Updated: Oct 10, 2019
a drama queen
I asked this question of someone a while back.
I was feeling horrible.
I couldn't believe that she was acting this way.
It was so confusing.
I'm so nice.
I'm not mean to anybody.
I have a personal motto to never withhold a generous thought.
I'm accepting. I'm patient. I am so, so open and trustworthy.
So WHY would someone choose me to treat this way?
Why couldn't she just be sensible? Reasonable?
It's just so dramatic.
And in a moment of self-coaching recognition I gulped and asked myself...
"Jenn, is it you? Are you a drama queen?!"
Sometimes drama is tough to recognize because it feels SO LEGIT.
It's easy to forget that the things that are upsetting are not facts, because THEY FEEL LIKE FACTS.
If you had been inside my brain that day, you would have not heard me challenging whether she was actually mean or not.
If she was acting crazy.
If she had big issues that she was taking out on me.
Because I was swimming around in the deep end of the drama swimming pool. Dog paddling in random circles.
Pretty sure something horrible was happening any minute. Like I was going down the drain, or my suit was at the bottom of the pool, or the big kid was going to jump off the diving board onto me.
Because that's how it felt. Eminent. High alert. Upsetting.
Like I had to do something.
I had to change something.
Clarify. Explain. Convince.
And that's okay.
I'd like you to know I made it safely back to the stairs.
Recovered my composure and my dignity.
And am ready to stretch a hand to you if you have found yourself, or are even swimming around today, in the deep end of drama.
Here is how I made it out:
1. I recognized a victim mentality.
As soon as I had my wits about me, I could see that I was blaming someone else for how I was feeling. This immediately takes my inner Braveheart to a rebel yell. I don't give my freedom and my power away to anyone or anything. Just being aware is the first step to anything.
2. I wrote down all of my thoughts.
Every single one of them. Not just the pretty ones that I thought would look nice if anyone were to accidentally find it...after I cut it, burned it, and flushed it. This is no time for judgement. This is curiosity time. Time to look at what is swirling around in my brain and causing me to feel SO UNEASY. I wrote down the thoughts about what I was seeing, what I thought they meant about me and about her. Her intentions, my innocence, stories, lies.
3. I circled the facts.
Out of all of those thoughts and feelings and stories, there were a few facts. Things like "I have a friend" and "She said...". Aaaaand that's about it. The rest were things I had made those facts mean. And those are totally optional. If I have a choice, I want to choose thoughts that cause me to act in ways that serve me to be true. Kind. Loving. Self-respecting. Accepting. All of the things that I really like about myself.
4. I asked myself how I wanted to feel about the facts.
And I answered myself that I want to feel accepting about my friend and accepting about what she had said. Not in a "being walked all over" accepting, but in an unconditional, don't change for me because I can hold myself, kind of way. I let everything else go. New sheet of paper.
5. I wrote down the thoughts I would need to think in order to feel that way.
I came down to things like, "She can handle things the way she thinks the need to be handled and I can handle me."and "She is figuring things out the best that she can". No judgement needed.
6. I practiced those thoughts over and over and over.
Sometimes old stories would come back about what she meant by that and what I worry that means about me, but as they come, I watched them pass like clouds in the sky. They have no authority. They are just thoughts that I can choose to accept or not. And pretty soon I was my old, familiar, fancy-free, low-drama self.
Drama is exactly what it sound like. We take facts and turn them into something sensational and dramatic. It's a show we think we are observing, watching, gasping in horror at, shocked at only to find that we are the producer, writer, actor, and audience.
Your imagination can be used to make anxiety or it can be used for creation. In creation mode we make better decisions and have better ideas to create better relationships, better interactions, new solutions that just aren't available to us when we are wrapped up in the drama of fear.
The drama is optional even though it feels so real.
I know you can do this. If you need help, though, reach out. There is no need to go through things alone. Unless you make it mean that.
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