Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Season for Compassion, Not Drama

The inspiration for this topic is incredibly well-timed. We are now through the door
into the Holiday Season. This is the time of year when emotions run higher than most
other times of the year, when self-imposed expectations become unreasonably and
impossibly high and when the line between drama and someone truly needing a moment of compassion from friends and relatives becomes annoyingly obscured.
The reason I post this to the EVGA blog is simple. As implied by the title, Victorian
Goths are ideally, well-versed in carrying themselves with composure, dealing with
challenges with grace and would rather lose a limb than become drama queens. They and other old school Goths are also, in my experience, some of the most discerning
individuals when it comes to determining to whom they will lend an ear or shoulder
and to whom this act is just enabling a larger problem. Frankly, being a member of a
subculture lends itself quite naturally to challenges and trouble. This makes it
necessary to know which is a real problem and which is an attention-grabbing ploy. I am not, however, minimizing how much it happens in other sectors of society.
Using that ideal as the foundation, I hope to help illuminate the difference between
someone who lives for/conjures/tosses themselves into.. Drama.

A few simple guidelines to begin with:
EVERYONE has challenges in their life.
  • The individual needing compassion simply seeks to talk through the problem with a trusted friend or professional in order to know they are not alone, and to sort out a solution.
  • The individual needing compassion will learn from their situation and will only mention a past challenge as an example to help someone else going through a similar problem.
  • The drama queen will tell every living soul within ear/eye shot (FB, Twitter, Myspace, etc.) about their problem and acknowledges only the sympathy, leaving suggestions or constructive input unheeded.
  • The drama queen will also find a way to relate EVERY situation, theirs or others', to the current focus of their drama. This allows for a larger captive audience and additional attention by bringing it back to the surface.

Anyone who knows me, knows I have no tolerance for drama. I know many of you don't either, and I certainly do not blame you in the least. What has come to concern me more recently, however, is a widespread "need" to categorize everything quickly, using generalizations which leads to any expression of a need to talk, or a “hard day” to immediately be dismissed as drama. Hence the reason for this post.
And on to the inspiration for this topic. During a very recent conversation, an friend going through a very rough time contacted me, not to vent, but to sort out a situation. An old friend of hers had been in constant use of her shoulder, but had no ear to lend in return, informing her that they had no time for “drama”. I have heard about this happening more and more lately, and had gone through it myself more than a few times in the past.
My concern is that this is what leads most people to generalize and simply shut down.
The grace and good heart of my friend kept her from shutting down and becoming one of those people who stopped listening to others altogether, but finding a way to address the situation was her most pressing challenge at the moment.
Now to my request:

If someone you know comes to you for an ear, take a moment to actually hear them. Use your own common sense to recognize if this is a song you have heard a thousand times before (Well, maybe I exaggerate just a bit, but it often feels like it, no?). If it is, then you know it is drama and I have no doubt you have a way to excuse yourself from the conversation and distance yourself from the situation altogether. If it is not, consider the fact that your friend or acquaintance may truly need an ear, an opportunity to sound things out, and may well be open to your thoughts, your advice, or, quite possibly.. your silent empathy. Yes, there are many situations where someone simply needs an ear and a chance to hear themselves sound it out. They don't always need someone telling them how to fix things. It is just a matter of knowing they are not alone.

With a little thought, a bit of common sense and a good heart, we can disable drama
without overlooking those who truly need a moment with someone who cares. Not
everyone with a problem is a drama queen or king.

Oh, and for those who have reached out, been listened to, and had someone show they
care, while it is not/should never be, a situation of a "favour owed".. remember the
kindness showed you. Be there when they need an ear or shoulder as well.

And with all of that said, I wish you all a Delightful Holiday Season.

Raven Sexton

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