Do you know how to spot a drama llama?
Do you know exactly what a drama llama is?
Well for those not familiar with the term it’s commonly defined as a person who randomly throws their own personal dramas on others, in the same way that a llama randomly spits.
“Oh no, here comes the drama llama! I haven’t finished cleaning up from the last time they spat their drama on me!”
So, where does all this drama really come from and how can it be managed?
Like many things in life it is often learned behaviour based upon past experiences. It’s a habit developed during teenage years that some people never identify as a personal behavioural problem and in many case it’s reinforced by the attention it brings.
For us all the developing years are nothing more than a continuous series of intense and exciting events.
We can also blame a lot of the increase in drama during this period of our lives upon our on brain chemistry. It’s a well documented fact that our prefrontal cortex is still developing during this time. This part of our brains is consider responsible for our higher level functioning and reasoning , it is not believed to finish developing fully until we are at least 25.
So our ability to control our impulses, reason based decision-making and emotional stability are not really mature or consistent.
I’d wager that if you have ever personally stood in front of a teenager and asked, in the wake of a particularly stupid situation, “What were you thinking?” you’ve witnessed this effect first hand.
Biologically, at this critical stage we lack the ability to think a situation and subsequent action all the way through to it likely outcomes.
As teenagers, we tend to feel emotions more strongly and substantially react in far more dramatic ways to them. Everything seems much bigger and more exaggerated then it probably is.
At this stage we haven’t learned that our feelings are not facts and the two get mixed up, nor have we learned from our life experiences and gain some perspective upon which to gauge them.
These are our first really experiences of dealing with conflict, disappointment, attraction, friendships starting and ending, these are all bound to be filled with drama of some kind or another.
The really problems can develop later on in life if this behaviour has become the norm for us, it can also be used as a way of attracting attention we may crave.
Sometimes drama is created and developed by a social group. It feeds upon rumour, gossip and often personal projection of our own insecurity onto others. Our words and behaviour can unintentionally fuel the drama to a greater level especially when emotions are running high within a group.
So how can we check this sort of behaviour and improve the quality of life for everyone involved?
The only thing we can do as individuals is to actively attempt to reduced and limit the drama around us. By not engaging in the gossip, ignoring the rumors and no longer contributing to it. Yes, I know this is often more easily said than done.
The key revelation is that we cannot change the behavior of others, but we can attempt to change our own.
For example, when I notice my words and behavior are helping to fuel the drama in its escalation. I stop, I take a step back from the situation and this helps me to avoid becoming caught up in the emotional heat of the moment and start to change its direction.
So if we are truly sick of the drama within an exclusive friendship group, we can make an attempt to change it by include everyone.
If we are hurt by the gossip of others, we can help by stopping gossiping ourselves, this is then not giving others something to push against. Again, it is a simple approach, but not always so easy to put into practice.
We can also help ourselves by think about all aspects of our lives that are stressful. For example, are there people or situations that create drama over and over again for us? What positive actions can we take to minimize their impact upon us and others?
So let’s all take a moment today and think of a situation we have previously been involved in that was intensely emotional. Then consider what our personal part was within it. Finally ask a very soul searching question, have we been feeding the drama llamas?