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Turn Down the Drama Volume:
Practical tips for living with minimal drama, no matter what...

Contributing Writer: Lissa E. Bradford, CPLC, BCC, MDiv.

"He's such a drama queen." "She's always causing problems." "They're always stirring the pot, making things worse." "It's like he loves all the drama." "Why are they so dramatic?"

Sound familiar? If you haven't said these things about someone, perhaps you've thought them? Maybe you've heard similar things said about a friend, a loved one, yourself?

Drama. It's literally all around us, every minute of every day. At least that's what social media and television would like us to believe. Especially with all the political and policy/legal shenanigans happening, it's easy to get twisted up in the swirl of negativity, drama and chaos.

Remember, the things that are happening AROUND you are not necessarily happening TO you! Be mindful of keeping your reactions "right sized," and practice pausing and breathing before reacting. Response is always healthier than reaction.

Drama is not an entity unto itself, and drama cannot impact us unless we allow it to. Drama is often accompanied by her annoying cousin, Chaos. Do you know them? Drama and Chaos?

Here are five things you can do right now to bring down the drama/chaos level in your life, and increase your personal peace level.

  1. Do not gossip. Gossip is a form of emotional violence.

    If you've ever been on the receiving end of gossip, you know how painful, malicious, and harmful it is. If you're a chronic gossip, stop it! If someone approaches you with something he just "has to tell you about…(insert name here!)…" politely deflect the conversation.

    Even if you have participated in gossip in the past, you absolutely can stop it today. Say, "I'm uncomfortable talking about (name) without them being here. I'm changing my choices. That is really none of my business. I'm not doing gossip anymore."

    The person initiating the gossip might be put off by your choice to deflect gossip and, depending on the quality of the relationship, you may choose to explain more to them, pointing out that gossip is a form of emotional violence. Also, you do not have to explain anything if you don't want to. State your choice, and leave it be.

    Eliminating gossip from your energy and behavior immediately reduces drama/chaos.

  2. Ask yourself if you are drawn to, attracted to drama/chaos or, if you actually thrive on drama/chaos?

    Take an honest look at this. If you were raised in a family where adults thrived on drama/chaos, there is a good chance it's how you learned to behave in the world: always looking for the next drama or chaotic situation. And if one wasn't readily available, you probably learned how to start one up.

    Journal about this. Dig deep into your personality and spirit and get super honest about your relationship with drama/chaos. If you learn some truths about yourself that you want to process, talk in confidence to a trusted friend or counselor/therapist.

  3. Identify persons in your life who stir up drama/chaos, and limit or eliminate contact and interaction.

    A great way to make a new, good choice away from drama is to distance yourself from any known sources.

    This can be very difficult if the person or persons live or work in the same space with you! But even if that's the case, it's still possible to find creative ways to put some healthy distance between yourself and the source of drama.

    Schedule activity with others (non-drama people); ask for quiet/alone time to read, journal or create art. Put ear buds in, close a room door. Be polite, and ask for what you need, with clarity.

    Depending on the quality of your relationship with the person(s), tell them what you're doing and why, if that is safe for you to do. Remember, you can't get caught up in drama/chaos without choosing to.

    Make a different choice. Watch the drama level drop.

  4. Stop over explaining.

    Why do people do this? The endless over explaining? Why do we say things like, "…Oh, no I really can't tonight because I have to … and then I have to ... and then... etc." ???

    There are lots of reasons! And when we want to turn the drama/chaos way down, stopping the "over explaining" is a great way to do it.

    You are not obligated to explain anything to anyone. Your "no" or "yes" answer can be a complete sentence. Do a little self-experiment and notice how frequently you catch yourself over explaining! You may be surprised by how frequent it is.

    So, stop it! And watch the drama/chaos levels in your life come way down.

  5. Stop over sharing.

    Do you find yourself getting angry at people for being "all up in your business" after you're the one who told them all your business? Seriously! Think about it.

    No one can know anything about you or your life unless they were right there with you when something happened, or if you or someone else tells them.

    Posting way too much on social media, texting way too much information and telling way too much about yourself and your activities is one of the highest causes of stirring up drama and chaos.

    Be very careful to whom you tell what. Not everyone deserves to hear all your stuff. And no one has the right to 'demand' you tell them anything you don't want to tell them.

    Be judicious about who really "needs" to know any personal details about your life.

You can begin right now to put these five drama/chaos reducing steps into action! Some folks may bristle at your new behavior, but you get to make the best choices and do the things that are healthy for your own, peaceful life.

I'd love to know how/if these work for you!

Please email me at to share your experiences.

Lissa E. Bradford (She/Her) is a Certified Professional Life Coach and Counselor with 17 years' experience helping people to learn new, empowering tools to live their highest good, their most peaceful lives. Her company, Healthy Boundary Society, LLC provides counseling support virtually using online video. She is a cisgender ally for the LGBTQ+ community. Lissa is Pastor of the Church on the Bayou of Tarpon Springs: an open and affirming community. She is an "introverted/ extrovert" and values alone/ quiet/ down time. Lissa is married and loves animals and all of nature.


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