This is part 5 of a series. Part 4 is here.
Elyse is participating in YALs Virtue Challenge. She is posting weekly about her experiences. You will find more about the Virtue Challenge and a linkup of posts here. Elyse is 18 years old. She is a sophomore at Bakersfield College and is working toward a degree in Microbiology. She assists in the Veil Shop and enjoys reading, writing, and time with friends. I suppose I should also add that she is a Halo addict, even though it hardly seems appropriate here. :)
This week is about how “drama is a major turn-off.” Honestly I have to admit the wording took me by surprise, in a drolly humorous kind of way. But that aside, I completely agree with this (to a degree, anyway, because in reality I sprint away from drama like the guy from Temple Run, but in fiction I give my characters dramadramadramadramadramadrama until they can't stand anymore and have to crawl from their positions on the ground.). What I say may not necessarily be the most poetic, or the sweetest, or the most holy-sounding, but it’s the truth from my perspective, in an unprepared and thrown-together way.
Of course, there is a different between drama and finding support from others. People are fragile. God is our greatest source of support but He didn’t put people on the planet to be alone, He put us on Earth to be together, to help each other, and to learn with and from one another.
But, as aforementioned, there is a difference between garnering support and whining. Whining is forcing sympathy from others, and most of the time that sympathy is false simply because it’s leeched from places in others that aren’t genuine or truly sympathetic. People should always try and be kind to others, but sometimes it’s not easy, especially if one can tell that another is fishing for compliments or comfort. That makes people reluctant to be supportive.
I have never really been one to whine or complain; I’m actually a little too reticent when it comes to things like this. It’s hard for me to ask for help or sympathy because I dislike sounding as though I’m asking for support (but more recently I’ve become more open to doing so, much like the rest of my spiritual life. It’s kind of like I hit 18 and my spiritual life took off.). So this has never personally been a big problem, but I’ve experienced times when others have done the leeching for my sympathy, and it takes a lot of work and patience to not get irritated. One of the things that I always try my best to do is to listen, to be open to others’ problems, and to help them with those problems, but even I sometimes get stretched too thin. This can be dangerous for friendships. Someone I barely knew came on very strong with his (and these pronouns are simply for convenience, this doesn’t mean the person is a male) troubles and it took a lot of effort not to shut him out completely. I saw that he was having trouble, and that he needed someone to listen, and I tried to be there for him…but I won’t lie and say it wasn’t hard. It was. It was very hard. But I feel called to helping people, so I stuck around.
I’ve probably strayed off topic but I’ve started letting myself ramble, because these topics are sometimes difficult for me to produce verbose responses for (not only that, but I worry that I will write something and then a couple days later think, "Why did I write that? That's not how I feel."). Now, continuing off-course…
I think most people expect girls to be full of drama, whiney, and constantly digging around for sympathy, but it’s not true. Boys can be exactly the same, so it’s necessary for both genders to be careful when it comes to how they ask for support. It doesn’t necessarily take small steps to turn people away, but it doesn’t necessarily take large steps, either.
Then, of course, there’s the type of drama that doesn’t stem from some need for support. There’s just the drama that’s there to be drama, there for girls or boys to gossip about and get emotional over, there for them to occupy their time. This is worse than neediness, because it doesn’t have any source which people can understand and see innocence beneath. It’s like drugs.
DON’T DO IT, KIDS.
|By Editor at Large, based on original masks by Booyabazooka (Own work including Image:Drama-icon.svg) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons|