Can You See How Family Drama Could Be Absolutely Draining?
In many instances you cannot kick family to the curb, although I’m sure many of us have wished we could! The old saying “you don’t pick your family…” is true, but it doesn’t mean you have to be a door mat.
I don’t have nor have I ever had much family drama. When I say this I am referring to my immediate family. Of course there is the occasional soap opera segment, but for the larger picture of my life my sister, mom and dad and myself have all gotten along my peas and carrots. I do understand this isn’t how it is for some people and I feel for the position in which they find themselves.
If someone is causing me drama over and over, I will simply eliminate them from my inner circle; I don’t have the time nor the patience to deal with drama. “I’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there…”
This isn’t always the case when it comes to family though. So how do I believe is the best way to deal with family drama? I’m not sure and all I can do is speculate, but I’ve witnessed the wrong way to do it. I believe the wrong way to do it is to allow their drama to completely consume you or to drag you in every single time. I would play my part as I would if I were playing a character in a play. I would become the person I needed to be when I was around them, dish out some love and let anything and everything said roll off like water off a duck’s back.
I do this in my work environment. I am around a lot of people who want to gossip around the water cooler. I don’t participate, but I don’t tell them to shut up. I just go about my business and don’t allow myself to get caught up in their shenanigans. I think it takes a lot of discipline to disallow yourself from getting caught up in drama. You must practice. And even the best have a little drama stick to their shirt when they walk out, but it is at that moment that you brush off that drama and go about your business.
I’ve also witnessed a common mistake which is to always be the mediator. This position in the drama dynamic carries the most burden in my opinion. If siblings are not getting along and you take the position of being the one constantly listening to both sides independently and then trying to help them work things out, then plan on carrying all of their drama and burden around with you for a long time. Maybe it is time to redefine your role in their relationship, meaning, stop getting in the middle and let them deal with it.
I also see a common mistake of not setting boundaries. You cannot allow conversations to always revolve around the drama and it is important to set boundaries. “I am not going to discuss XYZ any longer. If you want to talk about ______, then you need to call him/her and talk to them. Don’t call me any more to talk about them.” And stick to your stance! Hang up if you have to. If you disengage from allowing them to consume conversations they will eventually get the point and your life will be a little less dramatized.
I also think it is okay to take time away from people; even family. Family drama can become totally toxic and spoil your energy. He said, she said…”can you believe what she did?”….”oh my god, he said what?”…and the worst “what do you think I should do?”. All of these are designed to drag you back in. What if you took a week-long break from it all? How would no drama for 1 week impact your attitude?
I am just thinking out loud and of course am no psychologist so take my words as a different perspective perhaps. I hope everyone has a great Saturday!