Some people love drama. I've never been one of those people. I love theatrics, but not drama. For instance, a lot of the time when I'm walking down the street, I like to pretend I'm in a music video—that's theatrical, and it's the kind of thing that makes life feel a little more magical. But I do not care for yelling and tears and backstabbing and general is-this-my-life-or-have-I-been-sucked-into-some-Real-Housewives-ass-alternate-reality bullshit. I mean, I have always, always wanted to stand looking out a window with my back to the person I'm speaking to, making some kind of revelation, but even that isn't "real" drama since my revelation would be something like, "I really want to get a teacup Yorkie. I know regular ones are small but they're just not small enough, damn it, Chad!" And then I would whip around and throw a crystal wine glass at him. That's my kind of drama. But the typical kind of drama that most people engage in within their social lives? I want no part of it.
Regardless of how opposed you are to actual drama, chances are you've had a phase in your life that's been full of it. For most of us, that's called high school. But sometimes drama can follow you, even when you're running at full speed to get away from it. It can just sneak up on you unexpectedly, in the form of a new friend who seemed totally normal and fuss free at first, or a co-worker who was your gossipy best bud in the beginning but who was ultimately duplicitous. Or it can be more obvious, like a lifelong friend who was dramatic all along, but who you always made excuses for because of your history, or a relative who makes your life miserable, but with whom you can't part ways because of the chaos it would create within your family.
The point is, letting go of old drama can be hard, even when you hate the drama. Letting go of a friend, distancing yourself from a co-worker or becoming estranged from family—no matter how melodramatic they are, severing those ties is never easy. But once you learn to let go and to divorce yourself from the drama, your life inevitably gets much better.
1. There's less drama, duh
It should go without saying that by cutting drama out of your life, you have less drama in your life. Unless you're one of the aforementioned people who love drama, then your life will be much better without drama. Come to think of it, even if you do love drama, it's probably going to be quite refreshing and eye-opening for you to exist without it. As genius queen Mary J. Blige says, "No more drama in my lifeeeeeeee.....!!!!!!" and also "We gon' have fun up on this danceryyyyyyyy......!!!!!!" And you will. When There is no drama, you will have nothing but fun up in every dancery.
2. You genuinely move forward
When you're constantly bogged down in crap from the past, it can be really hard to move on. Being stagnant in persistent, repetitive drama isn't allowing you to grow or change or have new experiences. Shedding drama is like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly: a complete rebirth.
3. You're not obsessing over things that can't be changed
Sometimes you have to accept things are the way they are, and that there's nothing you can do about it. If, for instance, you have a particularly dramatic person in your life who keeps rehashing the same issues, it might just be that that's how that person is, and will always be. Instead of spending your time trying to "help" them, running damage control, and counseling them out of their madness, you can just walk away. By saying no to drama, you lift the weight of not being able to change the unchangeable right off your shoulders.
4. You're able to identify drama in the future before it happens
Being able to smell drama and eliminate it is a great skill to have. Yes, it's a skill. Sometimes drama can suck you in without you being any the wiser, so having experience with how to identify it, and knowing how to walk away from it can really benefit you from suffering through the same old scenarios later down the track.
5. You're a stronger person in general
When you have the courage to change the things in your life that no longer serve you, you'll find yourself feeling stronger and more powerful. Taking charge of your life and removing certain aspects (that sure, make you unhappy, but that might also give you a sense of security) will leave you feeling like you can do anything, and will put drama and dramatic people into perspective. Life always goes on—but you get to choose how it goes on.
6. You focus on more productive things
Do you even know how much time you have on your hands to do other things when you're not preoccupied with petty dramas? SO MUCH TIME. So much time that was once spent trying to keep other people and their issues from making your life hell can now be spent improving your life.
7. You meet better people
Good people are attracted to other good people, and "good" mostly goes hand-in-hand with "drama-free". Eliminating drama from your life generally means cutting out some problematic people. Drama LOVES company, so even if you've been the one causing it (hey, it happens), it's likely that there's someone else who has been bringing out the worst in you—which ultimately means you have a bad dynamic with them. This just ends up leaving room for people who will enrich your life rather than feed off your pain.
8. You focus on yourself
When you're focusing on drama, you can lose sight of yourself, especially in old, ongoing drama; You're so invested in it that you're not even bringing you to the table any more. You're bringing some gnarled, weathered version of yourself that doesn't mirror the reality of who you are (or at least, not your best self). And you should always be trying to be your best self. Ridding yourself of dramatic habits will allow you to focus on that better you, and just you in general.
9. Your lifestyle is healthier
Instead of gossiping, complaining and getting swept up in frivolous, momentary emotions, once you're free of drama, you're also free to do things that feed your soul. You read, exercise, and generally feel motivated to do things that feed your soul instead of draining your energy.
10. You have actual inner peace (no joke!)
The more you distance yourself from the petty dramas of yore, the more perspective you'll have on life. You'll start seeing how the world doesn't revolve around you and the dramas you've allowed into your life, and you'll be better able to embrace the wonderful things about yourself and about your life without being bogged down in ancient history.
11. There's nothing to distract you from reaching peak awesomeness
Drama—especially old, ingrained, ongoing drama (because sometimes you have a mini, momentary drama that's over faster than it started and that's okay, we're only human!)—after all is said and done, is just a distraction and an excuse. It's easy to stick with established patterns because they're safe, pre-navigated territories, and they don't ask more of you. And when more isn't asked of you, especially when you're not asking more of yourself, you can't fail, disappoint, or be disappointed. But if you're not pushing yourself, you'll never achieve your fullest potential. Ditching the dramas that make you feel comfortable will serve to make you uncomfortable. And we all know discomfort is the mother of genius, so take a risk on how awesome you have the potential to be, and go there without the extra luggage.