“When you are not honoring the present moment by allowing it to be, you are creating drama.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Well into my 20s, all of my friendships with women looked a lot like junior high.
One day, we’d be codependent and attached-at-the-hip, sending incessant play-by-play emails throughout the workday like one too many notes in class.
The next day, we’d be dragging each other by the hair into a heap of combined emotional issues, complete with nasty suspicions, unfounded accusations, and a dramatic reconciliation that would inevitably be short-lived.
Shortly after one toxic friendship eroded, I found a new one, like a mythological creature that regenerates its head immediately after its cut off. Things weren’t much different with the men I dated.
For a long time, I lamented all the damaging relationships I’d been in, as if I was some kind of victim who always got the short end of the stick. Then one day I realized there was a reason I always found myself in dramatic relationships: I was attracted to drama like a moth to a flame.
Chaos was the status quo for the majority of my life, and when it wasn’t there, I panicked. I didn’t feel comfortable unless I was fighting someone, or at the very least, fighting myself.
The things I said and did contradicted because it was easier to blame the world and stay the same than it would be to really see myself and make a change.
You might not be a recovering drama queen like me, but you’ve probably encountered your share of relationship histrionics. Maybe your close friend has as many catastrophes as there are days of the week. Maybe you’re the person everyone calls with their problems.
Or maybe you unknowingly turn small issues into major crises and you’d like to stop feeling so overwhelmed.
Whatever the case, you probably have at least a little drama in your life that you’d like to minimize.
With this in mind, I recently asked on the Tiny Buddha Facebook page: How do you minimize drama in your life? I took a sampling of the 183 responses and formulated this guide to diffusing drama:
You get what you put out. If you act in a way that is positive and minimal drama, you attract the same kind of positive situations and people. ~April Myers
Drama usually comes from my reaction to other people’s actions. I stop to think: Does this really matter in the long run, or am I just trying to be right? ~Anita Grimm-Hohl
I minimize drama within myself. When I’m focused and calm, so is the world around me. ~Cynthia Ruprecht Hunt
Take if off the page:
If there’s drama in multiple areas of your life, be honest with yourself—you’re the constant. Are you creating it? We don’t do anything repeatedly unless there’s something in it for us, so, what’s the payoff?
Are you looking for attention or excitement? Did you grow up with drama and you just plain feel best when there’s some around you?
Now aim to find alternative solutions. If you’re looking for attention, can you get it more directly? If you’re bored, what new adventure can create in your life?
Be happy about little things, let the big stuff go because I can’t change any of it. ~Grace Foo
I zoom out in my mind to a point far enough away and above so that I can see things in my life for what they are. By doing this, I can see from a distance how small and unimportant the situation is in the big scope of the universe. ~Larry Stilts
Is this situation going to matter a year from now? If not, it’s not worth worrying about. ~Angela Orr
Take it off the page:
A lot of the drama takes place in our own heads, and it’s usually because we’re too deeply immersed in a difficult situation to recognize it isn’t as dire as it seems.
If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed by a situation, step back and realize this feeling isn’t permanent–nothing is. Then focus on action steps—on the things you can control. What can you today to proactively create a solution?