December 19, 2013

Newsflash: Drama is Actually a Good Thing. ~ Jennifer Twardowski

I have recently come to the conclusion that drama is a good thing.

But, trust me, I didn’t always believe this. I used to hate drama.

Or, well, allow me to elaborate on that: I certainly was not a fan of drama in my relationships by any means. I thought it was immature, childish, stupid and a cause for a lot of unnecessary stress.

I used to avoid dramatic situations at all costs. I’d try to be very accepting, patient and try not to “rock the boat” in relationships. And if I was ever around someone who seemed to be rather “dramatic,” I’d try to keep a bit of a distance to avoid getting sucked in.

And then I started going to graduate school to be a psychotherapist. In case you didn’t already know, any person who is a psychologist, therapist, social worker or does any other work in the mental health field should all probably change their title to “drama expert.”

So needless to say, my therapeutic work led me to a change in perception, where I have now come to this conclusion: Drama is a good thing!

I no longer try to avoid conflicts. Rather, I strive to face them head-on.

See, drama is inevitable. We can try to avoid conflicts in our relationships all we want but because we are human and we are all unique individuals with different tastes and preferences, there will always be conflicts.

And though we may not realize it at the time, experiencing conflicts actually make our relationships deeper and more meaningful.

When we are completely honest with another human being about our feelings, we are allowing ourselves to really be ourselves. And in doing so, we allow the other person to see us for who we truly are. It allows our relationships to have greater intimacy and meaning.

So how can we approach drama situations in order to create deeper intimacy? Here are a few tips:

1. We must be accepting of our feelings for what they truly are. We need to listen to our emotions and be honest with ourselves.

2. If there is something that someone else has done that bothers us, then it’s better to tell the person sooner than later. Often times, the longer we put off expressing our feelings, the harder it is to share.

3. If we’re going to share something difficult with someone, we need to remember to say it slowly to allow the person to take our words in and process it gradually. We should try to avoid having an “explosion” when expressing our irritations.

4. We should accept and respect the other person’s feelings for what they are.

5. We should be willing to admit our mistakes—intentional or unintentional—and apologize. (Hint: It’s only the ego that’s telling us not to apologize.)

6. If someone is crying, then we should let them cry. Be present with them and listen. We should focus on trying to let go of any feelings telling us that we need to do something to stop them from crying.

7. If we are experiencing an issue with someone, then we should tell them—not everyone else except them.

8. We should let go of any urges we may have to control or change the other person. They are their own individual and have to take responsibility for themselves, no matter how difficult it may be for us to watch.


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Editor: Steph Richard

Photo: Ilka Antonova/Pixoto

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