Talking drama: How to get as close as you can to drama free

 

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Is anyone ever completely removed from drama? I don’t think it’s possible to avoid it all together, after all, conflict is part of human nature. But there is a difference in the lives of those who nurture drama and those who avoid it. We’ve all met people who thrive in the middle of drama and we’ve all met people who tremble when they see it, there is a way to avoid drama while not being afraid of confrontation and there is a way to know dramatic people without being involved in their drama.

It’s a balancing act, but it’s possible to live a relatively drama free life, I’m going to highlight some of the easiest ways to live a life were you’re not the lead cast in the center of a drama.

Avidly avoid social media conflicts and comment section debates: It’s okay to occasionally make a comment on topic that mean the most to you. Whether it be one of politics or health. What’s counter productive is to say it in a demeaning way and then argue in the comments. Actually avoiding arguments in comments can save you a lot of time. Most conflicts on social media aren’t worthy of your time, because most people on social media aren’t willing to change their mind. It’s okay to keep scrolling and it’s okay to save the debates for a more willing setting.

If their talking about others like that, they’re probably talking about you like that: If you have a friend that is always ranting about someone, there is a big chance that they’re also ranting about you to someone else. It’s near impossible to find someone that doesn’t occasionally let off some bad words about someone, but when you’re hanging out with people who constantly go off about others it’s probably time to reevaluate that friendship. We don’t want our lives to be in their beloved drama reel, so it’s time to stop feeding them with our stories and gracefully step back from the situation. If you need the entertainment watch a reality show on TV, don’t become part of one.

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Friendship: Beautiful but often temporary.

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We like to think that everyone in our life is there forever, and it’s true with family, but with friends it’s normally not the case. We love the concepts of best friends for life and we don’t like to think about the fact that most people only end up passing through. It sounds terrible to say that people are temporary, but yet, their time in our lives often are.

As I was making the guest list for my wedding I found myself thinking back to high school. I thought I’d have a different group on that list then I did, if you flash forward to college, my list would still be a little different. I’ve lost a lot of people over the years, and most of them fell off naturally. It’s not something I think about often, after all, I’ve gained a lot of people too, but some of the people I lost I thought would be around forever. I never thought it was naive to think that, but clearly it was. It got me thinking on how I view friendship and how I should.

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Loneliness: How to try and beat it.

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I saw someone post about being jealous of the characters on Sex and The City for having a close group of friends, it had well over 500 likes, under it were a lot of comments and jokes about being lonely. I see posts like this often, I hear comments about it in person too. People talk about how isolated they feel all the time. They talk about the fear of losing deep and meaningful connections and settling for quick chats. There’s been articles published about the loneliness ‘epidemic’ sweeping across the western world, and debates on if social media makes it worse or better.

I understand it, not because I would define myself as lonely, but because I can see the type of connections I used to have verses the types of connections I have now. My boyfriend excluded, I don’t have a best friend, I haven’t had one since I was in high school. I have friends, and I love them all dearly, but I don’t have one that I rush to talk about almost everything, and I certainly don’t have one that I talk to everyday. Maybe this is part of growing up, maybe we’re meant to trade some of these connections in for ones of a different kind. After all, we get busy, we’re working, we get in romantic relationships, we might just not have the time or energy to be buddies like we were in grade school. I honestly believe this is true, but I also believe that there is more going on here than just that.

I think that as a whole our society is becoming more isolated. I believe that as with most everything, most of this is our own doing. Sure it’s hard to meet people, but I think the real problem is that once we meet people we never get close to them. So how do we change that? How do we move on to being more social?

  • Change your idea of social events: It’s becoming more common to be an introvert than an extrovert and I’m not surprised. We’ve made all social gatherings a production. It’s parties and concerts and shopping, but it doesn’t have to be that way all the time. It can also be two people sitting on the couch catching up or making cookies at home. Social events don’t have to be energy draining, and when they aren’t, we tend to make more room for them because they aren’t taking up our down time but rather adding to it.

