How to Extinguish DRAMA

OK, so this is part two of the first posting I did this past Friday called "DRAMA".  (You can access it by clicking here.)  It's what makes you or someone you know light up like the horizon in this picture to the left.  It's what leads you to sometime rotten responses to the people closest to you.  It's what's killing some of the relationships you cherish most.

AND, it's the opposite of the kind of friend you'd like to have. You'd love to surround yourself with wise, accomplished people, but you find yourself often put at a distance from people just like that.

Drama is what happens when you inject or project negative emotion into what others say or do and come up with conspiracies for why things have happened the way that they have. Drama keeps you from the full, abundant life that God wants you to become.  Consider just one scripture from Proverbs that lays out the kind of person God is looking for you and me to become:

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.  --Proverbs 3:3-4

That doesn't sound like a life that's driven by drama!  Love and faithfulness require some steadiness in the life of the person who wants to cultivate them.

SO, how can you extinguish the drama?

Here are a few steps that I think will help you decrease the flame of drama, whether you're the source of the drama in your life or someone else is.

Soft words.  I once heard that a soft answer is like water on a fire, while harsh, angry words have the effect of putting gasoline on it.  If you feel tempted to answer quickly, abruptly or accusingly, choose your words carefully.  Remember what James writes--if you can control your tongue, you'll be "perfect" (James 3:2).

Get grounded in Truth.  Being grounded in what is true--that God is running your life and directing your steps--will help you diminish the drama in your life.  It's not that other person who you want to fix or you think is trying to fix you that is the source of peace--it's God and knowing that he is sovereignly and lovingly directing your life.

Refuse to share the negative emotion or offense.  One way others draw us into their drama and we find ourselves a party to it is to do--sympathize, take sides with our friends. The thing is, if your friend is a dramatic sort, you'll find yourself angry with people you don't even know.  When a drama queen or king is in the room and talking to you, one way to help them get their bearings is to refuse to take it on as your own.

Remember love.  You can't be given to too much drama in yourself or in others if you remember that love is the aim of your life.  Truth and love are the big categories that God is wanting to bring direction to our lives.  When you keep what the New Testament says about love at the center of your conversations and reactions, it will reduce the way drama influences your life: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Encourage a direct conversation.  This may be the surest way to help the drama die down.  Always remind yourself or another person who's trying to share the drama to encourage a direct conversation with the offending party or parties.  This will really help to get at the truth and will follow the track Jesus taught in his own teaching on how to settle disputes.  The true drama queen or king will almost always back down from this, as they are far more comfortable and emotionally stimulated by keeping the Oscar performance going.  A real conversation that deals in truth and reality?  That would bring the scene to an end!

Well, this has got my own juices going so, I'm going to post a third and fourth article this week about why drama is insidious and how to kill the drama queen or king in yourself.

What are the ways you root out drama in your life?  Comment below!

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