I'm sitting in a Youth Hostel in Melbourne, Australia where I'm staying for a couple of weeks while visiting the Melbourne International Comedy festival. I've just had breakfast and am sitting near the kitchen area chilling out before heading out for a day on the town. While I'm not one to eavesdrop, I can't help but overhear snippets of the Skype conversation of the woman sitting next to me.
And what I hear is: drama. Drama, drama, drama. "She did this", "he did that", "she said this", "she said that", "She thinks I'm a bad influence", "they don't like me", "she hated it", "it sucked", "it was awful"...
Ok, you get the idea.
If there was heaps of space, I'd simply move and get away from the negative energy; but it's pretty crowded this morning, and the conversation reminded me how easy it is to get addicted to our own drama, and the dramas in other people's lives around us.
Now it would be a different story if the woman was debriefing about her emotions regarding the drama she's describing, but I'm not hearing many words from our emotional vocabulary like "sad", "angry", "scared", "happy"; nor phrases like "I felt ...", "I feel..." etc. This isn't entirely surprising in a society where most people have never been taught how their emotions work.
Expressing emotions while telling a story releases the emotional charge around what has happened (or is happening), liberating us from any pain we've experienced and allowing us to move on from the drama.
On the other hand, blaming, judging, externalising, projecting and making unpleasant experiences wrong just sets us up in an addictive cycle of drama. I don't like being around people who are stuck in drama, so I'm gonna go now. I need to get out of here for my own sanity!