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Ah, Drama! If I did a poll of 100 people, 98% of them would say they strongly dislike drama. So why does it still exist? Why do we get caught up in our friend’s drama, or even from time to time manufacture our own? You know what I mean when we start obsessing about an innocent conversation we had with our partner and by the end of the day have turned it into a major issue. Or we listen to our friend go on and on about a ‘look’ their boss gave them and how that look means they are going to get fired!
As much as it is annoying and we claim to hate it drama is so easy to get trapped in. It is like the Hoover vacuum of communication before you know it you are sucked in.
So what is it’s appeal, you ask? Drama gives us something exciting to talk about (albeit most of the time it is fabricated) and similar to TV or a movie it allows us to disengage from the reality of our lives and focus on the production in our heads.
However, we can’t stay in this imaginary world–so really all drama does is increase our anxiety about an event that isn’t happening and disengages us from the events in our life that DO need our attention. For example, a client of mine recently realized that rather than deal with her father’s recent life altering health diagnosis she was making up drama with her partner. So in essence rather than dealing with her father’s health and the anxiety in a healthy way (e.g. talking to friends and family, meditation, exercise) she was disengaging and channeling her anxiety into picking fights and making up issues with her partner.
By avoiding drama, we can start engaging in the reality of our lives and start facing real problems: dealing with our anxiety, looking at the areas that need our attention, loving our friends and family and being grateful for the fabulous parts of our lives.
So my challenge to you in the next week–just notice when you get stuck in the drama and have some curiosity about why it is appealing to you and what areas of your life might you be trying to avoid?