DEALING WITH DRAMA
By Céleste Perrino-Walker
Drama! Drama! Drama! It’s everywhere. From who likes whom to accusing but vague proclamations on social media to musical BFFs, drama is everywhere you look. In the seething stew of hormones and mood swings, it feels like something is always on full boil. When everything around you seems to be in turmoil, it can be hard to study, sleep, and even eat normally.
But it’s so exciting isn’t it? You want to gallop in on your white horse to sort things out. One of your friends is threatening to break up with one of your other friends because she says he cheated on her. He says she’s crazy. You spend the school day alternating between letting her sob on your shoulder in the bathroom and trying to reason with him while he’s punching walls. But at the end of the day, they’re still together.
You did it! You saved the day. But what did you do exactly? They may be together for now, but dealing with their drama will definitely take a toll on your own ability to study and participate in school—which is kind of why you’re there. Not to mention that the state of tension you’ve been in all day leaves you restless and irritable.
So how can you ditch the drama and get on with your life?
Fix Me! Fix Me!
If you’re serious about keeping drama out of your life as much as possible, one of the most important things you can do is figure out where most of it is coming from. This is likely to be a few key friends. They are always on the outs with someone, or they are bundles of emotion ready to go off at any moment. These are the people who have nonstop problems. As soon as you help them figure out one aspect of their life, something goes wrong in another area. They often think everyone hates them and post “poor me” statuses on social media hoping people will jump in and build them up by saying nice things to cancel out the bad things they said about themselves.
Some of these people are truly hurting, which makes it very hard to walk away. But you must remember that this is a constant state of being for them. Fixing their problem or saying something nice about them or helping them out again is not going to improve their life (as much as you wish it would). Tomorrow they’ll be back with another episode of their particular soap opera.
If some of your relationships are unhealthy, it’s OK to move away from them, but do it in a friendly, kind way. Set some boundaries (stop following them on social media, refuse to listen to their negative comments about others, hang out with them only in a group setting—whatever it takes for you to stay true to your own values and keep from getting sucked into their drama vortex). If even this amount of friendliness is too much, back further away.
Don’t Deal, Don’t Dish
Drama works both ways. You can’t opt out of everyone else’s drama and get to keep your own. If you don’t want to deal with drama, make sure you aren’t dishing any yourself. No pitiful social media pleas for attention, no spiteful rumors about people you don’t like, no snarky comments on someone’s post, no getting 50 of your closest friends involved to sort out an argument you’ve gotten into with your boyfriend or your BFF.
The Bible offers a lot of good advice, particularly about relationships and even drama. A proverb is a short saying that contains a lot of wisdom, and there are many proverbs in the Bible, such as this one: “When there is no wood, the fire goes out. Where there is no one telling secret stories about people, arguing stops” (Proverbs 26:20, NLV). The less drama you engage in, the less drama you’ll be subjected to, and wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing?
The Bible offers some more advice for keeping drama out of your life. A man named Paul writing to his friend Timothy said: “Stay away from stupid and senseless arguments. These only lead to trouble” (2 Timothy 2:23, CEV). He also said: “As much as you can, live in peace with all men,” (Romans 12:18, NLV). If you keep these two principles in mind and make them your goal, you’ll banish drama to the wings, and make room for God to take center stage in your life.
Scriptures quoted from NLV are from The NEW LIFE Version, copyright © 1969, 1976, 1978, 1983, 1986. Christian Literature International, Canby, OR 97013. Used by permission.
Scriptures quoted from CEV are from the Contemporary English Version, copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.
Tags: Drama, Girl Issues, Relationships, Christian Life
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