Completely You

Drop the Friend Drama

The real way to deal with friends who love drama -- and dragging you into it.

I usually don’t stress easily. But when a friend causes drama, I get sucked in.

You know that friend? The one who spreads gossip, creates problems when there aren’t any, acts like the $5 hike on her cell phone bill is the end of the world -- and calls you at 12:30 a.m. just to rant about it. She’s got a weird lump on her wrist that she thinks could be cancer (newsflash: that’s her wrist bone), and beef with her boss, who she can’t believe makes her stay in the office eight hours a day (the nerve!). It’s all about her!

How are you really supposed to handle her constant instigation, drama and crazy talk? Here are a few ideas.

1. Consider dumping her.
I’m not trying to be mean, just honest here. Friendships are supposed to make us happy and give us support. Really think hard about your friend and why you have her in your life. Does she listen to you when you’re upset? Does she keep your secrets when you confide in her? Is there give and take? Do you enjoy her company the majority of the time? If you have good reasons to keep her in your life, then on to No. 2. If not, it may be time to cut the cord and end the friend drama.

2. Occasionally hit “Ignore.”
Before you take a call or make a dinner date with your dramatic friend, consider your mood and the timing. If you’re sure she’ll go on and on for two hours, it’s late and you have a big work presentation in the morning, go ahead and ignore her call. If you’ve been stressed out and need time to unwind, maybe suggest you two get together a different night. Sometimes you just need a break from drama.

3. Watch what you say.
If your friend is a huge gossip, you’ll want to choose your words wisely when she’s around. Don’t reveal anything you don’t want everyone and their mother to know. Even if you think your friend isn’t badmouthing you behind your back, know that if she’s got loose lips when she’s talking to you, she’s really likely to have them around others too. And that will create more drama that you’ll want to deal with.

4. Create boundaries.
As long as she’s fairly harmless, a dramatic friend is usually OK in small doses. So when you do get together with your friend, make it for a quick rendezvous, like one drink after work (and keep it to one) instead of a weekend getaway to Vegas. Hey, we’ve got enough stress in our lives, no need to pile on 48 more hours’ worth.



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