It’s almost mid-year. So I just wanted to send a shout out to the people who, at the beginning of the year, resolved to leave drama and negativity in 2016. How is that going? Not well? Well, don’t beat yourself up. No one has really ever succeeded at breaking free from drama and negativity.
Why? The answer is simple; we are human. And we humans thrive on drama and negativity.
You don’t believe me? Make an experiment. Tell someone that you’ve received a promotion at work. They will congratulate you and tell you, “I’m so happy for you!” But there won’t be many, if any, follow-up questions. Because it’s good news and good news does not interest us. So we don’t like to dwell on it.
Bad news on the other hand, receives our utmost attention. Your husband left you? That’s so sad! Why? When? How? We want screenshots of messages. We want audiovisual evidence. We lie to ourselves that we are being supportive. But in truth, we are either miserable and we want company, or we want to feel better about ourselves.
And sometimes we want details for when we retell the story. We may retell it with a sad look on our faces or with a sad tone of voice. But let’s not kid ourselves; we are not really as sad as we are fascinated by the dramatic turn of events.
And now we suddenly have time to visit or take our sad friends out for dinner. We are willing to meet them at their place of choice and foot all the necessary bills. And in exchange we get to hear more details about their sad, sad lives. As soon as we have milked them dry of all the juicy stories, or as soon as they are happy again, we lose interest.
We are so addicted to drama that when we watch television and conclude that it’s boring, what we are really saying is that there is nothing bad or dramatic to watch. But we are also hypocritical enough to rebuke media for dwelling on the negative. And yet if indeed we hate reading or watching negative news, it does not show by how much time and energy we devote to discussing bad stories, on social media and other platforms.
I always look on in amusement when people share pictures of dead bodies and caption them: “Murdered in cold blood! This is so sad!” I know that their hidden motive is to get the conversation going about the events surrounding the murder and about the sickening state of humanity. They want in on the drama. We all secretly do, even if it is to reprimand those who share disturbing pictures.
But we will never admit to it. Nobody can know that we love drama. Except if we are Michael Bublé or other artistes that say they need to be in a place of brokenness and pain to create something spectacular.
I’m not saying that drama is good or that we should pursue it. But we need to be honest with ourselves about some things pertaining to human nature in order to avoid unnecessary frustration.