Mar. 16th, 2017

terribleturnip: (Goat)
We all know that someone, maybe multiple someones. The "I'm a drama free zone" people. The "I had to quit "whatever" because of the drama. I can't be friends with this person because they're such a drama queen. If you hang out at Renaissance Faires, maybe you've seen the pins: "Drama-free Zone" or some variation on that. (Of course, if you hang out at Renaissance Faire, by definition a multi acre site occupied by actors and wanna-be actors and then declare yourself a drama free zone...you're sort of betting against the odds, there.)

You on facebook? if you're lucky, this hasn't happened to you. If you're normal, then you've had a "friend" announce that they're DONE, they can't handle it, they're leaving Facebook (or insert social media of your choice). Or, they can no longer be friends with/be in the same space, even look at someone else because that person is nothing but drama.

Here's the thing. When you wear that pin? When you publicly shut someone out of your life, when you declare that you DON'T DO DRAMA?

You're actually being a drama queen. You are FLOUNCING. See, you could just not tolerate drama, you could not have someone as a friend, you could just block their posts. And not tell anyone. That's actually just being an adult. Making a point, making a scene...um, that's actually being dramatic.

I mean, what is drama? It's having an audience. You can't do drama on your own. You need someone to see it. You need to involve someone, ideally someone not intimately or naturally involved. That's drama.

So, when you decide that someone in your life is creating unnecessary drama and you just stop seeing them, stop replying to them, stop inviting them, just gently and effectively cut them out of your life (because I'm all about setting effective personal boundaries) but are still polite and coolly cordial when you run into them in a social setting, that's actually just being an adult.

Dude, I get it. You want a clean break, you want people to know that you...wait, no, now you're looking for an audience. And that, my friend, is the very definition of drama.

Adult means doing the right thing and not caring whether someone sees you do it, because you're doing the right thing. Look, everyone needs some affirmation from time to time, but good heavens, try and be self-sufficient when it comes to maintaining your personal comfort zone. And when it comes to leaving behind people who create drama, that is a perfect time to be self-sufficient. Don't be like the very people you're trying to cut out!

I have zero drama in my being life - despite managing a renaissance faire, despite being surrounded by lovely people who have just a bit too much of a flair for the dramatic. How do I manage it?

Well, for starters, don't feed it. When people come to you with drama, just refuse to hear it. Smile, hold your hand up flat in front of them (oh, poppets, you cannot underestimate the power of the gesture. Smile, but hold up the stop sign, do the wave off...make the pfft noise, the rolling of the eyes, the shrug of the shoulders) and then tell them you just don't want to hear it, you just don't care. I don't want to hear it.

It's remarkably effective. Making it clear that you don't give a rat's patoot. They want sympathy, they want you to care, too! Just don't. Refuse the agitation. There are a times when people deserve sympathy and empathy -- ask yourself "is this really the time?" I pretty much always answer "no". And yet, the people I adore still seem to love me. So, seriously, try this.

Also, you have another tool, if you're more extroverted and assertive. Solve their problem. Hard, fast. They start to describe the issue...and you just jump in with "Well this is what you need to do." There may be sputtering. Don't let it distract you. Push your solution (delete their e-mails, stop taking their phone calls, move on, tell them how you feel, give less fucks, whatever it is, demand a hard stop). Smiling. You know what drama queens hate? Solutions. Because it ends the drama. Because they either need to do it, or stop bitching about it. Right? When you've told them how they should fix it, and they don't and then they want to talk to you about it... ask "did you do the thing?" and they're going to say "No, Reasons" and you're doing to hold up the stop hand again and say "do the thing and then we'll talk, otherwise, I got shit to do." I wield this like a boss.

Oh, Poppets, it's game over, then. You've effectively become a drama non-conductive zone. They get no affirmation, only instruction. Oh, drama queens HATE that. Solutions and non receptiveness are the drama killers.

You don't want it? Then don't feed it. Smile, stop hand, solution. They're not bad people. Just bad habits. Help them to be better, help yourself to be happier.
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