This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, available at Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com
Now, on to my blog:
Do you have someone in your life who is a drama king or queen? Are you one? You know the type. They always seem to have a crisis, event, happening, etc. that is the most urgent, horrible, fantastic, important (add your own adjective) thing in the world. If their current focus is on solving their problem du jour, preferably with your help, angst, time and attention, once it is over, a new one usually pops up. What’s going on?
Everyone wants attention; it is normal. We take steps to achieve it such as talking about interesting things, excelling at something, etc. However, many people with drama king/queen traits hunger for attention and never seem to get enough to satisfy them. To that end, they have figured out how well it works to be hyper-vigilant about a multitude of matters. The logical segue, of course, is to make a big deal about the goings-on in their life to anyone who will listen and jump into the fray. They are drawn to those who will play the game. Their approach can be to an individual or group and often starts with openings such as: “I really need your advice on this,” or “Let me tell you what happened to me today (yesterday, last night, week, year, century, etc).”
Are you tired of being sucked into this type of interaction? If so, how do you protect yourself from the ravages of being on the receiving end of someone else’s hyped-up drama? It’s hard, especially if that someone is significant in your life such as a spouse, child, parent, co-worker, boss, etc. However, playing the co-dependent doesn’t help them or you.
Here is one approach: when the next performance starts and becomes too much to bear, make an excuse to get out of their presence. Feel free to use the following phrases and add to them:
- “Excuse me, but I have to go to the bathroom.” (Positioning yourself as having weak bladder and/or bowel control is a convenient deflector.)
- “Oh, I have to rush off now to get to my appointment with my doctor (dentist, therapist, dog groomer, astrologer, guru, your service professional of choice).”
Remember, it’s only fun being a drama king/queen if you have an audience.
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