Desperately dealing with drama?

Practising these 5 simple phrases may help

Drama can be characterized as a situation that drains your attention, energy, wellbeing and time, and that is not progressing toward a definitive resolution. The danger with drama is that, like an emotional black hole, it can suck in everyone that surrounds the epicenter; the conflict expands beyond its original participants to affect the wellbeing and contentment of those on the sideline.

Conflict is a natural part of life but by choosing how to deal with these situations, you can determine whether they become a brief, unpleasant episode or a soul-sapping saga. Removing drama from your life completely can be difficult but there are some simple ways you can remain in the wings while the theatrics unfold.

The first step to reducing drama in your life is to take responsibility for the actions you have taken to invite it in.

We are all human and many of our habits and behaviors stem from deeply unconscious patterns and desires — many of us are unwittingly creating or amplifying drama with our instinctive actions and reactions. (This simple online test can help you determine the level to which you need, and create, drama.)

Once you learn to discern your need for drama and recognize the actions you have taken to invite or increase chaos in your life, you will be better equipped to choose differently and interact with others in a more conscious and careful way.

Below are five simple phrases that can help you eliminate drama from your life:

“I wouldn’t like to comment on something that is none of my business.”

Gossip is both destructive and harmful; idle talk about others not only fills your personal sphere with other people’s drama, it can make it more difficult for those involved to find a healthy resolution to the situation. Be wary of injecting your opinion into any situation that does not involve you directly, or voicing judgement of someone without first applying compassion and understanding.

“I appreciate how you must feel. What do you think you can do to resolve the situation?”

There are many individuals in this world (and I count myself among them!) who take it upon themselves to rescue or resolve the issues of others. If this is your modus operandi, beware: the moment you try to pacifying conflict or appease personalities, you have become a part of the drama. The wisest approach to conflict is to allow space and time for the involved parties to formulate their own resolution. Avoid inserting yourself into conflicts, taking sides, or offering to help or mediate (unless there is a definite resolution from you doing so).

“I am happy to hear your concerns but I don’t feel it’s helpful if I get involved.”

It is important to realize that some people have a need (unconscious or conscious) to create drama in order to garner sympathy and attention, or simply to relieve boredom. Allow yourself to be aware of those who stimulate chaos, discord or conflict in their lives. It’s not always their fault, but neither is it healthy. Once you learn to recognize the people in your environment who have a need for drama, you can better distance yourself from their ongoing conflicts.

“I am sorry you feel that way, and I wish you all the best.”

It is inevitable that at some time in your life you will encounter incompatibility, disagreement or even targeted malice. It’s not always going to be easy to hold your tongue, walk away or forgive a hurtful comment or slight. But it is always, always going to be the healthiest option and the swiftest path back to happiness and contentment. Taking the high road takes courage, resilience and self-love. You may not always be able to take it, but it certainly helps if you can understand that this option exists. You have a choice how to respond to any situation; you can amplify and prolong the distress, or take a deep breath and move on to a brighter tomorrow.

“Unfollow”

Let’s face it, social media can be a minefield of spontaneous ranting, unmitigated opinion and psychological power plays. Consciously choose what you want to bring into your personal space and put out into the world. Be aware that there are very real consequences when you share your opinion online and be mindful of the opinions you allow to appear on your newsfeed.

This article first appeared on Kim’s blog.