Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Piece of Advice #27: Cut the drama

When we were little my sister had this thing, she would start crying at the drop of a hat or the moment things weren't going the way she wanted them to.  My dad would tell her, "Cut the tears."  He knew she was not really sad or upset, only being manipulative, and if he didn't put up with it, she would stop.  And she did.  (She is an excellent person now, by the way, no drama queen, so this bit of boundary setting was effective in the long run.)

A short list of things girls and women do to shake up the power in relationships would include:

  • Crying
  • Giving the silent treatment
  • Reacting hysterically
  • Throwing up accusations unrelated to the matter at hand
  • Claiming offense (i.e., "That's offensive." "You've offended me.")
  • Treating someone icily until they admit "fault" or apologize
  • Inviting other females to defend or pile on

It's all so dramatic.  And, quite frankly, tiresome.  Any of the above might help you get your way in the short term especially with people who do not know how to handle displays of extreme emotion, but it will not endear you either to the person who has to deal with it directly or any bystanders.  Making things uncomfortable - well, makes things uncomfortable.  And guess who doesn't care to be in uncomfortable situations - just about anyone.  Except perhaps other drama queens.

Emotional thinkers are everywhere, and they do not often respond well to logical appeals to knock off what seems to be a winning strategy.  We need, then, more people who will simply not tolerate it and will call girls on their manipulative behavior.  If you know girls who do this and you are in any position of authority, put your foot down.  Make it painful for them to continue this form of emotional masturbation.  And if you are the drama queen and love the power of these types of displays, do remember that with every power play, your receptive audience diminishes.  Eventually you will have to find another theater or do a monologue.




    Skip to 16:30 for Eve Ensler's terrible poetry.

  2. This is a very "girls against the boys" type of speech. It is, of course, horrific what is happening to girls and women in the Congo. but there has been horrific violence against men and boys as well. I had to actually google "violence Congo men" to get that to come up as when I googled "Congo atrocities" the tops stories were all about women and girls.

    People have emotions for a reason and emotions affect our behavior and do sometimes encourage compassion (and a variety of other good and bad behaviors). But emotional thinking is not logical thinking. I've witnessed quite a lot of emotional thinking in my lifetime, and mostly it goes nowhere or worse.

    Perhaps I am wrong, but I have always distrusted my emotions when making decisions. I don't think that was indoctrinated in me by The Patriarchy either.

  3. This type of behavior just makes me want to treat her worse and lose respect for her.

    On the other hand, when a girl can logically explain why she is mad, I may not agree that I did something wrong, but I will respect her for having the strength to say it.

  4. Agree there should be less drama, and men should put their foot down- either by ignoring the gal, or a curt cutoff when it starts. But the drama is what many women live for! It often sends their men into fearful compliance and supplication. It can be a source of power. And it can be broken down in delicious detail and shared with the girlfriends later! Women love it, love to analyze and dissect it, ruminate over it, obsess over it.. C'mon now, admit it.. :)

  5. I must be unnatural. I really hate it. I will admit to getting sucked into the discussion of drama on occasion. But when you've gotten so you can predict how things will go down in an emo drama before they even happen - well, the bloom is off the rose.

  6. Yeah, that's all well & good, but what I've noticed? Guys leave the nice, emotionally stable girls who don't ask for much.

    My experience is that being a little demanding and a little dramatic (not over the top) implies some kind of value in men's eyes, since some of the best marriageable guys I know constantly date high maintenance bitches and the asshole guys get the sweet, nice girls who get used & abused.

    I'd rather be in the former category, thankyouverymuch.

  7. Anonymous - I have also noticed that sometimes the maneaters can be quite seductive to their prey. But I wasn't just talking about cutting the drama with men. Frankly, I'm tired of dealing with women on women drama, so I'd really like to see that toned down.

  8. totally agreed but still, the bitches appear to get the good guys, it appears that anonymous is right about that. high matinence most of the time wins out over stability.