I’ve had a handful of conversations with people lately about how noticing how people treat others. I feel very fortunate in a way to have had basically no drama with anyone in years at this point, but then again, is it fortune when the reason I haven’t had any drama is that I simply refuse to allow it by being both vigilant and respectful at the same time?
I haven’t had any drama, but what I’ve noticed is that when your own life is peaceful, you’re more observant about the world around you. Instead of having to defend yourself against the poor ways in which others are treating you, you notice the poor ways in which they treat each other. I’ve said this in the past and I believe it now more than ever : How people treat people they’re not fond of says so much more about them than how they treat the people they like.
“What’s the secret to no drama?”
You can’t avoid conflict.
I know that sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out.
If someone does or says something that rubs you the wrong way – TAKE A BREATH BEFORE YOU REACT.
Sleep on it. You might be over it the next day. If not, talk to the person who rubbed you wrong. Don’t fly off the handle, don’t accuse, but simply state your observations and your feelings. Sometimes you’ll be able to work it out with a quick conversation and put whatever the thing is behind you. Sometimes you need to agree to disagree and you can put it behind you. Other times, you might walk away from said conversation knowing you have lost respect for that person because of how they reacted, but don’t let them bait you. If their reaction is volatile, walk away.
Here’s an important lesson : Losing respect for someone does not mean you treat them disrespectfully from then on! All it means is that you know they are not the ideal person for you to believe, confide in, or interact with. Accept that, stick by it, by also keep in mind that they are a human being just like you and they deserve to live a life without being treated poorly by others regardless of your opinion of them, or of whatever it is they said and did. You are not their judge, jury, and executioner. They are not your responsibility.
About Not Avoiding Conflict :
Just because my life has been peaceful doesn’t mean I get along with and/or like everyone I’ve met in the last few years. I’ve simply handled those issues honestly and respectfully. If it’s a specific issue, I respectfully confront the person and accept whatever the outcome is. If it’s just a VIBE, I DON’T IGNORE IT!
Don’t make excuses for anyone if your gut is telling you there’s something wrong! Don’t tell yourself “Well they haven’t done anything to me…” especially if they HAVE treated someone else poorly and you witnessed it / you know about it. YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL! If they’re treating someone else poorly, they will treat you the same way. Even if there’s not a specific incident that you can pinpoint, but you just feel awkward around them, PAY ATTENTION TO THAT! Your spidey-sense is tingling for a reason. If you feel like something is wrong, It Is. Keep your distance and keep your eyes open. Interact with that person minimally and be very careful about any conversation you have with them. Don’t let their weird vibe become a problem in your life, but don’t make excuses for them just because you can’t pinpoint why you feel said vibe.
Take Care Of Yourself.
No compromises! Anyone that you call a “friend” should never treat you poorly without taking responsibility. Sometimes we upset others without meaning to, at all. We’ve all walked different paths in life everyone has different triggers. If a friend does say or do something that upsets you, tell them. A real friend will be glad you told them because they’ll want to make sure they don’t say or do the same thing again. Friendship and getting to know someone is a learning experience and won’t always be perfect.
However, if you let a friend know they did or said something that upset you and their reaction is dismissive, step away from that person because they are not your friend. It’s not our mistakes that define who we are as people, but how we handle them.
Sometimes we’re just wound up and we need to vent. I honestly don’t see the problem with that as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Sometimes if you’re feeling wound-up, a good vent really helps defuse your feelings and gives you the ability to move forward and handle the situation with sensitivity and respect. Only vent to someone you absolutely and completely trust! The last thing in the world you want is someone gossiping to someone else about your venting session, and it getting back to the person who upset you in the first place. That always, always makes the situation exponentially worse.
If you do make a mistake and vent to someone who then perpetuates the problem, don’t avoid taking responsibility. Admit openly that you DID vent, and you DID say those things, even if they likely weren’t nice things. Tell them that you feel awful that they got back to the person, apologize, and mean it! You might have hurt the person worse by your venting session getting back to them, but you can still defuse the situation by being honest about it and acknowledging and validating that person’s feelings.
This might sound complicated, but it’s far less complicated than being surrounded by negativity, conflict and drama. Just respect yourself enough to know that you shouldn’t be spending your time dealing with negativity or a lack of respect from others. You can’t control how they treat you, but you can control whether or not they even have the opportunity to treat you poorly by simply not allowing toxic people to take part in your daily life, and by being someone who stands up for yourself, but while respecting others at the same time. I’ve been very vigilant about observing things around me and it’s made a huge difference in my life and my happiness.