As we wind down towards the end of 2016, I look back and see a year that has been plagued by chaos and drama on a global scale. I’m not just talking about The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones type drama (moment of silence for the last 13 episodes of GoT). I’m talking about, “I heard from your mama’s hair dresser’s cousin’s neighbor’s daughter that you… (insert gossip here)” or the “Fidel Castro has died. What will Cuba look like now?” type of drama.
But the older I get, the more I realize that there are some levels of drama that don’t have a place in my real life, so I try to avoid it like the plague. Over time, I’ve made the decision that I want to enjoy my life and not waste energy dealing with people or situations that will bring me stress or heartache. Now, at 30 years old, I can honestly say alhamdulilah, I live a drama-free life and this makes me so happy. I’ve learned to focus on the positive and not dwell on things that are of no service to me. Here are my personal best tips for exorcising drama and negativity from your life.
Be careful with who and what you share.
Not everyone in your friend circle needs to know your problems or what ails you. The fact of the matter is that not everyone has your best interest at heart nor are they interested in helping you find ways to cope or feel better. Some people – like vampires – live on a diet of other people’s misery and that is what makes them feel better about themselves. These people aren’t in your corner. They’re just waiting for you to fall so they can feel taller.
It’s important to find the people in your life who you can truly trust when the need to vent arises. No, your 3K followers on Twitter are not the right people for that task. Social media is an incubus for drama and negativity. In moments of intense anger or sorrow, I find it’s best to keep your mouth closed and really consider if talking about the situation is going to make it worse or make it better. Sometimes we unintentionally blow things out of proportion when we are emotional and cause a bigger mess for ourselves. The key is to be in tune with how you feel and to take necessary time to cool off before you accidentally make things worse or invite the commentary of others.
Avoid dramatic people.
There are fun dramatic people and then there are drama queens/kings. Fun dramatic people tell the best over-the-top stories to get a laugh out of everyone. Drama queens/kings tell every single story they hear to see which one sparks the biggest flame. Avoiding the latter type of person can make a world of difference for your happiness and well-being.
Sometimes, it’s not easy to avoid these people, especially if they are family members, but I’ve found that a little distance goes a long way. It also goes a long way to choose not to participate in the family gossip. There’s no reason for you to be constantly surrounded by negative people just because you share a last name or come from the same home town. Those kinds of people start to become draining after a while and leave you with nothing but your own personal brand of general displeasure. The crowd of people with which we associate ourselves can make a big difference.
Don’t be loose-lipped.
Just as you wouldn’t want other people to share what you tell them in confidence, don’t betray the confidence of others. The problems or secrets they share with you are an amanah, or something they entrust to you. Anytime anyone tells me something, it goes without saying that I will take that secret with me to the grave, and it’s an unspoken rule that nothing we talk about gets shared. This is how rumors start and words get misconstrued and misinterpreted. Unless someone is telling you amazing news that they are fine with you sharing – there’s no need to repeat what they said. If my close friend shares with me that she is newly engaged, I will shout it from the rooftops because I am happy for her and it is shareable news. But if someone is bearing their heart to me about how they were wrongfully fired – that is nobody’s business. As always, do your best to be the kind of person people can trust with their news and with their sorrow. What goes around comes around, after all.
Surround yourself with big talkers.
By that, I don’t mean the bragging set; I mean the people who want to talk about their passions, their dreams, ways to accomplish those dreams – people who like to build other people up (hint hint: us over here at MM), the kind of people who understand that it serves no purpose to gossip about others or put down our fellow human. Idle chatter does nothing to progress us forward in the grand scheme of life and there are people who understand that and people who don’t. Choose the ones who understand.
On the day of judgment, we will be held accountable for every single word we speak. If that doesn’t inspire us to be more mindful of how we speak, what will?
Ultimately, one of the best ways to let go of the negative and to find more love and positivity in life for me is through prayer and supplication. Pour your heart out to The One who is The Best Listener, The Most Compassionate, The Most Kind. Only God has the solutions to all our problems, the key to every locked door, an open path that only He can make for us. God never gets tired of listening and no problem is too big for our Creator. Allah SWT loves to answer our duas. It is said that when you pray for those whom you love and wish them well, the angels say Ameen and make the same dua for you.