If I were to ask a room full of girls to be completely honest and raise their hands if they enjoyed occasional drama in their lives, I'm sure many would be guilty. But if I were to ask how many enjoyed being the focus of "negative" drama, I'd be shocked if anyone raised his or her hand in all seriousness. The truth is, drama hurts. It hurts relationships. It hurts people. It hurts our faith lives. The only good I see coming out of drama is when people resolve to never again actively participate in drama because they have realized the emotional exhaustion and hurt that it brings about.
Some people can't even picture a life without some drama. I want to make the claim that we can live a life without actively participating in drama or being around it, and we can help others to put an end to drama as well. Here are several tips for living this out:
1. Say it as it is
Drama involves whispering and gossiping behind people's backs. Instead of simply confronting someone about an issue that is bothering or hurting them, people go and complain and rant to others, often pulling in and hurting other friendships that should have been left alone. Here is the solution: go and talk to the person who is hurting you. Call it as it is. Be polite, honest, and sincere. State what is hurting or annoying you, and if the person refuses to work on a solution, that person is not a true friend. I cannot emphasize that enough.
2. Discern and pray
Go read St. Francis De Sales Introduction to the Devout Life: Part III, Chapter 17. He words so simply the friendships that should last as well as the friendships that are frivolous and dangerous to our spiritual lives. Then ask the scary question: are my friends (individually and as a group) encouraging me to draw closer to God? Is he or she leading me to a life of virtue? Or is this person drawing my focus to worldly things, such as constant swearing, innuendo, drinking, or sexual activities? God made you to be a saint. And He will put the people in your life who will help you reach that goal. However, you are tasked with the responsibility of weeding out the worthwhile friends and those who distract you from your vocation.
3. Set boundaries
So many girls I have met love to pour out their souls to as many people as possible. They share intimate secrets too easily. They share their wounded pasts without hesitation. They entrust friends/romantic interests with their entire hearts and souls, and when the person does not live up to their expectations, they are crushed. Let's put an end to this. If you are a reading fanatic, I suggest reading The Seven Circles of Intimacy by Matthew Kelly and contemplating it. True friendships develop over time. Don't race into a friendship. If the person is meant to be in your life, he or she will still be there in several years.
We were made for more than drama. We were made for greater happiness than this. I challenge you to pick a saint or role model and ask the question: would this person do/say this? Personally, I love asking myself what Mary would do if she were in my place. Never once has this failed to keep me on the path to holiness. Never once have I regretted it. I encourage you to do the same!