Do you feel like chaos follows in your footsteps? When you're stuck watching soap operas at the dentist, do the storylines feel a little too familiar? Have you noticed that every time you log on to Facebook, it devolves into a comment war with someone you haven't seen since high school? If you recognize any of these symptoms — especially if you recognize all three of them — you could probably use some little ways to avoid drama in your life. Clearly, the big ways aren't working, but you can at least start small.
Dramatic personalities may make for good television, but in real life, it's rather less appealing — unless you're a psychologist. There's plenty of research on what makes the dramatic royal court tick. Back in 2015, researchers at the University of Texas actually developed a scale measuring the Need for Drama, and it basically confirms the obvious. According to their results, people who scored high on the dramatic scale were more likely to be neurotic, lacking in conscientiousness, and disagreeable. It's not a particularly appealing portrait, is it?
Whether you're trying to tamp down on your own need for theatrics or distance yourself from someone else's, here are 19 little ways to avoid drama.
1. Stay far, far away from gossip.
2. If someone tells you something they want to keep secret, don't tell anyone else — yes, that includes your mom and best friend.
3. On the flip side, if you know someone has trouble keeping information to themselves, don't tell that person your deepest, darkest secrets. Word will get out eventually.
4. Keep your opinions about your coworkers (and bosses) to yourself.
5. Reassess your friendships. If hanging out with someone leaves you exhausted, like you just watched an entire season of Real Housewives of Atlanta, take that as a sign to stop seeing them as much.
6. Avoid raising your voice during arguments; it'll only escalate things.
7. Scale back yourVanderpump Rules viewing.
8. Don't assume you understand someone's motivations unless they've explicitly explained them.
9. Focus on the positives.
10. Let go of grudges.
11. Be honest.
12. Actually talk about a problem rather than resorting to passive-aggressive techniques, like leaving notes or ignoring texts.
13. Don't join in social media wars, no matter how tempting it is to troll a troll right back. If someone tries to start an argument, remember that it's the Internet — literally nothing is forcing you to respond. Limit your social media usage if you must.
14. At the end of each day, jot down a few things you're grateful for, so you can put things in perspective.
15. Stay out of other people's fights, no matter how strong the pull of schadenfreude may be.
16. Learn to swallow your pride and apologize if you're in the wrong.
17. If #16 is too much to ask, understand that everyone is capable of doing something wrong, and you're no exception.
18. Hold your tongue, even when you come up with a brilliant zinger in the heat of the moment. If you desperately want someone to appreciate your genius, you can tell your best friend about it later.
19. If all else fails, remember you can always run away to join the circus and start your life anew. Start working on your juggling skills now, just in case.