If you’ve lived on this earth for any length of time, you have learned how to either turn off or live with the three “Ds”: Dramatics, Divas and Dopes.
A good day is when you have to deal with only two out of three. But a normal day is having all three coming at you, sometimes in the form of the same person.
A good day is knowing exactly who is going to get hysterical and have tantrums and tears, and be able to work around them. But a normal day is getting blindsided.
There’s a familiar saying concerning how you can choose your friends, but you have no control over your relatives. Nothing can bring that home with a bigger bang than your eye-rolling, condescending teenager; your mother with the chronic why-don’t-you-ever-call-me whine; your “free-spirit” sister, age 30 and still “finding herself” (usually finding herself without a job or a place to live).
Then there are the coworkers who fight over the phone with their spouses, the bosses preoccupied with everything else but business, and the “friends” who needs constantly exceed their ability to give, listen or lend a hand.
How do YOU turn down the noise?
For me, I’ve installed a metaphoric “diva switch” in my brain. Nothing complicated. It works like a dimmer switch. I can turn it up and down in varying degrees, so I can hear what I need to hear, but turn down the noise when it hurts. I find it works pretty well, without the side effects of more fun substances, like alcohol and drugs.
But here’s the best part: I tell the Diva, Dramatic or Dope that I am doing it. I tell them that their problem is interrupting my work, or my thoughts, and I am tuning them out until they calm down and make sense. The looks on their faces is memorable. And they get very, very quiet.
Sometimes the path to sanity involves putting up a block, to keep the undesirables out. But sometimes a compromise, like ability to dial down the noise, works even better.