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avoiding drama

topic posted Tue, October 21, 2003 - 11:56 AM by  Vive
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Here's a question: how do we avoid drama when we want to live our lives with intensity? I mean, sure, we shouldn't produce dramatic situations with unethical sluttery (as the not-anonymous-enough friend o' Sasha's did at BM a few years back), but what if we want to commit ourselves to doing things with passion? What's the difference between experiencing things passionately, between reacting to life whole-heartedly, and being a drama queen? Is it that there's an element of attention grabbing in drama? Selfishness? Insincerity?

This might be too serious a query for the tone of this lovely tribe (but maybe that's too the point, as well)...
posted by:
Vive
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  • Re: avoiding drama

    Tue, October 21, 2003 - 11:56 AM
    uhm , that would be "'to' the point"...
    • Re: avoiding drama

      Tue, October 21, 2003 - 12:38 PM
      i THINK the way to live a passionate and intense life without drama is with the use of judgment. use a little sensitivity when dealing with others and pay attention to the drama your actions could start. drama queens seem to not care who gets hurt when passion gets hosed around. bad drama queen, no bacon.
  • Re: avoiding drama

    Tue, October 21, 2003 - 12:47 PM
    Some thoughts on Vive's poser (NB, not to be confused with poseur, which neither she nor this thread are) and the issues around drama:

    Humility. We all fuck up, make mistakes, do stupid things, and even the most anti-dramatic can get drawn into drama. You could be next.

    Compassion. Drama arises like most other "bad" actions, from fear and/or pain. If someone's dramatizing on your shit, try to understand why. Don't take it personal, it's probably something he/she is bringing to the table, and only by grokking the experience from the inside is there any hope of addressing it. Doesn't mean there is hope of doing anything about it from the outside, just that that's a pre-requisite.

    Slightly oblique to the question, but them's what came to mind.

    More anon, but I have to eat now. Please refer to ebbtide.tribe.net
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    Re: avoiding drama

    Tue, October 21, 2003 - 1:28 PM
    IMO, if you want drama, you'll create it for yourself. Or you'll find someone who'll help you.

    So the thing is to look within and see what the payoff is for you in the drama. What do you get from it? Negative or positive benefits apply. Takes some work to understand yourself and what needs the drama fills for you. Like how to get the attention (i.e., love) you really want. Or making yourself feel more powerful, i.e., less vulnerable. Or choosing to avoid intimacy.
    • Unsu...
       

      Re: avoiding drama

      Tue, October 21, 2003 - 2:03 PM
      Abie says:
      Compassion. Drama arises like most other "bad" actions, from fear and/or pain. If someone's dramatizing on your shit, try to understand why. Don't take it personal, it's probably something he/she is bringing to the table, and only by grokking the experience from the inside is there any hope of addressing it. Doesn't mean there is hope of doing anything about it from the outside, just that that's a pre-requisite.

      I agree with this, but I also think that sometimes when people are used to a fair amount of drama, and someone confronts them non dramatically- drama can happen from the other person not wanting to see that maybe there is something that the other party is pointing out that is right on for them. I have experienced this a lot, and sometimes people get passive aggressive and in the end drama results. I hate that, but sometimes it is inevitable. I like to confront what is bothering me head on, but sometimes people do not like what they hear. I suppose it depends on how far they have come to understanding themselves and how open they are to learn new things about themselves or see things from another's perspective even if they think they are right about things. It is growing up, and learning to be intimate. my .02
    • Re: avoiding drama

      Tue, October 21, 2003 - 2:06 PM
      Great response, Jonny. One thing I read is that it's really to turn facts into dramas. Sometimes it's good to just write down what has actually happened, removing and subjective comments. So instead of saying, "My boss is totally disrespectful," you could rephase that to yourself as, "My boss put me down in a meeting today." I find this helps.

      The other thing that I think REALLY adds to drama is to recognize that a lot of the drama is in our own minds. We each have sensitive spots so we take things personally. So, I am really sensitive about taking up too much space because I have really big personality. At a meeting last week, I felt I had taken up too much space by talking too much. I mentioned this to the woman running the meeting, and she said that I had taken up a little too much space.

