have an added aspect to how they deal with drama. They get dramatic about it (sorry I couldn’t resist). These people make sure others know that drama has come upon them. They call/text/tweet about it. They want the attention, positive or negative. The new standard in this behavior is not even saying what the drama is. If they are non specific, more people will wonder what’s up. Do I think they lie about having drama? No, not really. I do think they engage in behavior, consciously or not, that encourages drama tho.

    And I think it’s getting worse. In our electronic world, disseminating information, even drama, is MUCH faster. Narcissists can impact more people, and thus garner more attention much more effectively. And it just strengthens the unhealthy pattern.


    PS: thanks for the link to xkcd above. Enjoyed it almost as much as the link you provided to Kcity.

  3. Barry,

    They provide great perspective. Thankfully I have a couple of great friend that are amazing sounding boards, but if I did not have them or my significant other I would see professional help in a heartbeat. It has done nothing but good for me.

    I use to fool myself into thinking that I saw all the angles, but that only lead to try to over-analyze situation that did not warrant it. Now I take a different approach and bring up issues for discussion before I dwell on them.

    A pastor is a good place to start. There are also a lot of faith based counselors that I have found also great. Start small and maybe try to seek out a parenting specialist and talk to them about your parenting style, it helps. Then as you get more comfortable ask for referrals and seek out the help in the area you need.

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