Here’s an article I wrote for naturalhealthstar.com about the stories we tell and how to deal with ‘drama’:
[Update: the above link no longer works so I have posted the article in full below:]
I remember a great piece of advice a friend gave to me: “Drama” she said “Don’t go there. Just don’t go there. Always stay out of the drama!”.
And it was good advice. Another word that could have been used instead of drama is the word story. It’s easy to get caught up in someone else’s story or narrative. We often tell each other stories: in our interpersonal relationship, in the workplace and in the media where it is often exaggerated as spin. I’ve seen so many relationship issues that are caused by the stories people tell about each other. There is the story of blame, the how could she/he do that to me story. There is the you are a bad person story. There is the I am a bad person story, the nobody could like/love me story and the once I get promoted I’ll be happy story. Of course you could replace promoted with a few hundred other things. There is the story of victimhood , the story of perpetration, and the story of being a helper or rescuer. I could go on.
Now, that is not to say that there are never perpetrators or victims, or that people are never to blame. There clearly are victims sometimes and sometimes people are incompetent and need to be held responsible for their actions. But being a victim, for example, is different to the drama or story of victimhood. These stories we so often tell ourselves and each other serve no useful purpose, but we can sometimes feel a sense of strength and certainty when we cling to them.
Who would we be without those stories? Would people walk all over me? Would anyone pay any attention to me? Would anyone love me?
Are any of these stories true? If so, where is the evidence, and if there evidence then is this evidence just another story? (Maybe it isn’t a story – only you know the correct answers to these questions)
So let me ask you: who would you be without your stories? Can you spot the times that you enter into other people stories about you and, for example, start to defend yourself? What stories do you tell about other people? What stories do you have about yourself?