Teenagers…

I’m doing a series this month called Drama Club and wouldn’t you know it… the gods of irony have decided that I should have to deal with people who are, shall we say, a little melodramatic?

I laughingly told someone in the Bert Church lobby last Sunday that I can reasonably predict that if I’m preaching about _____, you’ll have a fight in the car about _____ on the way to church.

My hook for the whole series is this:

“Drama makes you the star in a play no one wants to watch”

There was very little drama in my home growing up. This left all sorts of energy for healthy connecting and things like (gasp) actually dealing with issues.

My mother came from a melodramatic home but never felt secure or safe. One of the things that attracted her to my father was the stability of his family. The Kopes might not be the most imaginative bunch, but you could depend on them for things like “Just the facts please, ma’am. Just the facts.”

As a pastor I see the inner workings of many homes and I can’t help but wonder sometimes “Is there a hidden camera somewhere?”. IE Why the heck is everybody freaking out? It’s like they’re projecting and magnifying everything so the person at the back of the theatre can know exactly how they feel?

It’s understandable that the issue itself isn’t likely that glamorous and needs a bit of beefing up, but I didn’t sign the “I’m ok if it gets ridiculous” waiver.

Someone doesn’t pick up their shoes in the entry and it becomes “I can’t live with a man anymore who….!” — and then insert all the perceived wrongs over the past decade into the Angry Gun and empty the clip.

This, folks, isn’t normal. I should clarify… This, folks, isn’t what happens in a normal, healthy home. Ironically it’s actually quite normal these days, when normal is translated “What everyone else does”.

But drama just makes healthy people feel tired.

Do we suppose when we blow the lid off of everything that it impresses stable, smart people? I’m afraid that healthy people might pity us, but never respect a volatile psychopath.

Healthy people don’t hang out with unhealthy people for very long. In fact, if you insist on having an unhealthy company, or an unhealthy family, sooner or later the healthy people will leave it.

I worked for a company for over a decade where that was the trend.

Oh

My

Goodness

The drama was unbelievable. And it was mostly grown men! Well, teenagers in men’s bodies anyways.

Drama gives Jr High You a microphone, when Jr High You needs to relax and shut up.

This week I’m speaking about Insecurity, which we all have in some measure. Insecurity starts out all humble looking until someone puts it in charge of something, then it becomes Survival of The One In Charge. More about that another time…

When our wedding day was approaching, one of Erin’s “friends” started a bunch of rumours about me and was going around to her other friends gossiping. I remember meeting her for the first time months before and having the sense she thought I needed her permission to date Erin. I thought it was cute at the time, but a bit melodramatic. The way I grew up, if you had something to say to someone they actually had an opportunity to defend themselves afterwards. But Gossip always was a coward shooting from the shadows…

We were a bit upset by all the drama and were talking about it until my father walked into the room.

“What’s going on?” He asked matter of factly.

I gave him the short version.

He snorted, said “That’s about right” and walked out of the room. Those were his first and last words on the matter.

And he was right. Anything more would be a waste of energy.

I did something risky the other day and told our volunteer staff at Venue what I really think about drama. I’ve never seen an overly melodramatic handling of a situation ever fix anything, in fact it does just the opposite: it diverts attention away from the actual issues.

Every over the top blow up creates unnecessary pain for everyone involved. Character flaws often hide behind someone beating their breast and declaring how wronged they’ve been to the world! Quick! Divert attention away from the stupid thing I did! Blame it on someone/ anyone else!

So I told my team the same thing I tell my four girls: “I care about you, but I can’t help you if you’re freaking out. If you want me to respect you, calm down.” Someone like me will never be impressed by the drama. If people want to be taken seriously they need to have a measure of control over themselves. Drama always muddies the water and makes a solution impossible.

Drama complicates everything.

If I hear “So and so is upset about a conversation so and so had about so and so…” I smile and tune out as one word scrolls across my mind:

Teenagers…:)

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