Good and Bad Drama–and How to Tell the Difference

When is it DRAMA and when it is just life? I figured it out–for me, at least.

DRAMA seems to be a big buzz word now. Overused like crazy, and in the dating scene, it’s hard to let a day pass without being pummeled with the word. Men often throw it around in an insulting way.

Upon meeting a single man, I’m immediately forewarned that he wants “No drama.” Even before he knows anything about me. In some cases, “No drama” seems to mean either “No strings sex” or “Let’s keep our
relationship light, airy, and shallow.” In other cases, it’s “Oh, please, God, not another woman who won’t let me relax for half a second without kicking me in the balls!” Funny, but in most cases where a man’s told me he wants a woman with “no drama,” HE’S the one with all the drama. Most of the men I’ve dated who’ve wanted “no drama” from ME have either been arrested or nearly arrested by ex-wives…while I’ve been seeing them. And a surprising number of men who swear they lead boring existences are unknowingly playing out soap opera-style rollercoaster lives of law suits, pregnant one-night stands, and monthly reversals of fortune.

My colleague “Perky” and I were discussing the concept of drama and the men who bring it to our doorsteps. She gave the example of how happy she and her kids are in their everyday homelife. They have ups and downs and occasional fusses with her ex, but not everything is a crisis. Then she starts dating a divorced guy and suddenly, everything’s turmoil. Not with her and her kids, but with the people and crises he brings into her home that need immediate attention and takes away from Perky’s normal, serene, happy life and sends her into a spin. The drama includes mostly her boyfriend’s relationship with his ex-wife and children–the screaming accusations, profanity scrawled on her car, anonymous calls to her boss alleging unethical activity, and trespassing at her workplace to tape obscene information about her on entrance to the building. And the beautiful world she’s created for herself and her kids is routinely wrecked.

My homelife is much the same as hers has been–overall, very pleasant right now, as it’s been for most of the past year in spite of deaths and devastation that have touched our lives. Most of the “drama” for us has
been from outside sources, either our response to a death or heartbreak or to someone trying to threaten our tranquility with rumor-mongering, control-freaking, or retaliation for imagined slights.

What happens then when there are issues that must be worked through? Do you keep quiet to show your guy that you don’t have drama? It’s a question that was brought to my attention: “If you have to work through
something, is it drama?”

I think we all have issues to work through, whether or not we know it and whether or not we actively address the issues. Working through our issues is part of our growth and healing processes. It may be dramatic at times. It may be upsetting at times. At times, it may even turn into a grand crisis that has to be handled before we can move forward or even backward. I believe that’s called a BREAKTHROUGH. To have someone
else discount it as DRAMA when it’s necessary to healing and growth is, in my opinion, an avoidance technique on their part. That means they don’t have to work through our issues with us or even admit there’s an issue. They can keep their interaction with us trouble-free…and superficial.

So how do I define DRAMA? Simple. DRAMA is when a person creates conflict to call attention to themselves. It’s not a growth or healing process, but rather, quite the opposite.

Copyright Lorna Tedder, 2 August 2007

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