Say no to drama.
I'm not talking about giving up binge watching your favourite Netflix drama here folks. Whilst it's entertaining to see fictional characters deal with dramatic fluctuations in life, it's a bit of a drag when the drama is in your actual life. There are some people in the world who love to create drama, or may do so unintentionally. Drama that becomes a whirlpool - sucking others right into the thick of it. I can't stand this. Nope. Keep your drama to yourself, thank you very much. My attempts to steer clear of dramatic people inevitably fail, so I've been developing techniques on how to handle dramatic people. And stop them from dragging you into their vortex of drama.
Now when I say drama, I mean unnecessary over reactions. Or extreme focus/attention on something that offers little or no value. I'm not a dramatic person, but I do have intense emotional reactions to things. I'm not including this as drama, and neither do I count people being very passionate about something meaningful to them. These are valid or necessary uses of energy, in my books anyway. Feel free to categorise drama that you don't want in any way you see fit. Some examples of drama may include: a friend telling you what another friend said behind your back. A loved one getting upset because you didn't notice their haircut. A family member keeping a secret from you so you don't get hurt, but telling everyone else about it. Maybe a colleague getting annoyed over the smallest mistake in your design. Whatever it is: it's unnecessary and it makes you feel crap.
In my life, I've had friends who are overly dramatic. Relatives who cause drama. Coworkers and bosses who seem to create drama wherever they go. Some people argue that they don't cause drama, but that drama finds them. Wrong. Drama is not an event or action directed towards you, drama is your reaction to said event. Well and truly within your control. So don't let anyone tell you that drama finds them - they find it. And why do I hate these dramatic tendencies in people? They steal my energy and store it in a vault and catapult it into outer space and it burns up when it reaches the sun. Never to be seen again. And I need that energy for better things, like painting or walking or just being happy. Anything that takes away my precious energy is blacklisted. Hence the distaste of drama.
Dramatic peeps will inevitably enter your bubble from time to time, so I've been doing my best to develop coping mechanisms. The first is recognising that whatever they're saying is drama. Realise that it's unnecessary, it has no benefit to anyone, and that you don't need to engage. As humans it's in our nature to mirror other people. In the instance of drama, you have to fight the urge to mirror their level of engagement. If that person is really angry about something or really upset or annoyed or shocked or simply overly fixated - do not match this. If they are freaking out - do not freak out. Try to react in the way you would react, not how this dramatic person is reacting. For instance, a dramatic person may throw your computer on the ground in a fit of rage because you left the logo off a layout. And then you'll being wailing hysterically and begging for forgiveness as you bash your head against the wall. Wait. NO. DO NOT ENGAGE. Instead, you will calmly apologise for the mistake, and suggest a solution. Perhaps even highlight that it's going to be okay and no huge negative consequences will result. Usually a dramatic person will settle down if the people around them do not take the bait. Drama is only rewarding for them if it spreads to others.
To recap: 1. Recognise it's drama. 2. Do not engage/mirror. 3. Diffuse. I've found this to be mostly very effective in keeping my own sanity intact. What you're really doing is letting your own brain know that this is not an emergency, you do not need to panic, and everything will be okay. Then you'll be calm and happy, even if the dramatic person then continues to have a hissy fit. So let them have their drama, because you're gonna be 100% zen on the inside.