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On being judgemental:

 

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I’ve been thinking a lot about judgmentalness.

Those who know me well know that at times I can be fairly judgemental, those that don’t know me as well normally wouldn’t guess it, because I try my hardest not to let it affect how I treat people. But, when I’ve judged people negatively I tend to avoid them and that’s what lead me to realize this was a problem.

When am in a situation where I must spend time with those I’ve already negatively judged, I normally end up liking them despite the few things that made me pull away in the first place. I might not end up being their best friend, but I always enjoy seeing them, I always want to catch up.

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Agree to Disagree?

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Agreeing to disagree was something I was taught to do growing up because, as a lot of us do, I have a sibling. It’s something we teach little kids so they don’t fight and so they learn to respect others opinions. So why does it seem like most adults I meet no longer have this skill?

I noticed this a lot in college. People would talk about politics, or social issues, or what is best for mental health, and it would go from a causal conversation to people shouting out each other in about three minutes flat. Our own politicians can’t seem to debate without screaming at each other. It’s terrible. You’re not always right and neither is the person you are arguing with. But if you can’t calmly hear their side of the story then you will never be able to change their mind or get them to see things through your eyes. I hate to tell you, but telling someone they’re an idiot and wrong is never going to get them to agree with you. Maybe we should try and use the tactics we try and teach our three years olds:

Can you explain why you feel that way? I understand that but have you ever thought about…? I totally see where you’re coming from, I just think we have different ideas on how to solve it. Time for brunch?

Okay, maybe our three year olds don’t get brunch, but you can see what I mean. It’s a very civil approach and it makes sense. I get that sometimes it’s hard not to get super heated about things you’re passionate about, but if you’re trying to spread that passion you have to be able to talk about it in a convincing and polite way. If you get to heated about a topic it’s going to make you angry for the rest of the day and it’s going to make the person you’re shouting out hate your view even more. It’s not just unproductive, it’s counterproductive.

I feel like I could end the post on that, but I want to talk about how many friendships I’ve seen ruined over one or two different views. Friendship is a neat thing, you can be friends with someone and never talk about politics and still have a very healthy friendship. You can disagree on big topics, like religion, and still have a very healthy friendship. How? By agreeing to disagree. By being a grown up and understanding why they think that and why you disagree.

I’m not saying everyone is logical, and I’m not saying you can expect people to always be when you are, but I am saying that most people have reasons for their views, and most the time their reasons aren’t because they hate something. It’s because they have different views on how we should approach these topics. It’s because they don’t understand something or because we don’t understand it.

It’s really possible to step away from a intense debate with respect. It’s also possible to know when not to approach a debate at all. It’s called agreeing to disagree. If a toddler can do it then you can too!

Four Easy Ways to Be a Better Friend

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I’m considering this a sister post to my Four Signs it Might Be Time to End Your Friendship ┬ápost from last month. There are some really clear signs that you should end a friendship, but there are also a few things that we need to do to be a better friends to those we want to keep. I think we all have a way of saying ‘I’m a good friend’ and brushing it off. I know I do it, but there are a ton of ways I can be a better friend, and they aren’t big ones, some of them are little and easy. (Maybe I’ll make another post about the big things, the ones that mean you take people into your house for weeks at a time, but lets start small)

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Four Signs that it Might be Time to End a Friendship

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Note: This photo is from the 8th grade, I’m using it stock image style. Don’t take it personally if your feet are in it!

This time of year everyone starts saying things like “new year, new me”. I’m not one of those people. I like setting goals for a new year, but trying to overhaul your life starting at midnight is never the way to go. With that being said, the new year does make you look at your life in a different light. You start to go over all the things that happened in the past year, including everything that happened between you and your friends.

A friendship is like any other relationship, it has ups and downs and we have to take it for what it is. But sometimes they are unbalanced, and the mass amounts of downs start weighing on you. We make excuses for these people and sometimes they deserve them and sometimes they don’t. Let’s talk about when they don’t. Let’s talk about the signs that you maybe should leave a friendship behind in 2016. Continue reading