How to avoid unnecessary drama and BS in life by living real through conflict.
Drama: A Sign of Conflict Denied
This article is going to help you remove drama from your life by showing you the difference between unnecessary and necessary conflict. We’re gonna work together to help you see that all drama is an instance of somebody avoiding necessary conflict within themselves and that this avoidance causes unnecessary conflict in the external world in the form of drama.
In short: An unnecessarily conflicted mind will lead to an unnecessarily conflicted world and this conflict is most often made manifest as unnecessarily dramatic situations. This article will teach you how to handle drama by seeing it for what it is and either turning it into something real (in the form of necessary/real conflict) or walking away from it.
By the end of this article, you’ll understand where drama comes from, why it ‘exists’, and what you can do to kill it so that you don’t have to waste your time on something unreal.
Killing drama in this way will allow you to live a life with:
- Less stress.
- Less bullshit.
- Less confusion.
- Less time wasted on unreal situations.
- Better relationships with yourself, the world, and reality.
- More real relationships with the people in your life.
- Less fear of conflict in general.
- More control over the dramatic situations that you find yourself in.
- A sense of acceptance of what life actually is.
- More potential for growth through real conflict than stunted growth through unreal conflict.
Drama is the biggest waste of time on the planet because all drama is ego and all ego is unreal; it’s nothing more than shadowboxing because it’s just people fighting with their own ‘stuff’ and externalising it. Refuse to fight the shadows when you can dance in the light – this article will show you how.
Life and Conflict
Before we can go into the drama itself, a little reminder about life, where conflict comes from, and the difference between necessary and unnecessary conflict:
Life is the most important gift we’ve ever been given (though we occasionally have moments where we wish somebody had kept the receipt so that we could take it back for a refund or exchange). In fact, when we boil it down to the basics and cut through some of the bullshit, we can get to a stage where we see that we are life; it flows right through us as we flow through everything else. It’s beautiful, dreamy, and weird – even more so because we know it will all be over one day and so the time that we have here is precious. We have to make the most of it.
Our lifetimes can be spent in only two ways: either being real or being unreal. One of these paths will lead to the greatest possible amount of satisfaction and fulfilment (though never true, lasting happiness as we live in a world where things can and will go wrong and some of the things we care about will slip through our grasp and be lost); the other path will lead to a life of unnecessary friction, frustration, and misery because it is a denial of truth and we can’t build anything lasting on lies.
It always boils down to the same thing: either we’re growing, flowing, and becoming more real or we’re lost in the ego and hiding from ourselves, the world, and reality.
Many of us find this simple reality about life difficult to accept because accepting it means having to face our own ‘stuff’ and grow through some potentially uncomfortable or difficult truths about ourselves in the short-term (as we let go of the illusions we’ve become attached to). Truth be told, though the solution to the problem of an unsatisfied life is simple, it is not always easy to implement: all we have to do is take off the mask that we’ve chosen to wear and to let go of the idea of a ‘fixed’ identity that comes with it.
If this is so ‘simple’, then why do so many of us struggle to do it? The answer is always the same: a fear of necessary conflict. This is where ‘drama’ comes from.
What we have to learn to accept as we grow into our real life is that conflict is an essential part of life itself; there are too many people on the planet with too many amazing and incredible views about what life is and how to live it for everybody to be in conceptual ‘agreement’ all the time (eww – how boring!). There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to live life: only real or unreal ways – those that ‘work’ and those that don’t (to ‘work’ they have to be aligned with the truth).
Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually conflict is essential to our growth because, to keep growing real, we have to keep learning or growing stronger in each of these domains, and without conflict we can’t go through the process of having this happen. In other words, if we spend our whole lives avoiding the truth of our lives, they’ll become dramatic. This drama is always founded on the unnecessary foundation of untruths.
Real growth is always about pushing through the resistance of finding our edge: be it mentally putting ourselves in situations that challenge our assumptions, physically finding our limits and pushing through them, emotionally standing within our ‘stuff’ and confronting it so that it can pass, or spiritually living in such a way that we can confront our own ego, see it for what it is, and remove layer after layer of the fragmentation that stops us being as whole as we possibly can be.
All of these things are fuelled by necessary conflict: the conflict between who we currently are and who we can become if we stand our ground in the face of reality and keep moving forwards. Necessary conflict is just the way of things and it’s always real because it is ultimately creative if we use it in the right way. Unnecessary conflict is unreal because it is rooted purely in ego (which doesn’t even really ‘exist’) and so it doesn’t offer these opportunities for creativity and growth. It literally offers nothing because it isn’t real.
