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.
terribleturnip: (Goat)
Yep, it's that time again, hearts and flowers and chocolates, oh my!

Did I leave out the pissing and moaning about how it's all commercial bullshit designed to make single people feel like losers? Yeah, that's going to happen, too.

I originally titled this "Tough Love Day" because that's what I like to dispense, especially around this holiday, but I thought I would reach deep inside my compassion pouch (which is narrow, hard to get into) although, as usual, it was empty, so I had to justify "Love Yourself" on a technicality, which is that I'm dispensing the Tough Love in advance of February 14th.

Which means you've got a couple of days to get your shit together and act like a fully functioning adult.

Here's the thing: You are an adult now. You are responsible for your own joy.

"But Valentine's Day is just a reminder that everyone else has someone to celebrate with and I don't!" "Everyone else is happy and I'm not!"

And some of you are going to make a point of "today I'm going to protest by celebrating singlehood!" While I applaud you celebrating your singlehood...I urge you to restrain your desire to shit all over someone else's holiday. That's like me declaring "fuck all of these women getting cards and dinner and gifts for being a mother, I'm going to celebrate my malfunctioning ovaries and useless raisins of eggs!" By the way, you might think that the "so THERE!" is silent on that, but it's not, we can totally hear it. Try not to be a third grader, okay? Let everyone else enjoy their holiday and stop trying to make a damn point. You celebrate your Egg Raisins on some other day -- THAT'S cool. Rule #44: By all means, celebrate your thing, but don't shit on someone else's celebration when you do it.

Maybe you've never been in a relationship or maybe your past relationships were nothing but heavenly until they abruptly came crashing down around your ears like Trump University. But, newsflash, some of those people going out to dinner, getting cards, flowers, chocolates, jewelry are not necessarily happy. Some of them sort of wish that the person sending them would die in a fire. Some of the people sending them sort of wish that the person they're sending it to would drown in their bath. So console yourself with that.

You wish you were getting chocolates and flowers? You're an adult now. Treat yourself to chocolates/flowers that are just a little bit above what you think you should spend on them. Why the hell shouldn't you have them? You are indeed loveable. I have flowers delivered to my office every year. (Yes, I have three partners. But apparently, my "type" is brainy, balding and complete rubbish at gift giving.) And I know that if I want a thing, I should make the thing happen. I get them delivered because it's a treat to not have to go buy them and then drag them into the office. And yep, I get some fancy chocolates because it's the one time of year where I can have them completely guiltfree. I'm celebrating my overall loveableness and man oh man my loveableness deserves me some fine chocolates and my body image can just shut the hell up for a couple of days.

And let's stop making this a "shower the chick with gifts" holiday. Think it feels weird to send your guy flowers or chocolates? Okay, it's not, that's actually just you being weird. But my guys are getting bacon this Valentine's Day, so feel free to break with tradition in more than one way.

Aromantic? Single and an orphan? Don't have anyone to send anything to? Shame on you. You do so. Now's a great time to thank a friend, a mentor, someone who's supported you over the past year. You don't have to make it a Valentine's Day thing, but since V-Day's happening whether you like it or not, use it as a positive force to remind you that there are people in your life who deserve a little love back from you. Just send them a funny card, a heartfelt thank you card, a felt heart in a card, whatever.

Look, I feel you, single people who really want to be a in a relationship. Despite having a veritable wallow of loving partners right now, I've been there. But here's the thing: if you don't love yourself, if you can't find some measure of peace and fulfillment within yourself without being reflected in the mirror of someone else's eyes...you're not likely to find it in a relationship. A relationship should amplify your happiness because you're putting two happy fulfilled people together. Otherwise, you've got two half empty shell people looking for someone else to fill their shell with happiness. Which means that not only will you be struggling to fill your own happy/fulfilled, you're going to have be constantly draining some to fulfill your partner's happy/fulfilled bucket. You're still going to wind up half empty at some point if you expect someone else to drain off their happiness to fill your emptiness.

Fill yourself. Buy chocolates, send yourself flowers, treat yourself to an expensive steak, have a lovely bottle of wine, dress up and go to the theater, stay in a fancy hotel with a spa, shower love on other people in your life. Go out to dinner with a friend -- and don't celebrate your singlehood...celebrate your friendship. Celebrate being a loveable person who might want someone else in their life, but is pretty damn okay all on their own.
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