drama free

Stop The Drama Train: 6 Steps To A Drama Free Life

Drama is a habit, just like any other unproductive habit we acquire. When our lives seem dull or uninspired we crave to ramp things up. When our lives are filled with negativity we are naturally drawn to more negative. When we have lost our way and have been hurt, we become susceptible to drama.

How can you eliminate drama from your life? First you need to take a good hard honest look at your life. Then ask yourself a very simple question. Do you want to be drama free? We create drama to provide a mud pit to wallow in. Our comfort spot of pity and “woe is me” allows us to blame everyone else but ourselves for our problems.

After the nasty end to my marriage, I spent two years in a major drama fest. I craved drama. I perpetuated drama. Like a moth to the flame, I was drawn to drama, whether it be my own or others. One day I woke up and realized I was tired, overweight and unhappy. I had literally made myself sick from all the drama. I knew I had to do something to gain control of my life. However, even after this realization it would take me almost a year to stop the drama habit. It was not easy. I had to work really hard at recognizing what I was doing and why.

How can you stop the drama train? Habits are hard to break, especially ones we have perpetuated for years. But it can be done. I have listed the realizations and steps I took to become healthy, happy and drama free.

1. Why are you allowing someone to live rent free in your head? If you find yourself starting to relay a story about how someone has ruined your life stop and think, “Why am I allowing this person to live rent free in my head?” They are taking up valuable space for much more important and healthy thoughts. Why are you still talking about them? Are you following their every move on Facebook? Do you want justification from others that what they did was wrong? Kick the free loader out and move on!

2. We create drama because we are in pain. However, going on and on about how we have been wronged does not ease the pain. The only peace from the pain is the peace you give yourself.

3. We create drama in our lives because we are bored. Are you bored? Go find something to do, besides creating drama. You will be surprised at how much fun and non-boring peace and quiet are. When you free up space in your life by getting rid of the drama you can fill it up with tons of super ways to live. You can be creative, you can sit and watch the birds, you can play with your kids or enjoy snuggle time with the significant other. Go for a run, cook something yummy and decadent. There are so many wonderful and fun things you can do other than sit around and create drama.

4. When you find yourself getting worked up into a drama fest, ask yourself, “Is this behavior moving my life forward.” Make a promise to yourself that the activities you pursue, the conversations you have, the people you interact with will move you in the direction you want to go. Move forward, do not stay stuck in the past.

5. Distance yourself from the people in your life who feed off your drama. You know – the other drama queens. They will keep you stirred up because they are addicted to your drama.

6. Ask the people in your life who you trust and who love you, to firmly, yet gently, let you know when you are starting to create drama. At that point stop talking. Then make the conscious decision to redirect your energy into something more positive.

And last, but not least, give yourself a hug every day. Creating drama is often a symptom of a larger problem. Give yourself time. Then one day you will wake up drama free and be amazed at how good it feels!

Shelly is a personal development strategist and founder of The Rescue Yourself Project helping women over 40 step into their unique selves so they can create a life they love!  A few years ago, she found herself living a life that wasn’t of her making. Deciding that wasn’t what she wanted she ran away from home and spent eight months “re-branding” herself. Today Shelly helps women find their unique selves by becoming experts about their values, strengths, passions, goals and purpose so they can design a life they love.  

23 Responses to Stop The Drama Train: 6 Steps To A Drama Free Life

  1. Aaron Corder says:

    These are some great things to think about. Sometimes we might not even realize the drama we start. I for one know a few people who could benefit from this… So long as they read what I share. Thanks for sharing

  2. sdrymon says:

    Thanks for the comment Aaron. It’s like any bad habit. And with that, if they are ready to let go they will take heart to what they read. I didn’t even realize I was doing it, well that’s not true. I realized it, I just didn’t realize how addicted I was to it.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story and perspective, Shelly.

    I have to say that along the way I’ve seen too many people labeling themselves (or other people) as drama queens as a way of devaluing their own feelings. I’ve also seen people whose emotional journey through grief has been labeled “drama” by friends and family that couldn’t quite cope with it taking such a long time. So it seems to me that the word drama often just means “this is too much for me” — which is a relative thing.

    In my experience as a mentor/teacher, drama is a way of struggling with and processing emotional challenges. It’s what we do until we don’t. Drama can become a habit at the very end of a long process, when we’re almost done with it – and this is the time when “stopping the drama train” the way you suggest becomes relevant and helpful. Until then, it’s just what it is – a way of dealing with pain – and in that sense meaningful.

    In my personal experience, boredom is a sign of pain too, by the way. It occurs when we’re shut down which again is a way of defending oneself against pain. In that context, drama can be helpful as a way of stirring the still waters, bringing movement, bringing life where there was death, awakening the sleeping emotions (and the pain that’s there).

    It might not be the perfect way to get in touch with emotion but then again, who says? In many if not most cases, in that moment, it’s the only way, whether we like it or not. Plus, some people and cultures are just more intense and colorful than others.

    I think it’s important to be as open to one’s emotional journey as possible (preferably in ways that are safe for oneself as well as others). It’s good to stop the train when it’s approaching its destination – and in any case it’s great to give oneself both a hug and time, as you say. :-)

    Warm greetings –


  4. Farouk says:

    Drama is everywhere around us, yet we are the only ones who can make it vanish. Each step of those makes sense on its own as well. Thank you.

