We’ve all dealt with drama llamas (and maybe it’s even been you from time to time; I know I’m certainly not blameless).

I’ll be the first to say my life from high school to my mid-twenties was filled with dramatic people.  A drama cesspool, if you will.  Just one ongoing day-to-day, week-to-week soap opera that TV writers with a penchant for angsty goths and punk-emo melodrama would have paid big money to get a manuscript of.

But that’s normal for the time period, a part of adolescent development.  What isn’t normal is dealing with chronic drama well into your adulthood.  And yet, we all know them, some Drama Kings and Drama Queens that just don’t quit.

 

The Psychology of Drama

Although the stereotype is that woman are super dramatic, the reality is both men and women can be equally dramatic, but the drama may manifest itself in different ways.  (Trust me, I used to know sooo many drama kings.)

The point of the drama is to create attention in order to have the needs fulfilled.This is because drama is a psychological state of the ego, and the ego exists in all humans.  It is the ego’s job to mediate between the unrealistic impulses of our Id and the actual reality of our world.  In short, it is the ego’s job to find a realistic strategy to get our psychological needs met.

When these needs go unmet, drama takes place.  The point of the drama is to create attention in order to have the needs fulfilled.  This is why it is so common for young children to throw temper tantrums.  It is a primal display of drama in order to get a need met.

However, as we grow up and develop psychologically, we develop coping skills to find ways to meet our needs that comply with appropriate adult behavior.

People who display chronic dramatic tendencies into adulthood often have had significant and/or numerous experiences in their personal development of feeling unloved, ignored, not good enough, or not being accepted.  These negative emotions have never been resolved, but rather the narrative was internalized, so there is a bevy of unmet psychological needs within these people.  They also never developed coping mechanisms to handle these unmet needs in an appropriate way.  The result is explosions of tantrums when they are triggered and creating a circus-like environment around them to fill the void of their unmet needs.

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How To Deal With the Drama + Remove It From Your Life

 

Lesson 1: You Cannot Fix Them

The most important thing to understand when dealing with a dramatic person is you cannot fix them.  Their issue is one of arrested development, and that can only be solved by them.

It’s sad really because dramatic people find themselves in a catch-22.  The experiences that caused them to feel unloved or not good enough often deserve compassion, but their behavior turns off those who would be compassionate.

The best way to help as a friend is to respectfully encourage them to find ways to develop themselves (such as getting professional psychological care, engaging in behavioral therapy to learn coping skills, and engaging in self-care) and supporting them on the journey.  It is best to have this conversation with them during a non-dramatic moment.

But be prepared that this person may not be ready to get help (or don’t think they need it) and they may take exception that you even suggested it.  Remember, you can’t fix them.  That’s their job.

But you certainly can decide whether you still want to have a friendship with this person, especially knowing they aren’t planning on doing anything to change.

 

Lesson 2: Ignore The Drama

When dealing with a drama person in their dramatic moments, the best course of action is to strategically ignore the drama.  Anytime you acknowledge the drama you feed into it.  So ignore it.  Period.

Don’t comment on the dramatic or vague/cryptic social media posts, and don’t respond to text messages or emails of a similar nature.  If the drama person tries to engage you in conversation, don’t fall into the gossip mill or feed into their tragic symphony.  Instead, change the subject or excuse yourself from the conversation.

When you strategically ignore drama, you are subtly engaging in a form of behavior modification with that person.  Remember, you cannot fix them.  But through your choices of when you choose to engage with that person and when you choose to ignore them, you are setting boundaries about what kind of behavior is acceptable in your presence.

 

Lesson 3: Look in the Mirror

If you are finding that you have a significant number of dramatic people in your life, or even just one or two that create a lot of drama, then it’s time for some self-reflection.

Remember, everything in your life is a reflection of your attitude and your behavior.  The things in other people that trigger us are often things that we have unresolved issues within ourselves.  As priestess, author, and attorney, Phyllis Curott, once said in a talk on forgiveness, “We’re reflecting truths back and forth to each other.”


The things in other people that trigger us are often things that we have unresolved issues within ourselves.So look in the mirror and ask yourself:

Why am I engaging in these relationships?
Why am I choosing to be involved with this person?
Is there some void in me that vicariously living through this other person’s drama seems to fill?
What is it about me that needs to be healed?
Do I have boundary issues that make me feel obliged to stay friends with this person?
Do I have self-esteem issues that make me feel like I relate to this person or feel like I don’t “deserve” friends who treat me better?

Figure those things out and work on them yourself. 

Because the reality is, the more you become aware and empowered by the Queen you are two things happen.  You have less time and patience for petty drama (you’re too busy slaying) and you become more selective in surrounding yourself with higher caliber individuals who can meet you on the adult playground.


Have other suggestions for removing drama from your life?  Comment below or on the 
SoulFire Tribe – Light It Up Facebook Group!  Share your knowledge and engage with other women!  Share this article with a friend and continue the conversation!

Xoxo,

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Stella Autumn

Founder, Women's Empowerment Coach, + Writer/Blogger at SoulFire Tribe
* Queen * Rebel * Unicorn * Coach * Writer * Lawyer * Witch * Geek * Goth/Alt Chick * Poetess * Explorer * Artist * Hippie * Book Dragon * Ladyboss * Quirky, Curious, + Creative * // I empower women invested in personal and professional growth to discover the courage and creativity within themselves to lead happy, balanced, and successful lives defined by their own terms!

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