Unnecessary conflict is never connected to life itself in the way that necessary conflict is; really, it only exists in our fears and thoughts about life (which is why we can call it ‘unnecessary’: life is beyond our fears and thoughts – it just is what it is).
This is why understanding the difference between necessary and unnecessary conflict is an essential tool for dealing with the drama in our life: all drama is unreal because it is rooted in ego and is therefore unnecessary. In fact, drama only exists in our lives because somebody somewhere is avoiding some kind of internal conflict in themselves, has created the ego to keep hiding from it, and is using drama as a strategy to fight and defend the illusions they’ve identified with in an attempt to avoid their emotional ‘stuff’.
We can either confront life or we can avoid it: confronting it leads to real growth through conflict; avoiding it leads to stagnation through drama.
As you read the rest of this article, keep the distinction between necessary and unnecessary conflict in mind and remember that there are two types of people:
- Real / Conflict Types: Who are able to work with necessary conflict and keep growing real as they move forwards through life.
- Unreal / Dramatic Types: Who are unable to work with necessary conflict (aka life itself) and so create dramatic strategies or stories to avoid having to move forward at all because moving forward is a threat to the ego.
Conflict types are able to avoid drama because they know the distinction between real and unreal conflict; dramatic types are unable to confront reality via real conflict because they are too attached to their egos and have become growth-resistant (growth = ego killer). All drama in interpersonal relationships is about the avoidance of growth at some level (mainly mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually but it can be at any level imaginable).
Which one are you?
Real versus Unreal Origin Stories
The main difference between a Real or Unreal type is their relationship with themselves and their own egos.
In short, Real types are able to grow through their own ego and put it in the backseat by working to grow through necessary conflict, whereas Unreal types bring drama into their lives by avoiding necessary life conflict as they try to defend the masks they wear to hide from themselves and ask the world to treat the mask as being real too (always an attempt to avoid growth, which means change, the ultimate threat to the ego as it exposes its unreality).
In both cases, it’s not the mask that is the actual problem but the relationship with the mask: part of living in a ‘society’ involves having to wear a mask sometimes – we can’t all just wander around being ‘authentic’ all the time (though we can certainly become more or less authentic if we’re real about our intentions).
Real and Unreal types are both human beings and all human beings are forced to wear a mask and to have an inner battle between ego and reality. I’ve written about this before in Personal Revolutions: A Short Course in Realness and elsewhere on this website but the short version is that we are all born real (without mental barriers or hesitation) and then something happens as we ‘grow’ up that makes us ashamed of who we are and so we wear a mask to hide from this shame – it is this shame that leads to inner conflict.
The only difference between a Real and Unreal type is that, somewhere along the line, the Unreal Type forgot that they were even wearing a mask and started to believe that they were the mask, whereas the Real Type somehow realised they were wearing a mask and decided to try and take it off (despite the pain of removal).
This is basically what leads to the different relationships with conflict: the Real Type is actively working with conflict to try and get back to their true state, whereas the Unreal Type is defending the mask in order to avoid this and uphold the illusion. The drama in our lives is basically a product of either removing the masks or asking everybody to keep wearing them.
Welcome to the Dramarama
Now that we’ve covered the basics of conflict and how our relationship with it leads to us being either a Real or Unreal type, we’re ready to enter the Dramarama (the world where everybody is wearing a mask to hide from their own ‘stuff’).
We’re also ready for a few definitions that will aid us on our journey so that we don’t get caught up in the circus and become dramatic ourselves:
Drama: Any unnecessary conflict that is always caused for the sake of (attempting to) either keep somebody’s ego in place or to defend some kind of role/mask that they’ve chosen to wear in order to hide from themselves. In short, people causing drama always want some kind of unreal attention that will stop them having to face themselves by validating their ego (which is always unreal).
Real Conflict: A necessary part of life that allows us to grow real through a process of learning what is real about ourselves, the world, and reality. A Real Type is somebody who lives life in such a way that they are prepared to actively face this kind of conflict and grow from it.
Unnecessary Conflict: What happens when people attempt to resist growth in an attempt to defend the ego and thus defend their illusions (which is what makes it unnecessary – defending illusions means defending nothing. Literally). An Unreal Type is anybody who causes this kind of conflict in order to try and persuade themselves and others to see their ego as being ‘real’ (so they don’t have to go through the short-term pain of growth). All drama i