      You can imagine that I was TOTALLY hurt by this and felt somewhat victimized, but that had to do with ME, not with anything about what SHE did. So in every situation, no matter how crappy, I try and ask myself what I can learn from what has happened. What lesson about living life can I learn?
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        Re: avoiding drama

        Tue, October 21, 2003 - 5:15 PM
        I agree with you (esp. about my response ;-). I've learned some stuff in therapy which correlates to what you've said Abby.

        Like there's a difference between criticism (global statements) and complaints (specific statements). Criticism is bad. Complaints are good.

        And the notion of "negative predications" and "mind reading". Like interpretting a comment in a certain light because you have negative expectations. Rather its good to ask a "fact-finding question", like, "What did you mean when you said blah?" or "Are you saying blah?"

        Mind reading is nasty because you're usually projecting your own frames of reference on someone else. And it can be hard to catch yourself doing it. Like, "so-and-so didn't return my call because they've decided I'm no good for them. I'll show them who's boss!" Then you go out a dig a hole for yourself and screw up a potentially workable relationship. Not that I've done that :-)
        • Re: avoiding drama

          Wed, October 22, 2003 - 7:24 PM
          So, from what everyone has said, it seems to me that the key to avoiding drama is (to make it as utterly simplistic as I can make it) to grow up, be responsible in your actions, and realize that your point-o-view is just one of many (and one that doesn't trump anybody else's, for that matter!)

          This attitude can be difficult to maintain, of course, but as Jonny suggests, it can also help us comfort ourselves when we feel that we're being dissed...

          Thanks all! I learned a lot of stuff that I thought I already knew, with this thread...

          Not least of which was: "bad drama queen, no bacon!" Really, it all comes down to that, for me...
          • Re: avoiding drama

            Thu, October 23, 2003 - 8:56 AM
            recovering drama queen

            i'm still trying to get this perspective. i think it's fun to make a stir.

            and so i was scolded the other night when two guys i was dating showed at an event. they said what do you mean they don't know about each other? i said do they have to.

            i'm not in the poly crowd, but i know that honesty is a good thing. it's just sometimes the boundaries between off and on get blurred. i thought i was off, but they just move slower. a week, no contact. that's off. so i met someone (or someone's as the case may be) new.

            sigh.
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              Re: avoiding drama

              Thu, October 23, 2003 - 2:59 PM
              from my experience with drama in relationships...I say that the #1 instigator of drama is lack of security, and lack of communication. When these are achieved, and you are able to have this in your relationship, the less drama happens. It takes time, and work, but it can be done.
        • Re: avoiding drama

          Sun, December 7, 2003 - 1:36 PM
          exactly..I usually when trying to figure out what someone is saying without putting my own perception into it is by saying..what I'm hearing you say is this..is that what you were meaning or could you explain..
          • Re: avoiding drama

            Sun, December 7, 2003 - 1:38 PM
            I have found out being totally honest with people before you act is the best way to avoid drama..however also evaluating reasons why you need to have the conversation..what needs are you meeting by saying or doing this..is it because you are attempting to meet some unfullfilled need of your own and if so is there a better approach to meet it.
            • Re: avoiding drama

              Tue, December 9, 2003 - 3:23 PM
              I'm not so sure being completely honest reduces risk of drama because drama is often the reaction to what was said or done, regardless of truthfulness.

              In the typical break-up scenario, for example, one person wants to end the relationship while the other does not. Even if the person ending the relationship is being totally honest about their feelings and intended actions (i.e., ending things, moving on) that doesn't necessarily mean the other person will take it better.

              Even many non-drama-inclined people don't take being dumped well, regardless of the reasons offered (or the truthfulness of the reasons). If you told Steve, for example, you were dumping him so you go date Bob, many a time the Steves aren't going to take it better because you've told them there's someone else; that will usually make things worse, and stir up drama-laden emotions like rejection, abandonment, and (the biggie) jealousy.

