Well, it is early in the new year, and I am already dealing with what I call “people problems.” Drama. Similar to Junior High School stuff.
I feel that texting makes drama worse. Texting can be deemed as harsh because we do not write in-depth when we text. When we text, we write in shorter sentences and with less description (compared to writing a blog or an email). I call it cryptic writing, meaning, the text may leave us feeling as if we need to decode or analyze it, and especially in dramatic situations, texts may hold hidden meanings. (Yes, I am laughing as I write this. What a mess we put ourselves into when we text in this manner!)
Here is another downfall to texting drama – you never know who the text is going to be copied and sent to. Also, there is a problem with group texting. Have you received group texts and you could only see a portion of the phone numbers that the text was sent to? It is so easy to drop a person off of a group text or to accidentally include someone in the group text.
But, I digress.
Before I move forward with my point, I want to define the type of drama that I am referring to today. Merriam-Webster describes it as a: state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces, b: dramatic state, effect, or quality.
This is the kind of drama that we were involved in during our teenage years – the kind we want to avoid as adults today! Life is short too short for it, right?! But, somehow people misinterpret each other, and feelings are hurt, and then the reactive drama-filled ball starts rolling.
There is one important action that does help in these situations – PAUSE.
Stop and think. Think before typing out a response. I am no longer fond of this worn-out adage, but it is worthy – Act, don’t react!
Take a moment to roll the situation around in your head, and then act through your personal values and boundary system. Don’t forget – you can be direct, yet kind. Who are you? Where is your place in the drama? Where do you intend to be in the situation? How do you want to come across? Should you be involved? What is important to you in the moment, in the situation, and in your life? What outcome do you desire?
In my situation, I defined my space. The text had come out of the blue and I was clueless. I clearly was not a part of the group drama.
I asked direct questions – where did all of this start, and exactly what had been said to start it?
The answer that I received was that someone just needed a person to talk to – a listening ear.
At that moment, I realized my entire involvement. I needed to listen. To have empathy. To not agree with the drama, and to avoid talking about ‘whomever’ behind their back (to not add fuel to the fire).
Had I reacted, I probably would have still been dealing with the situation days later.
I believe God gives us challenges as learning tools. We don’t want dramatic situations when they come our way. But, later, we can always find a positive side, and that is typically growth. It is healthy to ask ourselves what we have learned from any situation, and did it provide personal growth?
Never stop growing.
How do you feel about texting? Have you been involved in hurtful group text situations? Do you act, not react (pause)? I am NOT a fan of drama, how about you?