No drama, no cryFri, 11th Jul '08, 7:30 am::

Drama is wonderful on the stage and screen. It is destructive in personal life. On stage, drama is an emotional, expressive story played out by characters stuck in unfortunate situations. In real life, it is a back-stabbing, nagging, he-said-she-said tale that holds back everyone involved from enjoying their lives. I used to crave drama in my personal life. Not a day went by when I didn't suspect a "friend" talking behind my back about me. I would be passive-aggressive for months and finally confront them when I couldn't hold it in anymore. How could they have said that about me or done that to me despite everything I did for them all these years? They would fight back with some harsh words and I would retaliate with "No, that was NOT what I meant when I said..." Seven phone calls involving four people, five nasty emails and replies forwarded to six others, and numerous text messages later, I realized the friendship was over. The signs had been there all along, I just couldn't accept it. It took me years to learn that the sooner you accept it and move on, the easier it is.

When you gain "the ability to let that which does not matter truly slide," you no longer have petty drama in your life. We don't like to admit that we create the drama that burdens our lives. It's easier to simply claim bad things happen to me or "drama is attracted to me." No, it's not. You can learn to ignore it and get back to your life. It wasn't until I made some really, really good friends that I understood how drama had impacted my past friendships and relationships. I would let others affect me - I allowed people who mattered not an ounce to me, to completely ruin my day, week, month by something as trifling as a snide remark. It wasn't them who were the source of my troubles, it was my penchant for taking things personally.

Now it's pretty much second-nature for me to ignore pettiness, meanness, shallowness, and other such negativity from people who aren't near and dear to me. If someone wants to impart wisdom and friendliness, I welcome it with open mind and open arms. Otherwise, I just smile and say "Good day, Sir." There are too many wonderful things in life I still have to experience and have no time for pettiness. So how do I avoid drama when it's staring me right in the face? I smile (albeit uncomfortably), maintain my composure, and politely end the conversation. In my head, it's all over already and quite painlessly if you think about it. No yelling, no breaking stuff, no vengeful acts. It's like looking at a crazy monkey in a cage at zoo and just walking past it instead of standing there for hours trying to imitate it.

Years ago I was told, "Never fight with a pig; you both get dirty and the pig likes it." It took me a long time to see the brilliance in those words and even longer to actually live up to them. Now that I do, life's much easier and stress-free. Drama belongs on the stage, not in my life.

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