drama. Drama. DRAMA!!!! by Gary Davis
We love drama. The TNT network knows this, Hollywood knows this, and the folks at barber shops and beauty shops all over America know it. Drama is fun, juicy, it just feels good, and when you are feeling put upon or wronged, it seems like a sweet elixir, but it's really snake oil. It makes us think we'll feel better, but usually leaves us still feeling upset, or even more upset.
And most drama, or at least the best drama, is just assessment and speculation. It is not the actual thing that is transpiring. It is the constellation of thoughts you have about the thing that happened, many of them fueled by the “being wronged-ness” of it all.
What is fact is that "she talked while you were talking." It's an interpretation that doing that was "rude," and further interpretation that "She is rude." And it is interpretation that "being rude is why she is ineffective," and it is interpretation that she's "ineffective." But it seems like I'm just describing the situation if I say, "Well you know how she is. You know how management thinks they're better than us." WHOA, how did this turn into a conversation about management?!
We think most of our talking is about “how it is” when almost all of our speaking reflects the noise in our heads.
For instance, last night I'm pumping gas and the young man in the car beside me leaves his car running with the stereo up on HIGH volume, and goes inside.
The noise in my head tells me that “He’s doing that to get me. He wants to control me. They all do that, probably mad about the election.”
When I stop to look, I can see that the noise is not "what's so," but it doesn't mean I don’t think it.
One way I try to interrupt the drama is to ask myself, "What am I committed to here?” From there, I'm more able to see what's really there. What's so" is we are both hearing his music. The rest, the reasons, the drama, all that was made up.
I think about that, and when he returns, with his cornrows pulled out to the side and his new Timberline’s with no laces, I notice he is not smiling at me. I probably am not smiling either. At best I look indifferent, at worst annoyed.
I interrupt my automatic thoughts and smile broadly, “What are we listening to?”
He smiles back and says, "K Kamp, rapper out of Atlanta."
I asks if he's Jamaican, because I think I hear a reggae influence, and he happily tells me about K Kamp.
I get in the car and instead of giving my daughter a lesson in how to be racist by talking about how inconsiderate “they” are and blah blah blah, my daughter, who heard the whole thing said, “You are so crazy, Daddy.” Crazy because even she knows that it's normal to indulge in drama, and it takes something to stretch beyond the noise in our heads.
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