Female friendship has this bad rep for drama. Matter of fact the reputation is generally with women in general full stop. Is this fair? Is this justly so?
I have worked so hard on myself to identify my own role in previous fractured friendships. It was put to me recently that this blog is nothing more than feeding the pain of fractured friendships. That I love to create drama and revel in the misery of it all?! who? Me?! Never?! Lol
Never one to shy away from the uglier reflections of myself, I have indeed pondered if I have an unhealthy addiction to pain that would cause me to use friendships as a way to somehow self-harm. Never the less this blog is something I stand behind and it remains a topic that I still struggle with and that I still feel passionate about. I do not write this blog because I know the answers, but because I wish to uncover them…. If answers exist.
Pondering this accusation- I have read back on all my posts and yet I still reflect that I have used it as a way to take accountability for the roles I have played in the breakdown of certain friendships and as a way to explore ways to try and be better. I would hate this to be seen as a way to play the victim and cast blame on all my former friends for the troubles we had faced. In many, if not all the cases, I have concluded that I do not regret the closing of the friendship, but none the less I can identify how the things I said and did were unhelpful, short sighted, angry reactions instead of considered actions. I have tried to identify the things I should have said and the triggers behind these reactions, so that moving forwards I could be better prepared and in tune with myself and know the right things to articulate more calmly. Needless to say, recent events have shown I have not perfected this yet.... Sigh.
If I haven’t done so already, I would like to publicly and openly express remorse for the negative ways in which any, or all of these friendships, came to a close. If it is any consolation, which it probably isn’t, I would only emotionally react if I still cared enough to. There was much love in all of the lost friendships in my life and each of you took a piece of my heart when my chapters in your stories came to a close. This is true regardless of who closed them.
Still, the accusation that I create drama remains, and so I wanted to explore it. I owe my exfriends, future friends, and myself that much at least. Especially given my new awareness and ability to identify triggers. In the most recent situation I found myself in – I could feel this coming from a mile away. I worked hard on swallowing the feelings. At taking away their power by naming them as triggers. By reminding myself and others that I knew the situation that was triggering me WAS NOT ABOUT ME. Yet, despite all of this I was unable to stay calm and once again allowed my emotions to make a slave of me despite my best intentions not to. I suppose this was in part because I received an apology before I was ready to stop feeling mad, (post on that to follow) and in part because there was so much more beneath the surface that was triggering the anger to begin with. Anyway....
I came across the following article on the Tiny Buddah website by Lori Deschene called “7 crucial steps to minimize drama in your life.” You can view it here. To summarise, not in the actual order of the article, it says.
Step 1,2 and 3 – Stay calm. Know that this wont matter in a year from now and it isn’t worth the anger or hurt. Act in a calm and positive way. Talk about the emotions being triggered not the actions triggering them. Don’t (Over)REACT. (Easier said than done, but I did TRY.) If you can’t change it, work on accepting it.
Step 4, 5 and 6 – Silence is golden. Stay in the present – don’t focus on the future or the past, negatively or positively. Focus on the lesson. Remove yourself from the person or situation.
Step 7 – Be slow to label something or someone as drama.
I tried all the advice I have come across to avoid this drama, and yet my emotions refused to be quelled or expressed in an appropriate manner. So, how can you actually avoid drama, especially if you are the one accused of creating it? Step 7 stands out the most. BE SLOW TO LABEL SOMETHING AS DRAMA. Are feelings dramatic? At the crux of it I think yes; Feelings ARE dramatic. There is NO avoiding that. I am not a robot, nor do I want to be. I don't want my friends to be robots either! What we need to do is to surround ourselves with the type of people we feel safe expressing our emotions to and walk away from anyone who minimizes our feelings as drama. If it is true that you are so dramatic, then they should be glad to get rid of you anyway! So you’re doing you both a favour! Wouldn’t you agree?
Your Best Friend ForNever