Down with the Drama

Are you tired of dealing with drama? Do you have anyone in your life that you would classify as a drama queen? As I have gotten older, I have less tolerance for drama. I just want to be around peaceful people, do positive things, and enjoy life.

So, what is a drama queen? This is a woman who makes every issue and problem about her. Drama usually surrounds her and, if it isn’t already there, she will create it. And keep in mind that there are plenty of drama kings out there as well!

Here are some behaviors that are common with drama queens and kings – they tend to:

  • Keep tabs on everyone just in case material is needed to create drama
  • Make a big deal out of little things
  • Stir things up by gossiping and manipulating to cause trouble and arguments with others
  • Never see themselves as part of the problem – there is always someone or something else to blame
  • Never be satisfied unless they get their way
  • Demand compassion but extend none
  • Dramatically share the highs and lows of their lives and expect others to ooh and aah over the things they share
  • Like being the center of attention and thrive on the chaos they create

So, what can you do to deal with the drama they create? If the drama queen is a friend or acquaintance, you may be able to distance yourself. However, if it’s a coworker or family member, it may be a little more difficult. Below are five strategies that you can consider employing to decrease the drama!

See the human behind the difficult behavior

I don’t think that most people are difficult just for the sake of being difficult. There is usually some underlying reason that is motivating them to act this way. They may create drama as a result of their own pain. Looking at it from this perspective may help you to be more understanding and tolerant of these behaviors.

Treat them with respect, empathy, and kindness

Many people operate under a constant feeling of not being appreciated or respected. This could be due to previous life or work experience. Showing them empathy by saying things like, “I imagine it’s difficult to be in your situation” can help the person to feel understood and valued.

Examine yourself

Drama queens aren’t generally very self-aware. In fact, you may hear them say, “I don’t do drama.” So, who knows? You might be one! We are all probably somebody else’s difficult person at some point in time. Sometimes the reason people rub us the wrong way can be found by simply taking a good look at ourselves. Some people may remind us of past hurts, which can dredge up past pain. If we stop and ask ourselves why we are reacting in that way, the answer may be in your past. In doing so, we may gain some insight about ourselves that will help in the future.

Set boundaries and standards around what you will tolerate

If you don’t have the time or patience to deal with drama, give the other person some feedback about how their behavior is making you feel (see last month’s article on High Impact Feedback). If you show empathy and compassion initially and the drama continues, you may have to end the interaction kindly and set some boundaries around your time in the future.

Don’t enable them

If they come with you to share a problem or complaint, redirect them and encourage them to stick to the facts (which they generally don’t do). Further, put the problem or issue back on them and ask what they plan to do about it. If you do this a few times, they may stop interacting with you as often.

So, go forward, keep calm and stay drama-free!


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