“People don’t want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. Their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.” ― Chuck Palahniuk
Every one of us has dealt with a drama mama (if you’re fortunate, only a few). You know, the women (sometimes men) in our life who like to kick up the dust when life seems boring or when a person who does not know how to manage his or her life, but want’s to try to control everyone else. Drama-filled people are sometimes hard to identify because they may hide behind a facade of caring or displaying a persona of having it all put together. What you will soon find out, the drama mama will have an agenda, and if you get too involved with this personality type, you will fall victim of needless conversations of drama, gossip, and negativity.
There are more, but I will identify at least three characteristics to determine if you are dealing with a drama mama:
1) Does the person constantly live in the past? Does the person talk about the glory days or talk about his or her past or primarily other’s past? This type of person does not know how to forgive and move on. This person has remained stuck in the past and not motivated by goals or self-development. They will bog you down with conversations of endless past accomplishment’s (or failures), and if wise, you will not mention your past mistakes or successes to this person, or you will be a target of gossip, and your privacy invaded.
2) Discuss worldly events as if it is happening to him or her. Some people have nothing positive to talk about so that they will focus on the tragedy of worldly events or local news. There are events in everyone’s life that have impacted a community, country and or the world. These people know everything that is going on in the world, and most of the news is negative. Most of the time, they will discuss topics you have no idea about because they want to appear to be the first to know. These busy bodies rarely know how to handle the difficulties in their life, so they are busy minding everyone else’s business. It is not like these people want to extend a helping hand to those suffering; they want to pollute their lives and everyone else’s with drama and negativity.
3) The concern co-worker, friend, and family member. Some people will tell you to watch out for so and so. These people come across compassionate and display a genuine concern for you. They will reveal particular details of his or her life to engage you, so you reveal something about yourself. He or she may appear to be a good listener and sometimes, not revealing anything at all. Sit back and watch if the same person is warning you about a person and turn around and warns the same person about you. This method is called, “divide and conqueror” or triangulation. This type of person may have your best interest in warning you about a person. Keep in mind; this person may have a “know it all” attitude and control issues that appear compassionate at first. They may try to control key players to prevent aspects of his or her life from being revealed. Sometimes this person seems to be a social butterfly on the surface, but scratch the surface, this individual invites gossip as a way to connect with people. Do not get caught up in this spider’s web.
People who have a genuine concern for people will allow a relationship to flow. He or she will build and earn trust and respect. It will not feel forced upon or manipulative. An individual who shows concern for people will not try to divide people, and they will not interfere with a division. They mind their own business.
Here are three things you can do to keep out of the trappings of a drama mama:
1) Do not overreact to news. Keep a neutral tone. If you are feeling a genuine concern, be natural, but if the person is persistent or only discussing problems, be it his or her own or worldly events and talks about how it is “a cruel world.” Take note; it is a red flag.
2) If a person says negative things to co-workers about other co-workers and builds him or her up to tear down others, you may be dealing with a covert narcissistic and sometimes an overt narcissistic, depending on how loud and obnoxious a person is being. Remember: the loudest mouth in the room is the weakness person in the room. When you are a healthy person, you build yourself and others up. You have no room to tear other people down. If you do not know what to say, you could use, “That has not been my experience” or simply, “I wish to cooperate and get along with everyone.” Say nothing more. Eventually, he or she will get the hint and move along.
3) Overly display of compassion and always showing concern when troubles arise, but rarely showing enthusiasm when things are going well. This person only connects when things are wrong and rarely connects when things are going right. The overly compassionate person may not be as concerned as you may think he or she is. It could mean they are using compassion as a manipulative maneuver to get close enough to you to learn your behavior, find weaknesses, and in hopes, you will reveal secrets. Cautionary note: This may be the worse drama mama of all so proceed with caution if you are getting a feeling this person is only getting to know you for his or her agenda.
When we enter a new work environment or meet a new person, we never know what intentions a person may have: good, bad or indifferent. Each person brings every aspect of his or her life. A healthy person does not feel the need to spread negativity, discuss drama – his or hers or others, and not stuck in the past or unforgiving. A healthy person does not feel the need to continually spread the morning news and all the worldly tragedies, blame the government for his or her lives or blame others for why they have not gotten the opportunities as other people have.
A healthy person is directive and takes personal ownership of his or her life. A healthy person does not feel the need to spread gossip and add toxicity to other people’s lives. If something traumatic happens, they do not discuss with people who have a little concern about it. A healthy person identifies everyone has an opinion but does not force or shame a person if their views differ. A healthy person sweeps his or her doorstep and will only sweep yours if asked to help and do so.