The Importance of Tuning Out Drama
In my young teen years, I constantly found myself in the middle of useless, nonsensical drama. Every conversation started with a "did you hear...?!" and ended with those surrounding me giving their unfiltered opinion of the situation. As the years marched on, I felt like almost every single conversation I had with my peers was about some new drama or gossip, which half the time didn't involve a single one of us. When I was in my senior year of high school, everything started shifting. Every single person around me was feeling the pressure of getting into college, and it became a competition. Each day I'd see a slew of Facebook posts from my classmates, sharing which acceptance letters they had received. There was even a Facebook group for you to post in (just for the bragging rights and congratulations). Even in my little friends group, fights broke out. Some of us applied to the same schools; some were accepted and some denied. The ones who were accepted used it as an opportunity to point how much smarter they were than the ones who were not, which in hindsight was absolute ridiculous, but at the time feelings were hurt.
High school felt like a living hell between all of the competition, pressure to succeed, and useless drama surrounding my life. When I wasn't stressed about school, I was filling my brain with pointless knowledge about others' lives. Here's the truth though: I never cared what Ashley was doing at the party Friday night, and I absolutely never cared what love triangle Becky was stuck in between.
All of this useless information filling my brain. Day to day conversations was just a way for me to not think about my own life. I wanted to escape all the pressure I was feeling. I was a constant bundle of emotions. Some days the thought of leaving this town terrified me, other days I was ecstatic. When friends pinned themselves against one another and expected me to choose a side, I would think, "I can't wait until it's not like this." All of the fighting and pressure pushed my anxieties through the roof. So I sat by and listened to the stupid drama because at least it wasn't about my life.
The Summer After.
The summer after my senior year was possibly one of the best summers of my life. Everyone of us knew that in just a few short weeks, we would be saying our goodbyes. We spent so many nights wreaking havoc on our old stomping grounds, making sure that all of our last memories together before college were some of our best. For the majority of summer no one spoke of the inevitable; in less than a month we would be spread across multiple states, completely lost and starting new.
Our final weeks approached and we all began talking about it: the unspoken. There was excitement, and sadness, and fear and uncertainty. All of these emotions rushed through all of us like an ocean wave right after a big storm. I myself was excited for a new chapter in my book, but mainly I was terrified. I spent so much of my high school career focused on other people's lives that I forgot to keep my own in check. Any feelings of uncertainty or fear I had, I pushed to the back of my brain.
If I Could Time Travel...
Looking back now, I wish I had just dealt with any anxiety right then and there. If I wasn't avoiding my own anxieties, I could've spoken up for what was right. I wouldn't have been such a coward, hiding behind drama hoping that my own emotions wouldn't come back to bite me in the ass (which they did).
The matter of the fact is, you shouldn't care what drama is going on in someone's life. If they choose to tell you, then be a friend and offer your support. If you aren't hearing this story directly from the source then butt out. So many stories are twisted and changed between every person who speaks of it. You will more than likely never hear the accurate, unbiased story and you really don't need to. Focus on what is currently happening in your life; not a coworker's or not a classmate's. If it isn't about you, it isn't your business.
If you are stuck in the middle of useless drama, here's my advice to you:
If drama is breaking out within your friend group or you're constantly feeling bombarded with useless information about other's personal lives, speak up and tune it out. I understand it can feel overwhelming to speak out against your peers. Young adulthood is a constant struggle of trying to walk on egg shells so you don't piss off the wrong people, and trying to stick up for what is right. That being said, just because it's daunting doesn't mean you shouldn't say anything.
Your first step is to speak out. Tell your peers that they shouldn't be speaking about someone's life. The way they take this advice is out of your hands, but at least you can get the negative energy out of your personal atmosphere. If they continue to talk about drama, tune it out. You may not get to choose the way they are going to act, but you can choose how you act.
Your main focus should always be on you. Love yourself enough to know you don't need pointless drama cluttering your brain. If you constantly have drama flowing through your brain, you're doing nothing but pushing aside your own life problems. Love yourself enough to keep your mind clear of clutter and mindless nonsense. Take control of any anxiety, emotions, or stress in your life. Focus on the things that will improve you, not the things that allows you to procrastinate from taking care of your problems. I promise you, you will not miss the drama.