Addicted to drama? Who would want to be addicted to drama? Doesn’t everyone hate drama?
You might be surprised. Drama is exciting. It creates adrenaline so that you have energy to get through the day. Some feel it gives them a sense of purpose or a crusade to go on. Drama makes people the center of attention. It creates sympathy. Sometimes it is a way to create connection through shared grief, anger, or righteous indignation. Bottom line, it’s an unhealthy way to get your needs met.
How do you know if this is you? Here are some tell tale signs:
- When mundane but undesirable things happen, do you take it as the universe is out to get you? For example, when it rains, if traffic is heavy, when you miss a phone call that you were waiting all day for, is it a sign that it’s going to be a bad day? Is it personal?
- How much time do you spend talking about negative events? Are you able to let things go without rehashing them over and over to everyone you know?
- How much time do you spend on social media sharing your tragedies? Do you get a lot of feedback from your social circle about how unfair life is?
- When your friend has conflict, are you standing right beside her whipping things up?
- How much of your personal business do you share with strangers and people who are not in your inner circle?
- Do you go from zero to sixty in seconds emotionally? Or do your emotional responses fluctuate depending upon the size of the drama?
- How much time do you spend talking about the past? Especially negative events from the past?
- How much of your conversation is spent talking about other people, what others have done to you, or how something or someone is to blame for your current state of affairs? (In other words, how much of your life is your responsibility? How much is your life about you?)
- When something positive happens, do you have to let others know? What words do you use to do that? Is it about getting praise or acknowledgement for yourself?
- Do you save the day more than the average person?
If you are answering these questions and getting a sinking feeling that maybe you’re addicted to drama, I’ve got to tell you that this isn’t healthy. It creates a whole lot of stress in your life. The pay off isn’t worth it.
If you’d like to change, here are some suggestions that anyone can incorporate into their lives to find more peace.
- Practice mindfulness. This will help you to stay in the moment so that you aren’t making things bigger than they really are. It can also help you to keep your emotions in check, be clear on what you want, see other possibilities, and make wise choices. Mindfulness is a one-size-fits-most kind of skill. If you haven’t yet acquired it, you may want to invest in learning more about it.
- Take responsibility for what is yours. This means that if you are creating or contributing to a situation, deal with it. Don’t blame or complain. Just do it. That’s it.
- If it’s not your problem, don’t pick it up. If you can’t do something about a situation, leave it alone. Leave it for whomever is in the best position to fix it. This doesn’t mean you stop caring. It just means that you don’t allow it to occupy space in your head that creates worry and stress.
- Get clear on what you really need and ask for it. If drama is about wanting attention, acknowledgement, appreciation, or connection, just ask for it.
- When something is over, let it be done. As long as you are still carrying a hurt, it’s still alive. You have the power to end it by withdrawing your energy from it.
- When others bring drama to you, refuse to participate. You can say nothing or excuse yourself from the conversation. Either way, the speaker will eventually get the idea that you won’t give your energy to that so she will stop bringing it to you.
Everybody has drama sometimes. Life isn’t smooth. There are always ups and downs. If you have more than your share, you might be addicted to drama. The good news is that things can change by making different choices.