Monday, June 4, 2012

Stress and The Drama Queen: Rule #1

When I was in 8th grade, I landed the lead role in our school play "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" as, none other than, Lucy van Pelt. I bought a white dress and dyed it the perfect color blue, had boppy-socks and the infamous white and black saddle shoes. I got to play the part of swiping the football out from under Charlie Brown at the last minute, romantically chasing the piano savant Schroeder, and guiding fellow Peanuts characters to rational common sense and sanity for the cost of 5 cents as the know-it-all psychiatrist. Yes, oddly enough, one of Lucy's roles was to bring order to their stressful lives, even though, truth be told, she was more than likely the cause of this stress. Not only did she pull footballs, chase someone who was not interested in being chased,and give not-so-sound advice, she stole a security blanket, cheated on her school work, poked fun at all of her friends' lack of intelligence, then she would profess to be a queen so she could SHOUT at people. A poster child for drama. I wish I had a good segue into this next bit, but I don't, so I'm going to use the direct approach. I think a lot of times, we are the same. We cause the drama around us, and in turn, our stress levels rise. How often could we cut to the chase, but instead try to prove a point by manipulating the situation, purposefully causing drama, to truly bring our point home. I think this is something that is genetically programed in women. We own this. For example, how often do we think our man or friend should just know what we are thinking and what we want. I mean, for cryin' out loud, how long have we been together, or been friends?!!?? Instead of just spelling it out, we use our infamous line of interrogation that begins with the silent treatment. This is followed by some audible, yet unintelligible grunt sounds that maybe start occurring days later. And, finally, the dramatic bickering begins. "What do you mean you don't know I like 1 1/2 scoops of chocolate chips over my yogurt cup?" "How could you possibly think I would wear white shoes after Labor Day?" "OMG! When you're finished, PUT THE SEAT DOWN!!" And, men, don't think you get a pass! Playing stupid is NOT cool! "It was just one more round of golf. What's the big deal?" (On a Saturday when you know company is coming over for dinner). "Do you need help with anything?" (After the chores have already been done by someone else). Or trying to give the birthday cake/gift days later, and you act as if there's nothing wrong, because, shoot, better late than never, right? WRONG! So, something I have tried to incorporate into my life for many years now...cutting to the chase. Not an easy task, and as I have mentioned, we women own this drama queen thing. But instead of pouting, just say, "Put the stupid seat down!" Instead of dragging it out for days, say it at 2am when you've fallen in the toilet. Wake him up!! Men, resist the urge to play stupid, and be mature long enough to complete a chore. What about work? Maybe your boss scheduled a meeting, and you spend days preparing the most perfect presentation. At the last minute, the meeting is cancelled without being rescheduled. Instead of letting your frustration fester, find a way to explain your hard work to your boss. You still want credit for doing the work, don't you? Problems are solved, and life can go on. In the battle of Stress and the Drama Queen, humans can win. The Lucys out there will continue to pull the football, profess a heritage that is absurd, and manipulate any given situation. We, however, have the power within us to defeat the Lucys, and reduce stress in our lives. Conquer drama head on. Take care of it TODAY! If there is something eating you up, bring it up. Obviously, there are times the situation actually is more "dramatic" than a toilet seat lid, and those are the most important things to talk about. Whether it's family, friends, coworkers, or WHOEVER, the quicker you stop the drama, the quicker you'll have peace. Rule #1: Leave the drama at home, and stress will leave you alone.

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