Every human relationship has the potential for drama from time to time.
Everyone has wound up in an argument that’s spiraled out of control at one time or another. But a couple that experiences a drama-free relationship isn’t due to their innately chill nature, or not entirely at least.
Being drama-free takes a bit of practice. Here are 5 ways to end unnecessary drama in your relationship.
1. Communicate openly and freely
This is the first point on our list because it is easily the most important. If there’s anyone you should be able to communicate anything to, it’s your partner. Communicating your needs can leave you exposed and vulnerable, but the alternative is uncertainty, which carries with it the potential for even worse outcomes.
Without communication, small nuisances can fester into resentment. Resentment can lead you to do and say things that you otherwise probably wouldn’t. Things like passive-aggressive remarks, careless behavior, and talking behind your partner’s back. All of these things can lead to drama in your relationship. Open communication is one of your best defenses against drama.
2. Practice active listening
Communication is only 50% of what it takes to avoid drama in your relationship. The other half of the equation is active listening.
It is not uncommon for arguments to devolve into two people just waiting for their turn to yell. You should feel like there is space in your relationship to speak your truth, but active listening is important for anyone wanting to avoid drama in their relationship. When communicating with your partner, let them speak, listen to their words, and take into consideration what that means. And expect the same of them as well.
3. Walk a mile in their shoes
Drama inherently stems from a lack of empathy. We are at our most dramatic when we are hyper-focused on ourselves – our feelings, our needs, our wants – and not thinking at all about the other person.
Empathy is the ability to feel and understand another person’s feelings and experiences. It’s what causes you to feel creeped out when you see a spider crawling up someone else’s arm. The spider isn’t on your arm, but you know how it would make you feel, and that’s what gives you the creeped out feeling.
But empathy is something that we can block out or not take into consideration, which is dangerous when you’re in a relationship. Before you do something or say something that you know could cause drama in your relationship, stop and think: how would this feel if my partner did this to me?
4. Don’t vent to mutual friends
I could probably break down each dramatic behavior one by one and talk about why you shouldn’t do them, but probably the most important thing to avoid is venting to mutual friends about your relationship. It doesn’t matter if you were friends with them first, if you share a friendship with another person, they need to be off the table when discussing problems in your relationship with others. To vent to a mutual friend is equivalent to talking behind your partner’s back.
It can be a good thing to have a trusted confidant when talking about relationship issues. But communicating with your partner is the most important kind of communication. So before you vent to others, ask yourself: should I just communicate my feelings to my partner? Doing so will likely yield more favorable results.
5. Leave a relationship with grace
Relationships can be dynamic and changing. A person you are friends with today could be your lover someday, and a lover today could be your best friend tomorrow. If the decision has been made to end a romantic relationship in favor of a platonic relationship, leave that relationship with dignity and grace. Even if you’re on your way out, consider the things we’ve discussed so far in this article.
Communicate freely with your partner, even if they’re no longer your lover, be an active listener, empathize with them, and don’t vent to mutual friends.
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