  5. sdrymon says:

    Haline, I love your thoughtful comment. Your perspective gives me much to think about. My writing, of my experience of getting off the drama train, was my experience alone. For me the drama was just a way to keep wallowing around until I could find an answer, which I never got, BTW. All I know is that it kept me from moving forward!

  6. sdrymon says:

    Thank you Farouk!

  7. And I love your openness Shelly. That’s the beauty of sharing our experiences, isn’t it – we get a chance to expand each other’s perspective. Thank you for expanding mine!

  8. Melissa says:

    Very nice. I actually went through a lot of boredom and depression before the drama dam opened. I felt like life just sucked when I just had to clear out the channels and it can take quite a while sometimes if you have really repressed emotions.

  9. Drama dam – great metaphor… Thanks for sharing that and your experience! So perhaps we need a train to break through these thick walls, and then when the train has done it’s job and the channels are open, then it’s time to stop it. :-)

  10. sdrymon says:

    Melissa and Halina, I think what happens for most, is the train never stops. We get so caught up in this drama habit that we may not realize we are doing it. I believe that is when it just becomes a harmful habit. That being said, I wonder if most of us also don’t realize it is a channel for easing some pain or hurt.

  11. Diane Dutchin says:

    I enjoyed your post, Creating drama can sometimes be a cry for help, it may be the only way the person gets any attention, and then again it can be pure drama mama or papa behaviour.

  12. Hi Shelly, I find drama to be insidious. Just when I think I’m drama free, I notice it has weaved itself into my life in incredibly subtle ways.

    For instance, I don’t talk about people anymore, or put up with people giving me their opinions of others – whether I know them or not. So, I’ve made progress with the overt methods of drama.

    However, the other day, I caught myself really playing up my hurt elbow (tendinitis) so my wife could see I was in pain. I’m not sure why, I wasn’t trying to get out of work or anything, I just suddenly realized I was doing it. I noticed it as “drama.” I thought it was odd. It’s uncharacteristic of me actually, but there is some reason for it. Thanks for the article, it reminded me. Now I can think and reflect on the reasons for my behavior.

  13. sdrymon says:

    Hi Diane, Thanks for the comment! There are some that seem to have pure drama, I have known them myself. They seem to be righteously indignant about most everything.

  14. sdrymon says:

    Hi Micheal, I had to sorta chuckle at your hurt elbow story. Now because pain is funny, but that you were drama ridden over it! Like I have commented before I don’t think we even realize we are doing it. Thanks for the comment and thanks for stopping by my Moments website!

  15. Devta Singh says:

    Sat Nam Michael
    I have recently been dealing with a stressful dramatic roomate it sucks. So I meditate and don’t engage in discourse with my roomate. I have to keep my mind freed up so I can love and create.

  16. Devta Singh says:

    Paramita or Ethic in Buddhism is never talk about anyone without their presence.

  17. Morgan@Financial Bailout News says:

    I feel like people gossip and start drama when they are just tired of their own lives and have nothing else to talk about. As horrible as it sounds, drama brings excitement and is intriguing so it can help bring people together. I am in a sorority so gossip and drama are two things that are practically inevitable. Girls always know what is going on with who and why and sometimes the rumors get out of control and it is sickening to see and hear what horrible things girls will say about each other behind their backs just to get some entertainment out of it. My new years resolution this year was to stop gossiping all together and whenever I found/find myself in a situation where it was the topic of conversation or someone would try to ask me about someones business or create drama, I just change the subject or walk away. It has been quite a challenge and has been fairly successful, but I have been left out of the loop on a few things because I refuse to listen or participate in the gossip. Drama is frivolous and not worth your time, I just don’t get why people don’t understand that! (Now that is what I like to call a rant, haha!)

  18. Oh, how I loved drama to deflect my own internal struggles. These struggles seemed almost unconquerable but I still needed a sense of well being. External excitement was all that I could connect with instead of seeking a deep clean and organization from within.

  19. Rynessa@financialfreedom says:

    Oh my God I was going through it last year! It was so hard because you can’t exactly escape from your roommate, so I resorted to locking myself in my room like a hermit- baddddddddd idea. I had to consciously make the decision to just let it go for my own health and well-being because it was really depressing me. Now that it’s all over I am so much stronger as a person and I really appreciate the lesson. Would never do it again but i appreciate it.

  20. MK Slagel says:

    I have quite a few people in my life right now that fit into each numbered description. I have a friend who loves drama and negativity and can’t seem to find anything better to talk about because she is bored. I have another friend who’s girlfriend broke up with him and he is so hurt all he can do is talk about how she wronged him. The list goes on and on and I just can’t stand it anymore. I don’t even want to answer my phone anymore, but the important part is that I have relieved myself from drama and maybe one day they can do the same.

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  22. Amercan111 says:

    “Make a promise to yourself that the activities you pursue, the conversations you have, the people you interact with will move you in the direction you want to go.”

    Amen. Until I woke up and realized that I’m also part of the problem by participating and accepting certain behaviors nothing changed. I am much more careful with choices of companions, friends, or just people that I am around when possible. If it no longer feels good that is enough reason for me to get away and I am entitled to my own feelings without approval from or justification to anyone.

  23. Amercan111 says:

    Lol…yep…the dreaded phone and texts. When you stop answering, they always find someone else to call. Funny how that works. I just make it clear how busy I am and mostly not available. Works like a charm. You cannot get blood from a stone nor can you get sympathy from someone who doesn’t answer the phone at every beck and call. They learn to stop calling eventually.

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