#7 DON'T GET EMBROILED

Happiness Choice #7 - Don't get embroiled in other people's drama

DEALING WITH DRAMA

One of the many drains on happiness is getting embroiled in other people's drama. You can have your own life under control and going along smoothly, but get hijacked by being drawn into the emotional upheavals of the people around you. It might be a family member, a friend, a work colleague, or a casual acquaintance, but the impact on our own happiness can be quite significant.

KEEP OUT OF IT

My biggest piece of advice for someone coming into contact with another person's drama is to keep clear of it at all costs. The trouble is that this is easier said than done. So often we think we can help - we may have been through something similar, we may have a word of advice to offer, we may just really care about the person and what they're facing and want to help.

Often what we have to offer is really useful, but the person going through the turmoil needs to recognize that and want to change their behaviour before it can do any good in the situation. If they are enmeshed in an ongoing upheaval, our advice usually falls on deaf ears, and instead we end up being a sounding board and support person rather than helping them get out of their particular issue. Listening to the same problems repeated over and over can quickly drag you down and make you miserable too.

DON'T TAKE OWNERSHIP OF OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS

When we hear another person's upsets being broadcast all over us it tends to draw us in and we think we have the answers to help them escape their pain. When you hit Midlife you feel like you've been through enough trauma of your own to make you an expert on most subjects and we are sure we can be helpful and solve the situation.

Instead, we take those problems on our own backs. When the solutions we offer go unheard, we ponder what else we can do to help, we think about it a lot, we take it home with us, we mull it over, and before we know it, those problems are taking over our thoughts and pushing out the good stuff that normally inhabits our brain. The drama becomes part of our life too - not good!


Happiness Choice #7 - Don't get embroiled in other people's drama - practice detachment


DON'T TAKE SIDES

Often the drama involves more than one person. It can be a husband and wife fighting, a parent and child disputing boundaries, a workmate overstepping their position, or two friends having a falling out. The last thing you want to get caught up in is the "he said - she said" story because that doubles the drama with everyone trying to defend their turf and wanting you to believe them - exhausting!

The truth is usually somewhere in between, but getting to the bottom of it is draining, tiring and fairly pointless. It's their problem, not yours and getting caught up in somebody else's battlefield is not conducive to maintaining your own happiness and often makes their situation worse.

LET IT WASH OVER YOU

The secret to dealing with the drama other people bring into our lives is to let it wash over us - like a wave. Don't get caught up in the backwash, don't think you're the next best thing to Dr Phil with an answer to every problem. Don't buy into the arguments and tears and pain - keep some healthy boundaries in place.

It's hard when people you care about (or work with) are thriving on the drama in their lives. They want you to get on board and listen and discuss and analyse everything to death, but in the end it just draws you into their pain and sucks you dry. Practicing some healthy detachment is the best way to deal with drama - care about people, but not at the expense of your own peace of mind and happiness.


Happiness Choice #7 - Don't get embroiled in other people's drama

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20 comments

  1. I have learned through the years to eliminate drama from my life. I now see that getting into everyone else's drama is a sign of immaturity. Sometimes I do want to help and do know how to fix things, but when people are really caught up in their struggles, they are not in place to hear my advice and I am rarely able to be helpful. Healthy detachment is a better choice.

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    1. You are so right Michele - I think we all want to help and I know that I see it as a way of using my life experience for a good outcome. Unfortunately it is rarely the case because the other person needs to want to change and most are caught in the spiral of being stuck and it just drags me into it too.

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  2. Oh Leanne I'm guilty of taking on other people's problems because I like to fix things so everyone is happy. Alas that doesn't always work does it?

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    1. I'm the same Sue - the "I want everyone to be happy" mantra seems to be a commond thread, but it certainly doesn't always work (unfortunately)

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  3. I love the word "embroiled!" It's the perfect descriptor for what you're talking about! I've found out the hard way (too many times, I'm afraid...) that getting caught up in the drama is a negative waste of time that I always regret later. You're so right - it's a no-win deal no matter how you look at it.

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    1. It feels so cold to just step back from another person's pain doesn't it Melody? But so often that is what we should have done from the beginning, rather than being dragged under and having to wrench ourselves out.

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  4. My goodness - tell me about it! At the moment two of our friends are having marriage problems. One is easy - she just want to offload. The other couple speak to me and my spouse asking what they should do. We feel stuck and drawn into something we want no part of. My partner told the husband to delete messages. I think that's destructive - so we argued about that! Trying to distance ourselves now.

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    1. Oh AJ I SO get it! Even just being the sounding board for someone can be wearying after a while, but being caught in a tug of war is so much worse isn't it? Really a no win situation and I agree that distance is the only solution sometimes.

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  5. My first thoughts as I began reading were, "But, sometimes people need you to get involved in their difficulties......" And, "Sometimes I really DO have good advice to offer....." But then the key word hit me......"DRAMA". Yes..... drama and difficulties are very often not the same thing at all. It is good for us as caring individuals to get involved in other people's lives at times; to offer help and hope. And sometimes, just a listening ear makes all the difference. But, some folks just seem to love drama. They love to wallow in it, bathe in it, live in it, even. And yes, that we absolutely need to steer clear of. Drama is nothing like genuine need. I'll admit though, sometimes I do get confused. I almost always see the best in people, and I have gotten involved in business that is absolutely no business of mine! I forget that some people love drama.

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    1. I felt exactly the same way - I want to help people I see suffering and in pain - to offer them a light in their tunnel, but some people don't seem to want to help themselves, they love to wallow (and bathe in it - great expression btw!) and that's when I've had to pull back and try and put some boundaries in place before my happiness gets sucked down their drain.

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  6. Oh, I have such a hard time with this! Whenever someone is having a difficulty, I immediately become personally connected. This is such wonderful advice for me!

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    1. I find I want to rescue people Diane - I'm a fixer and a do-er, so I want to fix them and help them move forward - unfortunately some people aren't ready to be fixed and they hold on tight and drown me. Those are the ones I need to back off from!

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  7. Often hard to follow but definitely great advice! Thanks for sharing at the Blogger's Pit Stop! Roseann from www.thisautoimmunelife.com

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    1. You're right Roseann - but I need to remind myself of this regularly - and the fact that it doesn't mean you are a bad person if you need to detach yourself from a difficult situation.

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  8. I really love this! I just don't have time or energy for the drama other people seem to want to create. Love the advice on how to avoid drama so much that I'm sharing the post in a roundup to publish on 8-26-17. If only everyone would just cut out the drama the world be a much nicer place!!!

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing it Shelley - I feel a bit hard hearted at times advocating for detachment but when it comes to drama we definitely need to protect ourselves and not get swamped in it.

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  9. Hi Leanne, I've previously commented so have shared and pinned. Thanks for linking up at #overthemoon link party and have a great week!

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    1. Thanks for sharing this Sue - I think it's really important for Midlifers to get our heads around healthy detachment.

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  10. Great post, Leanne. I tried to comment earlier this week. Alas, the internet gods in Spain would not allow my comment to go through. Like you, Sue and some of your other readers, I try to help others when I think that I can. You are right that others need to be ready, willing and wanting advice/assistance for it to be helpful.

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  11. Great post, Leanne. Thanks for sharing!

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