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Some people enjoy having their knickers in a twist!

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rhobertashalerphdSome people just seem to not be living unless they have their knickers in a twist. They LOVE drama!!! They love to have some juicy bit to share, the more “insider”, the better. They like to dish the dirt and have the skinny on someone or some situation. You know them. I’ll bet you can immediately name one or two, right?

And, when there is nothing to swill, they like to keep the attention on themselves in whatever way works in the moment. I know, you’ve met them. You may even live with one. Hopefully, you don’t see one in the mirror in the mornings. But, if you do, awareness is the first step in releasing the addiction to drama. Because that’s what it is: an addiction to drama. If they cannot find it, they create it.

These are also the folks who choose to belong to the “It’s All About Me!” Club. They love extremes and contrasts and lavishly exclaim about them and elaborate on their emotions for long periods of time in which the listeners are supposed to be riveted, moved and attentive. I have even had a friend give me a card for my birthday and exclaimed excitedly,

“This card is perfect. It just captures me, don’t you think?”

Here’s a few key phrases heard repeatedly–once or twice a year is allowed–from the drama-addicted:

This is absolutely the worst day of my life!”
“Nobody ever thinks of the effects their actions have on me.”
“Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, they did.”
“You cannot possibly know how awful, wonderful, devastating, ____________ it was for me!”
“Why should I have to wait? I’m very busy, you know.”

Nothing is just a buzz and a hum, or at a minimum, just neutral. It is amazing, or terrible, or disatrous. What possible drama is there in neutral?@$*%28__%21?" data-mce-href="mailto:neutral?@$*%28__%21?">neutral?@$*(__!?

I was thinking about this today because I was observing a drama afficionado in the restaurant where I had lunch yesterday. Nothing was good enough and those sitting at least two tables away from her–like me–could easily hear:

“The music is too old-fashioned.”

“The service is slow.”

“I don’t have time to wait, and I shouldn’t have to wait.”

[Heavy Sigh!]

“They have better food at _______, anyway.”

Now’s a good time for each of us to check our drama quotas. If you have a drama-addicted person in your life who eats up your time and wears down your spirit, spend less time with them. Believe me, they may not notice except that they may be sadly missing their audience. And, don’t worry, they’ll call when they need to unload.  Or, in a spirit of sowing peace, tell them the truth. You know my mission is to help people to communicate in ways that are totally honest and totally kind at the same time, so, that might sound like this:

“I enjoy so much about our time together and I value your friendship (if that’s the truth!) I want our relationship to be mutually supportive. Is that what you want as well?”

“I’ve noticed that my days are more peaceful and productive when I focus on what’s working, rather than on what’s not working. Would you join me in this?”

As Lady Gaga sings,  “If s/he is more of a drag than a queen….”, I invite you to consider addressing the situation and calling it what it is: HIGH DRAMA!  And, it’s unnecessary.  Life provides enough drama simply by the contrasts of experiences, responses and reactions we each receive and create each day. Release the drama and recoup your energy to focus on your purpose and your contribution to the world.  You may release a person or two as well, and that’s all good for both of you.

If there is high drama and no one to tell about it, does it exist?


Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, is a peace catalyst.  She makes it easier to talk about difficult things. Founder of Sow Peace™ International, she focuses on empowering individuals, leaders and teams with solutions and skills that get to the heart of communication, conflict and conscious collaboration.  A popular keynote speaker, Dr. Shaler has shared her light-hearted approach and value-packed content with audiences, teams and readers for more than twenty-five years. Author of over two dozen books and audio programs, including her most recent books, Wrestling Rhinos: Conquering Conflict in the Wilds of Work and Soul Solitude: Taking Time for Our Souls to Catch Up, Dr. Shaler teaches people to express themselves in ways that are totally kind and totally honest at the same time. That sows peace. Trained as a psychologist and professional mediator, she shares her insights through her blog at


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Growth in women's share of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations declined to 27% in 2011from a high of 34% in 1990. While women make up nearly half of the workforce, they were 26% of the STEM workforce in 2011.

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