31 December 2014

Drama Kings And Queens

Drama Kings And Queens

Do you know anyone who creates drama out of everything that doesn’t go their way? You know the type … they thrives on creating ‘a scene’ and don’t stop until someone is paying full attention to them, and only their needs. There are several people just like this that are in my life on a regular basis, and I’m more than certain that you have them too.

There’s an old anonymous quote that I love:

“There are some people who always seem angry and continuously look for conflict and drama. Walk away whenever possible, because the battle they are fighting is not with you, it is within themselves.”

These kind of people will leave others utterly speechless with their emotional explosions, and sometimes it’s not just noise and mayhem they create, but they can change the entire mood of a room, a party, or even a family relationship, or a workplace environment.

So, what to do … remove them from your life? If you have no ties or connection to them, this may be your best option … to simply walk away from the toxicity. But what if you love them, and it’s only their behaviour you don’t like. They might actually have some wonderful other qualities about them. They may be family members, or even parents or brothers and sisters.

The saddest part of this, they might be this way with anyone and everyone, and … they may only be this way with you. Maybe you have made them too available, or you created the environment to say ‘it’s okay, you can do drama with me.’ Funny thing is … they usually never ask ‘How are you?’ and if they do; they never waited for the answer before heading back to their needs and the drama of the day.

Some might say “Why not be a little more tolerant of others, try and see it from their perspective once in a while?” But then you would have to ask when someone is continually sucking you into their life drama, how can you stay apart from it … and still be there for them? How can you care about them, and not allow someone else’s drama to become part of your life? How can you create a safe relationship where both sides are equal, even if one person doesn’t think the needs of the other are important? Is it even possible?

I’m sure in some way it is possible. But I also know (from my own experience) that we also need to protect and respect ourselves. Because maybe one day the drama will stop. I wish these folks valued other peoples needs like they do their own, but for now … they just don’t. So here are some things to consider putting into practice. See how it works for you.

1 Stay off the Stage

The drama queens and kings like nothing better than to include people in their performance. You don’t have to take part; you don’t need to step onto that stage with them. Watch from the balcony, as soon as you start paying attention to the drama or the performance, pull yourself back to your seat. Stay out of the script. Nothing states anywhere that you even have to stay and watch the show.

2 Remember It’s Not Your Show

I’ll admit it’s difficult watching and listening to people you care about going through the ‘dramas’ they create. And sometimes there’s a part of you that thinks ‘why do they keep doing this to themselves?’ The answer is … they are getting something from it. Above all, don’t fuel their emotions with your own. And remember, it’s not your play, it’s not your story.

3 Bring Down The Curtain – Boundaries

All relationships have to have boundaries. And these boundaries will be different from person to person. If you were a sports coach, you would have FIXED boundaries … the lines you never cross. Can friendships have the same? The answer is yes … and they should.

First, set boundaries. Boundaries keep you safe. So before there’s an interaction with the drama queen or king … consider the following.

Protect yourself, and prepare yourself, for each interaction. Know what you will be up against, what you will tolerate, and what you will not. Do what’s in your best interest and theirs. If you can’t listen to their drama, then say so. If you need to create some space, create it. If you are comfortable with it, then tell them what you will and will not tolerate. And then know what you will do if they cross the boundary line. And … stick to it. Stand your ground. And if you have to walk away, then do so … and let them know that you will not join the team and put on the jersey.

Remember, no one can make you mad. You have a choice. You must choose to get mad. This is within your control each and every time you are presented with these types of situations. Choose wisely. For yourself, and for the other person.

Just a thought …

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.

My thanks to Dawn Barclay.