This is one of my all-time favorite clips from the Office.
I’ve never wanted to come out as a Drama Llama, probably because having a penchant for drama is abhorred within the open and poly community. How many posts have I seen by other bloggers about not being dramatic, or ads by couples who refer to themselves and their ideal match as “drama-free”? Countless. And who wants to be marginalized within their marginalized community for not being the “perfect poly person”? Not me!
I looked up the definition of “drama.” In addition to the definitions regarding the type of literature and plays, the third definition on Merriam Webster says:
3a : a state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces
In addition, the origin of the word is:
Late Latin dramat-, drama, from Greek, deed, drama, from dran to do, act
I was intrigued by the fact that “from dran, to do, act” is a root of the word. It is helping me to reflect on how I behave when I am caught up in something dramatic in my life: Am I processing my emotions in a mindful way? Am I acting out a script? Am I simply going into automatic drive, falling back on my go-to emotions of aggressiveness and defensiveness without thinking through the situation? How can I remember not to “act” but to rather inquire genuinely and gently into my feelings, and demonstrate them in a more calm and even-handed way?
All that being said, I have also been thinking about why “drama” is given such a bad rap (especially by those in the open community). Emotions can run high. So what? People get angry, say things they don’t mean, apologize, get upset, seek reassurance, cry. “Drama” can be authentic, and not necessarily “acting.” I don’t know that there is anything inherently wrong with engaging with drama, as long as I am conscious of the process and system I am in. I think drama becomes a soul-sucking force when people drive each other to the bottom and don’t help each other back up- when it becomes a game, rather than a real way of interacting and knowing. And, it seems that “drama” runs counter to the image that a lot of open/poly folks try to embody and display: that we are people that have our emotional worlds completely figured out and can thus operate our intimate relationships in a completely clean and easy way.
[I love it when things go smoothly, when emotions and needs are discussed calmly, when my social world feels easy and mellow. I really do love that. It feels mature and connecting and loving, all without the high-octane feelings I remember as a teenager trying to assert my place within my social and romantic world.]
Like J told me last night: “Maybe you should write on a piece of paper: ‘I like drama.’ That way, it’ll remind you to stop and think when you are getting into some, and help you decide whether you want to be involved.”
I think it’s a good suggestion 🙂
Who else is a drama llama? Who can’t stand drama? Why? Is drama a necessarily “bad” thing, or something to look at with disgust? Can it be a healthy part of our relationships?