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  • Deah Curry PhD

Worry Taming the Drama Queen Within

This week I've been dealing with someone who creates a ton of drama for herself, and thereby, for me. In trying to figure out how to work with this, I've realized a very unhelpful pattern in her thinking and behavior. Maybe you or someone you know struggles with the same issue, so I'm passing along some quick tips.

1. When given links or instructions to help you accomplish something, don't ignore them then whine about how "it didn't work" and expect others to fix your mistakes at their expense.

2. When asking someone to do something for you, cut to the chase and spare all the detail and especially the irrelevancies of your entire spaghetti-like thought process -- by the time you get done, they will have stopped listening.

3. Don't be passive aggressive while whining -- say what you mean and mean what you say, and even better, write it down so you'll remember.

4. Be specific, be direct, be concise with your requests. If someone needs more context to give you an answer or provide a solution, they will ask.

5. Stop blaming others for your feelings. Take a breath, own what's yours, and move on.

6. If you are in your mid-adulthood, pay better attention to what teachers /mentors /helpers tell you or get things in writing, and learn how to do the simple things for yourself. Don't reinforce your own learned helplessness by being happy that you don't know how to use simple skills.

Of course, much of the drama we may encounter on a daily basis is seated in anxiety, combined with a personality style that tends towards the histrionic. I understand. The best thing to do when you are on the receiving end of this emotional dynamic is to hold your boundaries, and let them learn from their mistakes. Rescuing only continues the helplessness.

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