Why is it some of us have a tendency to play into drama in friendships when it presents itself? Is there something satisfying about becoming part of the action, or is it we don’t always have the tools necessary to keep from being sucked in? As much as I love Springfield, Missouri, it definitely has its’ fair share of drama. Just the other day, I was walking away from an ATM downtown and heard a woman yelling, followed by some loud thuds. I ran to where the sound was coming from and witnessed a man trying to physically move a woman away from his truck, which she was blocking. After a few intense moments, and after getting clear on what was going on, I went on my way shaking and trembling from what I had just witness.
For me, I avoid drama as much as possible, but there are times drama in friendships is unavoidable. With that being said, there is very little drama involved with my life. I simply do not have the time, nor the energy at this point to invest in something that has yet to benefit me in my 30+ years. I am not saying stressful or tough situations have not benefited me in some way, but I feel there is a massive difference between a stressor and drama. Once I made the distinction between the two, my life sailed much smoother through the years and I’ve allowed myself to learn how to correct my life ship course with ease and little consideration. I have never considered drama a way to add to my happiness and have worked through my own system by which I can avoid it and enjoy the happiness I build for myself.
I have had friends, whom I loved very much, but simply could not keep from causing drama or somehow always getting themselves into situations wrought with the dramatic. Things would have been fine from my corner, however I somehow seemed to be pulled into it by my friends. I questioned my motives for involvement too often not to wonder if it was my fault for the interruptions and foreboding trouble it caused. Some people enjoy the drama, crave it even, but that tends to lead to an unhealthy living situation.
The Light Bulb: How I Was Participating in Drama and What I Could Do To Stop
I remember the day my proverbial light bulb flicked on: it became clear I had created the atmosphere for drama in friendships by participating in it. I had allowed many harmful things to affect me because of others. Ridiculous, right? Well, on a fateful day of confidence I was invited into a dramatic situation, which had nothing to do with me, and instead of considering their needs I considered my own. I declined their not so generous invite. Needless to say, my friend was not very pleased by my waned support of their personally caused predicament, which did cause a bit of upheaval in our relationship for a time.
After my friend solved their problem, they came to me and apologized for their inconsiderate request. We were able to talk things out and return to a nice functional friendship. By choosing myself, I was able to remove drama from my life. This doesn’t always result in the lah dee dah everyone-walks-away happy-ending land, though. I have lost friendships over choosing myself rather than their drama. At first, I was very sad by my lost friendships, but I began considering the fact that I was the only one in control of my life and to allow another to gain control ended up disastrous for what I was trying to build in my “little world”.
How to Avoid Drama in Friendships
Every choice we make comes with it a consequence. It’s our job to consider the consequence and ensure we choose rightly, what is best for ourselves, and that our choice will involve as little backlash as possible. Choosing to participate in drama will likely bring upon great consequence and provide little benefit.
If you have a friendship with a person prone to drama, it may be best to take a step back and allow them to sort their situation out rather than permitting them to draw you into it. Sometimes it can be as simple as a conversation with them, or it could take you completely stepping away from them until they can grow more as an individual.
If this feels a bit harsh to you, perhaps you can minimize the damage by only minimizing your involvement. What I mean by this is to participate in their drama by supporting them, but not engaging emotionally.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying no when you don’t feel comfortable with a situation or request. We say no to our children if they ask if they can go jump off the roof and we do so for their benefit. Why then is it difficult to say no to a friend who is not considering our best interests? Learning to say no when necessary has been one of the greatest helps to me in my avoidance of drama.
Friend: “Hey, I think my boyfriend is cheating on me, will you come with me to spy on him?”
Me: “Uh, no.”
Simple right? Say no, and do so with confidence. I am not sure whose best interest it would be to go spy on a friends’ boyfriend… definitely not the boyfriend (especially if he is cheating), not your friend who should likely not be with anyone they think is an adulterer, nor you who couldn’t possibly benefit from the situation (unless you are looking for something to gossip about). If you want something to gossip about, you are likely drawn to drama yourself and may actually enjoy it. To each their own, though.
Happiness And Drama Do Not Go Hand-in-Hand
We are all responsible for our own happiness. No one else can truly do for us what we can do for ourselves. It is when we lose sight of that, we end up with disorder and chaos. Yes, there are people who add to our happiness which is a beautiful thing, but to depend on them to be happy is detrimental to our ability to make ourselves happy. Personal contentment is important to our state of mind, health, personal image, and sense of self-worth. Without, we can feel alone with the weight of the world crashing down upon our shoulders. Therefore, we can avoid drama by utilizing our self-worth to discern whether a situation is beneficial to our happiness and wellbeing. Avoiding drama, for me, aids in my personal happiness and I am comfortable with the idea that I do not need to participate in drama to keep my life exciting.
How do you avoid drama?