I was recently shredding old journals and was reminded of drama I’ve engaged in over the last few years.
It seems to sneak up on us.
I didn’t even realize I was involved until I was all in.
The drama you might typically get caught up in is just regular stuff all hyped up with stress and negative emotion.
Removing yourself from drama will help you reduce stress and simplify your life.
3 (Pretty Simple) Ways to Remove Yourself from Drama
Drama can be addictive because it’s a distraction from real life, from honest problem solving and communicating. And when we can’t easily tap into it in our own lives, there’s always celebrity drama, political drama and social media drama.
Drama is always available but it’s also mostly a choice. We choose to engage. We choose keep it alive by getting people on our side, which means we choose the stress and pain that comes with it.
There is a better way … 3 better ways.
1. Be honest.
Don’t believe everything you think. If you are in a heated disagreement, pause before you defend your side of the story. It’s a story. But is it a true story? I’m reading Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie and asking question number one, “Is it true?” a lot. Sometimes we forget to ask that of our thoughts, and then we get attached and begin to act and react to a thought that might not even be true.
Zoom out and look at the big picture and notice the parts that may not be true or could be up for interpretation. Can you see your story from another perspective?
Be honest with your interest in getting involved too. Are you getting involved out of boredom, or fear of the discomfort of direct communication? Or, has drama become a habit? Is it the best way through the situation you are dealing with?
Next, attempt to trade the drama for honest communication and clear boundaries. You can disagree without drama.
2. Be quiet.
Not everything requires your input. Most things don’t.
Unsolicited advice can spark drama. Gossiping will fuel the flames. Don’t share it, repeat it, comment on it. Just be quiet. It cannot exist in your life without your participation.
I know for some of us, being quiet might not be easy at first but the more you practice and see how effortlessly drama dissipates without our enthusiasm, the easier it gets.
3. Be selective.
Choose who you spend your time with, what’s meaningful to you, and what is simply not worth your time and energy.
Before stepping into a potentially dramatic situation, be selective and ask yourself,
- “Do I really care about this situation?”
- “Is there something else going on that I’m trying to avoid?”
- “Do I want to get involved?”
- “Is there a better way?”
- “How would I rather spend my time?”
With these questions, you’ll have more clarity about your intentions and it’s less likely that you’ll be swept up.
Drama may have an appeal, but it’s pointless in terms of conflict resolution. Usually it ends up robbing us of our time, attention and energy. Not only that, but we get all riled up inside and that leaves a mark.
One of the reasons I shred or burn my journals is to symbolically let go of my stories; of stress, pain and drama. This allows me to focus on what’s happening right now instead of what I thought was happening in the past.
When drama comes your way, make a choice. Be honest, be quiet and be selective. And if those options all feel impossible, take a walk.