Are you in everybody’s business and are they all up in yours? Can you name three friends who you’re no longer on speaking terms with because of some perceived diss? Do you have to wear waterproof mascara all year long because you just never know when you’re going to burst into tears? Madame, you sound like a drama queen.
Tom Ferry, the author of “Life By Design,” wrote a thoughtful piece in The Huffington Post about breaking the addiction to drama. Ferry writes:
Why are most people comfortable in this place of conflict? There’s a perceived benefit to being dramatic. We get attention. Our needs are being met because we are connecting with others. We get to be part of a clan because we can get everyone around us involved in our chaos too. While all of this emotion is stirring, our need for interpersonal connection is being met by the person who called to tell you some juicy gossip, by the person who brings up stories of the past or by an email from a best friend who can’t stop complaining about her abusive or empty relationship.
Ferry challenges readers to look for signs that they are hooked on drama. Madame Noire offers our own tips for scaling back on the dramatics today.
1.Watch your mouth. When people ask you how you’re doing, do you offer up a litany of complaints ranging from how your sneaky co-worker took all the credit for your idea, to how your boyfriend ignored your texts for three hours on Saturday, to the in-depth results of your latest visit to the with the gynecologist. Practice the phrase: “Life is good” and learn to mean it. Putting all your business in the street is a total drama queen move. It means you need constant attention and pity for all the bad stuff that happens to poor little you.
2. Mind your business. Is your stylist fighting with her shampoo girl? That’s none of your concern. Best friend thinking of leaving her trifling husband … again. That’s none of your concern. Try to listen in a polite but detached manner and don’t feel that you have to mirror the emotions of the person with the problem. Sometimes a noncommittal, “Oh, that’s too bad. I’m sure you’ll get through this” is all you need. This will be tough at first if friends are used to you stirring the pot, but that’s none of your concern. And get in the habit of not repeating gossip. It’s the drama queen’s tool of the trade.
3. Step outside the situation. Detaching from your own issues is much harder, but really try to put things in perspective. A flat tire or bad hair day does not need to be viewed on the same scale as lung cancer or bankruptcy.
4. Limit your exposure to upsetting news. Yes, you need to be well-informed on significant world issues, but you don’t need to be up-to-the-minute on every case of a baby tossed from a window. Take a break from tawdry TV news and tabloids that are focused on rage and misery.
5. Quit the other queens: In the same way recovering alcoholics have to steer clear of bars, you may have to gently distance yourself from some of your fellow drama queens. No need make them feel bad with a big announcement on why you’re dumping them, just manage to be too busy to get together as much. Hide their Facebook feed, so you don’t have to keep up with all of their rantings and complaints and general craziness.
6. Rethink your love life. Are you always crying and carrying on over some “bad boy.” Do you tell yourself that the “best part of breaking up is making up”? Please, Madames. An immature drama king is only wasting valuable time that could be spent with a good man.
7. Learn how to make a graceful on-time entrance. Don’t come tottering in to events on CPT with a big excuse about how your flat iron died. Habitual lateness is a tacky drama queen move to get attention. So is rushing into the party all frazzled and breathless because you just have to blurt this “OMG” story that just happened. Under no circumstances use the excuse that you are two hours late because you were looking for your shoes.
8. Don’t answer the phone with “Guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurl, you have to hear this.” Classic drama queen lead-in to a story about all her travails.
9. Listen More Than You Talk. If you’re doing all the talking, you’re boring somebody.
10. Count Your Blessings. Spend some time each day being grateful for all the blessings in your world and it’ll be easier to let go of some of the drama.
*This story was written by a recovering drama queen.