Every time I turn around, I have a friend who is going through one crisis or another. It did occur to me I may have surrounded myself with drama queens, but they are an entertaining bunch, so I keep them around. One thing I notice is there are some overwhelming similarities in whatever drama each of them are involved in at any given time. I also realize most of them will either never read this, or fail to recognize themselves in the items below, but maybe it will help someone else.
1. You can’t figure out what you have power over, and what you don’t.
Now stick with me on this one. One reason you are so stressed is because you are either ignorant of, or voluntarily ignorant of all the things in your life you do and don’t have control of. Take a step back and realize what you can change and what you can’t. I realize not all of you are religious, but the Serenity Prayer does have a point. We should all aspire to have the serenity to accept the things we can’t change, courage to change the things we can and wisdom to know the difference. If your boss hates you because he is a tool, you can’t change that, but you can change how you react to it. If your boss hates you because you are bad at your job and only come in on time by accident, then that’s something you can work on. If you are in a bad relationship, you either change how you deal with it, or you get out. To put it simply, you can’t change others, you can only change yourself.
2. You aren’t honest with yourself.
If I had to compile a list of things I like about myself, one thing would be “I am honest with myself”. I know I have a bad temper, say and do the wrong things when I don’t take the time to think things out, and can be a total bore. I also know I am that friend that will tell you your ass is too big to wear those pants, will take up a fight for those who can’t defend themselves, a good listener, give good advice, and am genuinely compassionate for those less fortunate. Yet, even I am not 100% honest with myself 100% of the time. It’s human nature to want to see things as you want them to be instead of how they actually are, but when looking at life through rose-colored glasses interfere with the life you are trying to build, it’s time to step back and look at things more objectively and sometimes that means realizing YOU are the unifying theme in your problems. Sometimes YOU are, in fact, the problem.
3. You need too much attention.
Look, I get it; we all like it when the conversation is all about us. Who doesn’t like being the center of attention sometimes? But you really need to start waiting until something of merit happens to make you the center of attention, instead of seeking out the drama that will put you there. Life, and all the crappy shit that goes with it, will happen no matter if you want it to or not. Just have patience and your turn will come around. OR….you could try being the center of attention for GOOD things, like getting engaged to a great person, or getting promoted at work….or…even something daring like auditioning for American Idol when you can’t sing a note. You keep putting yourself in the role of “poor little thing” and eventually you are going to start believing it yourself and expect others to rescue you all the time. Do you really want to give away that much of your power?
4. You give yourself too freely.
Speaking of giving away your power. Yes, I am talking about sex here. You are a big girl, you know there is one big consequence of having sex, and it is really expensive, messy, and sometimes lies on your couch while you clean house….for a minimum of 18 years. But what if that were the least of your problems? Just think about that for a quick minute. I am all for the sexual revolution, but one thing that I wish we could get back is the serious talk about sex women once had with a mother or older sister or girlfriend. Now it seems young women are expected to be tossed into the deep end of the technology pool and figure it out on their own. Sex isn’t just about the act that may feel really good at the moment. No, sex is a lot more. Sex is a means of communication, a way of expressing love, a means of getting closer, a means of forgiving, a weapon, a manipulation, and sometimes something to stave off boredom and just something that feels good at the time. The point is, even casual sex is not without a consequence and try as you might, feelings will get involved. You can tell yourself that guy you picked up for a one night stand doesn’t mean anything to you, and you are right, but you mean something to you and you will eventually feel something, positive or negative, about yourself. You can tell yourself that having sex with this guy or that guy to get him to like you is a good idea, but honey it isn’t. That guy will like you or he won’t no matter how good you are in the sack. Eventually you will break off too many pieces of yourself to give to others and there won’t be anything left for you. Yes, it is a double standard and screaming that it isn’t fair won’t stop it from being true. And that leads me to…
5. You expect life to be fair.
You have GOT to get off of the 3rd grade play ground. You have heard it a million times already and it’s time to believe it: Life Is NOT Fair! As a matter of fact; it is decidedly UNfair, and the sooner you accept that fact the better off you are going to be. You will have to work harder for less money. That other woman or man will get the promotion first because the boss wants to sleep with her or him, or because they are golf/drinking buddies. Your boss won’t care how sick your kid is he/she will expect you to be at work. You will one day have to decide between work and family (hint: always choose your family), and eventually, no matter what you do, someone you love will not love you back. That could be a lover, a spouse, a friend and even a family member. Don’t try harder because you will just be even more hurt in the end. Commit this to memory: YOU CAN NOT OBLIGATE OR GUILT SOMEONE INTO LOVING YOU! Obligation and guilt may keep them around for a little while, but eventually, they either love you or they don’t, and you need to grieve and let go.
6. You don’t read people reviews.
So this could be the summary of this whole blog post if it was strictly about relationships. You know when you are planning on making a large purchase…let’s say a car, and you talk to someone who has or had the same car, and maybe read a few reviews online about said car, and all of it is negative? Do you buy that car? I hope not. I hope you don’t say to yourself that these people just didn’t understand the car, or didn’t drive the car correctly or, my personal favorite, said the car was a lemon because they wished they had the car back.
If you are with someone who smacked their last three girlfriends around, guess what? Odds are he is going to eventually smack you around. If you are with someone who hasn’t worked in 2 years and it’s not due to a physical disability, he isn’t suddenly going to get a job and pay your bills…no, more likely, he is going to find a way to get you to pay his. If you are with someone who has two or three other kids with other women and doesn’t pay child support or spend Daddy time with their other kids, odds are sweetie he isn’t going to suddenly settle down and play house with you. You should really take a step back and ask yourself if this person is really worth your time….and be honest.