For the point of this post, we are going to accept the second definition of drama.
Why am I fixated on drama? I was recently accused of “idle drama”. Simply put, I was pissed off that I was accused of such a thing. I try to stay out of drama. I sit back and watch it with popcorn. But those that stir up drama – create it from something that is “no big deal” – they drive me nutty.
I realized as I was dealing with my accuser that maybe I didn’t understand the word. Maybe, at a base level, this was drama. Maybe people aren’t able to identify it, thereby falling just as victim to the circumstances as the others people stirring it up.
So, the question becomes – is it drama? or is it memorex?
For those of you too young to understand the memorex jingle. Basically memorex sold tapes for cassette players as well as the early VHS players and camcorders. The idea is you had a way of “recording what is happening” so you can watch it again in again. Felt like a good use of the phrase in this situation.
In my recent situation, it was brought to my attention that someone who I volunteer for was upset at some information he recently learned about my crew. Knowing the situation of which he spoke and having dealt with it myself already, I immediately went back and apologized to the head of the group. It’s my responsibility to oversee what my crew does. So I took it head on.
I then went back to the one who I was told was responsible on my crew and told him what his actions had resulted in. Then I told him my expectations on how to rectify this. I was clear that this was becoming drama (the original situation happened almost 2 months ago now), and I wanted to take the necessary steps to stop it. Emotions were high. Let’s put a stop to it.
Not drama. Facts about what happened. Clearly outlined what was a result of the action. Talked about next steps.
What this person did with my feedback is what turned this memorex moment into a drama.
He decided hew as falsely accused – that I was basing what I was saying on ‘here say’ – and launched his own investigation. Included in this investigation were people that were not even there that night. Then he came back and accused me of drama when everyone denied it all.
I was dumbfounded when he came back to me. He could not see the difference between drama and what had happened. And in the course of things, he lost the main reason for my feedback – the leader – the grand poo-bah was pissed at what he heard. Instead, he focused on only himself and his own reputation – a reputation, I must make mention – that was not threatened as I never outed who it was to anyone.
Yet, drama was mine to own. I had created it. I was perpetuating it.
I have sat on the sidelines watching drama before, wondering how people who know better to get sucked into it – get, well, sucked into it. Now I understand.
Those that attract drama are good at dumping their actions that perpetuate or create the drama onto those around them. And those who are fact based in their thinking – are logical – are methodical in their approach to tricky situation – and who are, in short, healthy – they find themselves trapped by this accusation. They are in a corner and forced to do battle with the drama octopus that has been tossed on them and seems to have them in its grasp.
That is how I felt, to be honet. A friend as I was dealing with it all, pointed out that he had cornered me using phrases like here-say, gossip, and idle drama to describe what was happening to him. He took all of his possible defenses, tossed them onto it as thought it was my fault, and sat back knowing he had me stuck.
What he didn’t expect was for me to toss it at his feet, tell him if that is what he feels is happening here that he should leave the committee as it is a reflection of what he feels of my management style. Then I told him we needed to definitely talk now about his communication style because I had serious concerns about how he approached this whole thing. In other words, I treated him like the child he was being.
In the end, he called me combative and left. I was happy to see him go. It bugged me for a while the way he was bringing my character into question – making me a “drama queen” simply because I was taking my job seriously. Another friend read his response, called me a bitch – and I realized that was the true thing he was doing – making my assertiveness a negative. I can live with it.
I have decided I’m going to have to face the facts. I cannot always avoid drama when in a role like this one. I cannot control people. I cannot control their reactions. All I can do is stick to the facts – those memorex moments – and keep dumping it back on them.
Was this drama? Turned into it – a series of unexpected events.
Could it have been avoided? Only if he chose not to walk its path.
Tis all that could have been different.