Who likes being around drama??  Apparently, some people do, but if you are like me, and you find it draining, read ahead for today’s discussion on how to:

  • Recognize drama behaviors and personalities
  • Apply strategies to deal with drama effectively

Drama is turmoil caused by behaviors such as:

  • gossiping                  
  • bullying              
  • extreme competition
  • oversharing personal problems
  • excessive teasing
  • playing mind games
  • blowing things out of proportion
  • being overly sensitive and insecure

Some recognizable personality types that often cause drama include:

Mean girl/guy – sabotages people “accidently”.  Knows everything about everyone and uses this information strategically, either by sharing or holding back, but always to their benefit. Word gets around quickly that this person is not to be trusted because they usually don’t try to hide it.

Frenemy- most likely to fool you because they seem to be genuine most of the time, but if it comes down to you or them, they will throw you under the bus. Can be very personable and supportive, except when they aren’t.

Suck up/brown noser/boss’s pet wannabe – insecure, will do anything to get favor with the boss. No secret is safe, no mistake is kept hidden. They will sniff out any inside information that will make them look like a hero to the boss.  Usually not very well liked by other employees.

Aggressive achiever – sees everyone as a threat and competition to beat. Will overplay their role in a project and imply they are the most important part of the team. Will intentionally sabotage other’s work or reputation with the boss so they will look better.

Whiner- complains openly about work or their personal life. A lot. Often blames others. Much work time is wasted with their stories as they try reeling people in for attention.

Strategies to deal with drama:

The common thread here is selfishness and/or self-promotion, and insecurity.

  1. Do not react. This is what they want. Be busy when they start the drama or leave.
  2. Make yourself unavailable. Plan to be somewhere else rather than the location the drama most often takes place if you can, such as the break room or after-work socials.
  3. Try to assume they have good, even if misplaced, intentions. Try to see where they are coming from. Why are they behaving this way? It will not change them, but it will change how you see them and help you not to take their actions so personally.
  4. Know that others see what you see, most likely, and this drama is hurting the perpetrators in the long run, if not the present.
  5. Build your solid reputation so people know your character and work ethic. People will respect you for not getting involved in the drama. Do not repeat personal information shared with you. Mind your own business.
  6. Do not share your negative opinions about co-workers at work. Have a vent buddy outside of work.
  7. Do not overshare about your personal life with people at work. It is too tempting for people to share inside information, and suddenly your professional image is tarnished.
  8. Have a supply of reliable statements to head off drama, such as:

“I have to get this project done or I’m going to be really behind- let’s catch up later.”

“I’ve promised myself to not get involved in work drama”

“I don’t know anything about that and don’t want to know.”

“That sounds like something that will have to be worked out between the two of them.”

“That’s outside my realm of responsibility.”

“I have enough on my plate keeping track of my life, much less someone else’s.”

Having peace in our lives should be a high priority, my friend. Sometimes we have to be aggressive in protecting that peace from others who try to disrupt it.  

-Jan Jones

For some other great tips on how to remove yourself from drama, check out this video!