Bet you’ve already reacted.
Maybe it was an inward shudder, an icky feeling in your stomach, or thankfulness that you currently have none.
We’ve all felt the dread that comes from non-Shakespearean dramatic situations, or know a super-dramatic person. Sometimes it seems to follow people around, doesn’t it? They thrive on it so much that you might even call them a
because society and the stereotypes tell us that drama primarily stems from women and girls…and they don’t mean we’re good actresses.
Women who are equipped to deal with drama and relational tension proactively and positively can start working to banish this stereotype- and drama for good!
Susan Patterson’s role at the Girl Scout Council of Southern Appalachians is to help girls and volunteers develop skills and strategies to eliminate drama in their Girl Scout troops. She has nearly 20 years of experience in social services, and has addressed her share of trifling and petty interpersonal conflicts.
She says that addressing drama swiftly and directly is key. If not dealt with, the conflict will fester and deteriorate. It can then blow up because of high stress and emotions, becoming more painful and difficult to deal with.
While true, this is one of those “easier said than done” things, so we have some expert tips for you!
6 Ways to Prevent and Manage Girl Drama
- 1. Respect the right of an individual’s opinion. This is not about making someone think or act like you do – and telling them to will create barriers and distrust. Disagree with dignity.
- TIP: You can only control your own behavior. Resolution likely won’t mean someone changes their mind, but instead, all parties involved recognize their differences.
- 2. Don’t yell. Being the LOUDEST or fastesttalkerever means you win right? NOPE.
- TIP: “Sometimes you have to say ‘let’s talk when we’ve calmed down’,” Susan says, “Leave the low blows and past circumstances out of it.”
- If you’re yelling or being yelled at, be humble enough to recognize nothing will be accomplished. It’s important to resolve the issue; it’s not important if the other person thinks you’re dodging or being a coward. Don’t ever call someone names, or bring up situations from the past. That’s not constructive.
- 3. LISTEN. How can you do this if there’s yelling?
- TIP: “What’s being screamed about is probably not the real issue,” Susan says. LISTEN to what the other person is saying to you, instead of planning your excellent comeback. This is your opportunity to hear what’s really going on.
- 4. Be honest. Hearing exaggerated ‘always’ and ‘never’ statements are enough to make anyone scramble to justify their behavior. Be transparent, and don’t embellish or omit details.
- TIP: If an always/never statement is directed AT you, try not to respond with one of your own. You don’t have to prove what’s true or untrue. (Side note: this is basically impossible. Everyone has their own perception of truth.)
- 5. Be kind. You don’t have to be best friends, or even friends at all, but you do have to be respectful.
- TIP: “Don’t get down in the mud pit with them. Be understanding and sympathetic, but not defensive. That’s way harder to get out of,” Susan says.
- 6. Be willing to resolve the problem. Sounds like a DUH, but if you go into the conversation with a closed mind, and your vision of how it should be resolved, you’ll likely be disappointed. This is the time to utilize the lovely COMPROMISE. Both sides have to give a little to get anywhere. Compromise is key.