Dare To Be Drama Free

Sep 07, 2020

There’s a farmer’s market in town. It takes place every Saturday morning in the parking lot of the Catholic Church. People from all around the area come to sell and to shop. The only drama here happens when the last jar of jam is sold but there are still people in line waiting to buy some. At least until this summer.


It was a 90 degree day. Somewhere between the vegetables and flowers, a woman publicly accosted another woman because of her political persuasion, even going so far as to blame her, personally, for what’s going on in this nation. These two women weren’t strangers. They’re both professionals. Both attend church. 


It’s convenient to dismiss being dramatic as something exclusive to teenagers or people with a deep, unmet need for attention. Drama does lend itself to these two categories of people. However, there are no exclusive rights to drama. We’re all vulnerable. 


Drama comes into our life when we create it, invite it or associate with it. Those who love it, live it—no matter where they are. 


But here’s the truth: YOU don’t have to live in it with them.


As a woman of influence you should expect to encounter different degrees of drama, even from people you never expect to see it from. As you lead others, there are certain traits that help to distinguish those who are more prone to drama than others. 


You can spot a “drama addict” by looking for evidence of one or more of these five defining traits. 


Driven to divide. People given to drama look for places to cast doubt or cause strife. A drama addict wants to be in on everything. The past is a weapon, and she wields it well. A drama addict will use what she knows to distort the truth or question the integrity of someone’s character just to stir up division. 


Ready to fight. Picking a fight seems instinctual, like breathing. There’s almost nothing that’s off limits to a drama addict. They’ll argue just to argue. People bother them. The way someone walks or talks or looks bothers them. They’re not interested in listening to what anyone else has to say. Everything’s a fight for what is right; and they are always right.


Always misunderstood. The running refrain of a drama addict is, “No one understands me.” This is a default response, and it’s heightened by the degree of emotional immaturity in a person. When a drama addict feels misunderstood in their relationships, they assume the role of the victim. Being misunderstood is a big part of their identity. 


Teller of tall tales. Exaggeration is the hallmark of a drama addict. Like the little girl who loves to sparkle, drama addicts can never have enough embellishment. She tells the truth-ish, and won’t hesitate to add a little (or a lot) extra for effect. She is always the hero or victim of her stories. Rarely, if ever, is she anything else.


Relentlessly persistent. Drama addicts don’t know when to stop talking. Even the little things become big things, making everything an issue. A drama addict will revisit something over and over… and over again. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. And just when you think something has been resolved, they bring up the same issue, again


In Galatians 5:15 (NIV), Paul gives this warning about the effects of living with drama: “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Drama nurtures relationships based on destructive motivations. Drama addicts say biting things and use their words to devour reputations. People who thrive on it have no problem wasting other people’s non-renewable resources, like time, to give momentary reprieve to their own drama-driven appetite. 


Nothing good comes from drama, and as a woman of influence it’s up to you to address the issue.  Here are a few quick tips to help you lead a life that is more drama free.


  1. Be honest with yourself. If you see any of these markers of a drama addiction in yourself or your leadership, own it and ask someone to help you address the issue when they see it in action. 

  2. Be aware of others. If you live with, lead or work alongside someone with a penchant for drama, establish ground rules for your work together. Set healthy boundaries around your conversations and work time. This is a good starting point for mitigating the effects from a drama addict’s default patterns.

  3. Know when to let it go. Sometimes, you can’t stop the drama; some people just live for it! But you don’t have to be a part of it. When you see drama being stirred up, excuse yourself from the conversation or situation. Don’t give in to the exaggeration, aggravation or divisive discussions. Do this enough and the drama addict will go elsewhere to feed their needs. 


Keeping things drama free benefits you and those around you by significantly reducing strife and stress. This increases the time and energy you spend in healthy, productive conversations and relationships. It builds trust and enhances creativity, collaboration and cooperation.


There’s no better way to lead, so we dare you: be drama free.


Until next time,


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