              While I'm not sure honesty helps avoid drama, of course lying will ultimately increase the drama. No easy choice.
  • Re: avoiding drama <<exposing the mischievous ego>>

    Sun, February 1, 2004 - 10:54 AM
    Vive, great question...

    And incredibly good spot-on responses... Abie, Jonny, Abby... if a person stuck in the vicious cycle of drama heeded your words, they could shave years off their course of traditional talk therapy!

    Thanks, in advance, for bearing with me. This is a subject near and dear to my heart... (comments welcome!)

    IMO... drama just *happens* as a function of what we've come here as spiritual beings in human space suits to try and figger out...together, not alone (this stuff is often so incomprehensible that it is literally impossible to figure out alone).

    Abby, you're so right... "a lot of the drama is in our own minds"...

    Awareness of that fact gives us a head start on the necessary path of auto-correction, but how *do* you "puppy-train" your own mind when the ego has you convinced you all your life that it's always "somebody else's fault"...? Bingo. Consider the source of such bad advice! The greatest perpetrator of our collective insanity remains largely invisible to us...

    And talk about a "perp"...!

    With a little patience (a sense of humor) we can get to the bottom of why we allow our egos to grab the steering wheel of our life (causing us at best to engage in unhappy drama, and worst to crash and burn beyond recognition… and it will continue to happen in relationship after relationship until we learn not to “go there.” {Note: See tribe: "You KNOW this is going to end badly"]

    What is the ego good for? What could be the highest good for an inveterate mischief-maker? Hard to say. Maybe "maximizing creativity in others"... which is probably a lot more palatable to the ego than saying "I surrender to spirit!" [“Pull the Plug! I’m outta here!”]

    More on the "driving analogy"...Sooner or later we just get tired of the drama and visits to the emergency room as a result of our ego's mischievous, seductive behavior... and we do whatever it takes to stay *awake* after taking back the steering wheel for good. But... what to do with that friggin' ego? Like Gollum, it keeps reaching for the “ring”… the steering wheel… whenever we're not paying attention... in those moments in which we go unconscious again (fall in love, buy someone's bullshit, etc.). Answer? Assign it the role of NAVIGATOR... It becomes absolutely necessary to take responsibility not only for your words and actions, but also your *thoughts*!!! In so doing, you step into rightful autonomy of your life, and become less susceptible to the ego’s feeble attempt to convince you that fear, guilt, and shame are superior weapons to wield in the fight against that which would free you from its grip: love, laughter, and total forgiveness of the past.

    And like Abie suggests, consciously bringing forth humility and compassion will most often pull the fuse out of the drama "bomb" before it even gets lit.

    Jonny's right on about a payoff involved... What interests me is identifying and *neutralizing* the mechanism behind the payoff "system" and what it is that keeps it in place. Whatever system you use to puppy-train your own the mind, the one suggestion I would leave with you to consider is: It could be just as important that we learn to change our mind *about* the mind.

    And that’s about all I have to say about that!

    DJ
  • Re: avoiding drama

    Sat, May 29, 2004 - 3:19 PM
    boundaries.

    good healthy boundaries, articulated honestly & clearly - compassionately but firmly - from a calm center (not fueled by anger and judgement). accompanied by acceptance that some folks will not abide by these boundaries - which, if it can viewed with clarity and objectivity, will provide a guide for who should, or should not be in our lives. (or at least to what extent).

    also, an awareness that the tackling of each new task or goal will bring with it new openings for new levels of drama, until we get the hang of whatever new nuances of these basic principles are needed to deal with the new situation. thats the one that really sneaks up and bites me on the ass sometimes - just when i think ive got it under control.

    needless to say, these are all skills that take practice to acquire - the practice of a lifetime.
    • Re: avoiding drama

      Sat, May 29, 2004 - 3:28 PM
      oh yeah, one more - the hardest one, for me:

      there are times and places -thankfully few but sometimes very important- when the most constructive option available is to sit down, shut up.. and wait.

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