I watched a physical, knock down, drag out fight Sunday afternoon. It was over two plastic cups. One was pink. The other was purple. Fortunately, this was not in public (this time!). It was at my house. Both of my daughters are drama queens! Yes, I said that! Okay, so they are only 2 and 4 years old. It makes no difference how insignificant the matter is, a dramatic response is required when you are 2 and 4 years old. What about when we’re 20 or 40? Drama can still happen.
Do you like drama? Google defines drama as “an exciting, emotional, or unexpected series of events or set of circumstances.” There are those who like drama. They thrive on it. That’s probably not you or you wouldn’t be reading this. If it is you, read it anyway. When drama enters our lives, we tend to: complain, get sucked in, or ignore it. Unfortunately, “ignore” is not the button we usually press. Is there any way to avoid it or reduce it? I believe there absolutely is!
If you want to dial down the drama in your life, it’s going to mean not inviting it, setting some boundaries, and thinking differently. By the way, if you are the one creating it, it’s a little harder to get rid of! I shouldn’t create my own storm and then be surprised when it rains. That said, if you’re not the one creating the drama in your life, here are some ways to dial it down a bit.
You know what it’s like. It creates a sucking phenomenon like a tornado and pretty soon you are spinning out of control along with the dramatic person. If you are the person everyone seems to go to with all of their drama, chances are you have a boundary problem. I’ve had boundary problems too. I am a recovering people pleaser. The longer you wait to set boundaries, the more you are inviting drama into your life. I Peter 4:15 talks about how we need to make sure we are not meddling in things we have no business in:
Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;
Be supportive. Encourage the person to take action or find a way to cope. Avoid the temptation to solve the person’s problems for them. You are doing nothing more than inviting more drama. Speaking of boundaries…
Think of the last dramatic thing that happened around you that you got sucked into. Was it your problem? If so, what made it your problem? Too often, we waste energy and effort trying to fix things that are not ours to fix. When you do this, you take away the person’s responsibility for their own life. In doing so, you remove God’s perfectly designed, natural means of teaching us (see Galatians 6). I Thessalonians 4:10-11 says,
But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands,
If the problem truly is yours to solve, then own it and create a strategy. Most of us understand that. Often, the problem is not yours. Someone else brought it to you. Set firm boundaries that keep your problems on your property and others’ problems on theirs. This does not in any way mean we cannot help others. However, the best “help” we can give sometimes is to coach them through finding their own solutions. Not taking on someone else’s problems will help dial down the drama in your life. Enabling the person will create more.
The truth is we all have a limited amount of attention. Proverbs 4:25 – 27 says:
Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your ]gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.
If we keep ourselves focused on our own goals, we will have less drama. Because we have limited attention, I am going to have a hard time paying any real attention to meaningless conflict (drama) or worthless conversations (more drama) or people who just want to argue (even more drama).
Set your eyes on what you’re aiming for and you will have less attention to give things that don’t really matter. This alone will greatly decrease the amount of drama in your life!