Save Your Drama for the Dalai Lama
I hate drama. I’d like to say that I’m evolved and like the Dalai Lama I have compassion for everyone, that I forgive them all their excesses and weaknesses; that I have patience and tolerance for all. Are you kidding? I don’t even forgive myself all my excesses and weaknesses! (I’m still mad at myself for eating 14 Reese’s Hearts last night.) And you know what? I’m probably not changing. Not in this life anyway. Maybe I’ll be reincarnated and come back at a higher life level and I’ll be a better, kinder person. Or maybe I’ll come back as a squid. Who knows?
Why do I hate drama? Because some people wallow in it, they aren’t happy unless they are in the middle of chaos. If things are calm, they have to stir them up. If people are happy, they have to wreak some havoc.
I bet you know someone like this and here is my advice for you – RUN!!!! I’m not kidding. You think you can change them or save them or maybe you are just entertained by them. But do not let their drama vortex touch your life, because it will suck you in. How? Are you listening to their drama? Offering advice? Why? They’re not going to take it. Do they work for you? Why are you forcing your other employees to be around them? Do you think they can be productive when they are texting the players in their drama all day? They are definitely not focused on work – that is always second place to their drama. Work is boring! (Non-drama people get a self of accomplishment and pride from work; drama people get a sense of accomplishment when they appear on an episode of Dateline.)
Signs of a Drama Person:
They never let their cell phone out of their sight because they might get a text from someone. Other people own them.
Their life is too chaotic to make plans in advance. If they do, they often cancel or show up late. Wheeeee! Keeping things dramatic, baby!
They disregard other people’s boundaries. They search though other people’s computers or cell phones. They show up unannounced. They contact your new boyfriend on Facebook.
They stir things up constantly. This can manifest in many ways – they might gossip maliciously, post snarky things online, often say, “bless your heart.”
They make you question your sanity. Drama people see things the rest of us don’t. They can be masters of manipulation. (A drama person would read all your e-mail and if you complained about the breach of privacy would say you shouldn’t care if you have nothing to hide. Suddenly you feel guilty. Score! More drama! You got sucked into the vortex!)
You become obsessed with what they are doing. She posted what video online? She slapped who? Where is he now? Why isn’t she working? You are in the vortex.
They make you feel bad. Drama people really don’t have anything to give to anyone else. They are too consumed with themselves. They will make you think there’s some big prize there, but if you look closely, it’s not that great. They use the excitement, the drama to hide how little they have to offer.
These people aren’t going to change. They are not going to be happy with a little non-dramatic life in the country. They LOVE drama! If they can’t catch you cheating, they have to cheat to keep things interesting. If things get boring at work, maybe they’ll start stealing. Maybe they can cheat on you AND steal from you! Woohoo!!! And don’t you check up on them, it only shows that you don’t trust them, you bad person. Your only hope is escape.
Obviously those of you who are Tibetan monks may choose to do otherwise.
For those of you in the vortex, I’m throwing you a line. GRAB IT!
1. Realize if you stay in the vortex too long, you will become a drama person. Yep, you’ll start thinking that checking other people’s e-mail is a fair and just thing to do. You’ll be constantly watching your phone for texts from the drama person. You’ll enforce company rules haphazardly. You are now the drama!
2. Stop staring at the shiny object! Drama people are exciting! It’s like slowing down to look at a car wreck. Suddenly you put your own well-being in danger, so you can see something that’s more exciting. We want to hear all about it! If it bleeds, it leads! Yeah, until you’re the one bleeding.
3. If you are spending a lot of time trying to figure out why they do what they do, stop. Normal people do normal things. They respect other people’s boundaries. They call ahead. They are dependable. Drama people want you to focus on them – because they are focused on them. It’s ALL about them.
4. Keep your boundaries and don’t start violating theirs. No one should read someone else’s e-mail or check their phone. If you are doing this, you are in the vortex. Why would you be with/employ someone you don’t trust? Just because you aren’t doing anything wrong doesn’t mean people get complete access to you. Should you submit to a cavity search too?
5. GET OUT! Being with a drama person is like walking into the haunted house. The sane people got back in the car and drove off three hours ago. You are not going to fix this person, exorcise the demons, or find a pot of gold. You want to be with the rest of us boring people or the thing from beyond the grave?
6. Protect others. You can help keep non-drama people out of the vortex. It’s not always easy, but it can be done. One way is by refusing to be drawn in yourself. Example – my boyfriend’s ex-wife texted me to get a message to him. I told her to communicate directly with him. I am not a go-between. That’s my boundary. The same ex-wife went to her daughter’s roommate’s place of work to try and get information on her daughter. The roommate said she needed to talk directly with her daughter. Your setting of boundaries can be an example to others of what life is like outside the vortex.
One thing I have found with drama people is that if you refuse to play (to let them control or manipulate you, to let them bend the rules, to shape your life around them), they go away. A non-drama person will respect you and change their own behavior. A drama person will slink back to the depths of the vortex. Like a squid.