Some people get excited by drama (even though it can be a downer for people involved). Other people find drama exhausting and would rather find ways to live without it.
If you’re feeling like you’re involved in way to many fights and overblown conflicts with your friends at school, on social media, or even in your family, Tracy Dow, Psy.D., a Houston-based psychologist, has one tip that is sure to reduce the drama in your life:
“Don’t add new information,” she says. “If you find yourself in a conversation, don’t tell people something they don’t already know about someone else.”
It can be tempting to gossip about other people or to tell their stories, even when they are standing right next to you. Even if you think what you are saying is totally harmless and not a big deal, talking about people can be problematic for a few reasons:
- You may not have permission to share their secrets.
- What you say can be misunderstood and quickly turn into a rumor.
- Gossiping can hurt people and cause them to distrust you.
- Talking about people can get you into trouble if they find out.
So, next time you’re about to say something about someone else, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it nice?
- Do I have permission?
- Would this person definitely be ok if I say this?
- Could saying this possibly hurt someone?
- If someone found out I was saying this, would they be upset with me?
If you are wondering what to do instead, Dr. Dow recommends “empathizing with the experience and staying quiet.” If you resist the urge to add new information, you are sure to avoid unwanted drama!