How to Avoid Drama in a Relationship
If you are experiencing drama in your relationship, you are most likely exhausted and probably dealing with a fair amount of anxiety. A healthy relationship will not keep you up at night wondering what your next move is or googling what his behavior means. It is important to check yourself and see where you are contributing to the problem. Remember it takes two to create drama.
Set the ground rules
You both must know what you can and should expect in all areas. You should know how you plan to communicate with each other and how often. It is common to have different expectations regarding how much contact is acceptable. You may also have different realities about what behavior is and isn’t ok. It is imperative that you leave nothing to chance. Do not assume, especially regarding exclusivity in the relationship. Many times, women fall in love and because they are sleeping together, assume there is a mutual understanding regarding exclusivity. Imagine the shock and heartbreak to learn the opposite is true!
Have clear boundaries about what you are willing to do and willing to accept. Be clear about your deal breakers. The chemistry between you will not be enough to carry the relationship. You must lay a healthy foundation.
Communicate don’t manipulate
Open and honest communication is key. Clarify if you don’t understand. Don’t wait, wish and wonder. Don’t manipulate to get your way. Ways you may manipulate: game playing, delayed communication, withholding sex, dressing sexy, flirting with other men. If you are angry, embrace “fair fighting”. It is healthy to express anger in a neutral way with efficient and effective communication techniques.
Manage your emotions
How is your attitude? Practice mindfulness by noticing your moods and behaviors. Are you quick tempered and impulsive? Do you tend to shoot of the quick text, email or phone call before you have had some time to calm and think things through? Take a few minutes or longer until you regain composure. Engage in deep breathing and other relaxation and self-care practices. Impulsivity will get you nowhere.
Choose to let go
Ask for your wants and needs but let go of the outcome. You can’t control how another person will respond or react. You can only control your own reactions. Only you know what will and won’t work for you. Engage the help of a professional therapist or coach if you continue to struggle. If drama tends to be your pattern, you will need help to shift the behavior.
Lisa Angelini, MAPC, LPC, ACHT