Don’t save the drama: Drama-shaming prevents growth

Grinding Gears, Loyola Marymount University, The Los Angeles Loyolan

Cartoon Credit: Jackson Turcotte | The Los Angeles Loyolan

Originally published in the Los Angeles Loyolan. For original, please refer to: Don’t save the drama: Drama-shaming prevents growth – The Los Angeles Loyolan.

Ugh, drama. Don’t you hate it? All of a sudden, when you’re not even looking, drama’s just there, lying in wait for you. Festering, brought by a bunch of haters. Haters always bring drama. You’re just trying to party and turn up and turn down and all this drama is getting up in your life, in your mind, in your drink – aw, man, now your drink is haterade. Who likes to drink haterade? Drama queens. Better get rid of that before the drama gets in your system.

One quick question, though: What is drama?

The very idea of drama is hilarious in how much of a silly trifle it is – as if there’s this airborne pollen that somehow drops onto you and ruins your life. Drama is not concrete. It is not some viral plague; you can’t avoid drama by doubling up on your vitamin boost at Jamba Juice. Drama is merely the product of two or more people with differing views on a subject rubbing up against each other. In the scientific world, they call that friction – and that’s probably the best synonym we have for it.

Drama is a poppycock term that has somehow violated our vernacular without anyone bothering to explain what it is. Blame Kim Possible. Or maybe Mary J. Blige. Blame whoever is responsible for drama becoming the enigmatic behemoth we all fear and hope to blame others for – hell, it’s probably all of us at fault. But drama presents a serious problem – a dramatic one, if you will.

Unlike most modern tweens, teens and 20-somethings, scientists don’t roll their eyes and text their friends whenever friction happens. They study it. They evaluate it. They learn from it. I know, this is a ridiculous metaphor, but drama is a silly topic, so it’s deserving of such a bizarre comparison.

Yet as strange as the parallel is, it’s also apt. Why do we, when drama enters our lives, not learn from it? Why do we get so defensive and insist that we don’t create drama, it just finds us? Instead of taking the chance to grow from an experience, we avoid all consequences and seek to blame others for creating an uncomfortable situation. Call it “drama-shaming,” if you will.

The problem with drama-shaming is that it uses a situation where, yes, someone probably acted at the inconvenience of others, and bashes that person with the weight of their action until they find themselves properly chagrined for daring to do so. You also wanted to ask that guy to your date night event? Drama. You disagree as to the best plan for a weekend night? Drama. Your schedule isn’t flexible enough to meet whenever for a group project? Drama, drama, drama. Don’t bring that here, you drama queen.

Instead of wagging our collective finger at someone for creating drama, we can – and should – be able to step back and figure out why there’s a situation in the first place. Is there a compromise not immediately visible? What can we learn from this situation to prevent them in the future? How can we grow as people from this? But hey, that’s hard, I know. Much easier to just shoot out that subtweet. #drama

I myself have talked about drama – at length – with friends and co-workers in the past. But somehow, the people who tell me that they never create drama always find themselves surrounded by it. Those are the people who could most use some self-reflection. As an angsty, closeted teenager, I thought all the world’s drama was finding me and that I was a saint. I wasn’t. I was an angsty, closeted teenager. I had more on my mind than you could imagine. I needed more self-reflection than Justin Timberlake could find in a funhouse.

In no way do I mean to drama-shame-shame with this piece. On the contrary, I absolutely did it myself. Sometimes I still catch myself doing it. But I’m doing my best to grow from the experiences, as I think everyone can – and should.

So the next time you find yourself bemoaning the drama in your life, maybe take a step back and see what’s going on. You might just learn something new. Leave the drama in your theatre class.

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