By Jane Balvanz, MSE, RPT
Professional School Counselor

Dramatic actorDrama: Any situation or series of events having vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking interest or results

Let’s face it. Most of us love drama. (Yes, you love it, too. It has to be your type of drama, but you love it all the same.) As much as we protest to the contrary, we love the rush of something. And that, folks, is drama. One can get an adrenaline rush from experiencing a natural disaster, seeing a car wreck, or reacting to an emergency. Adrenalin is also released during a perceived emergency or bearing witness to any situation or series of events having vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking interest or results. We bore witness to drama at our birth.

There is drama in our lives we like: competitive sports; the thrill of a bargain; watching our kids at an event; or witnessing success in a student, client, or career.  And, there is drama in our lives that we don’t like: a flooded basement, a long-term visit from the in-laws, losing a beloved job, or living with the effects of an illness.

Then there is girl drama.  The typical usage of this phrase assumes a negative stereotype of girls not getting along.   Conceding the connotation of the word drama can be positive, negative, or neutral, the focus of this article is on the “striking interest or results” portion of the definition of drama.    

Relational Aggression is Interesting

Love it or hate it, relational aggression is never boring.  Kids loathe anything boring, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that emotional bullying is a hot topic that travels at the speed of a text.  Errors occur when transferring face-to-face information, so imagine hw info cn chng v txt.  gsp n rmrs rnt clse 2 trth. omg!  So, what’s interesting about relational aggression?  It’s the relational part.  Tweens and teens are all about relationships.  It’s difficult to disengage both boys and girls from anything that piques their interest.

Using Critical Thinking Skills to Disengage from Drama

Entering into the dramatic fray is a choice.  Some kids shy away from it, and others may have little interest.  The majority enter in to some degree.  Here are some questions to help kids guide their own thinking to make a conscious choice whether or not to enter dramatic situations, especially those framed by relational aggression.

  1. Is anyone being hurt?   Yes, get help.  No, stay out of it.
  2. Could this hurt me?       Yes, get help.   No, stay out of it.
  3. Have I participated in something like this before?  What was the result?
  4. Is there something better I could do with my time?
  5. Is what I’m hearing fact or opinion?
  6. What usually happens to other kids who get involved in situations such as this?
  7. Are there any assumptions I have about this situation?  How are my assumptions influencing me?
  8. Will my participation in this drama hurt anyone, including myself?
  9. Would I be comfortable telling my parents about my involvement in this drama?
  10. Would I be comfortable if someone filmed my participation and posted it online?

© 2013 A Way Through, LLC


You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Bullying strategists Jane Balvanz and Blair Wagner publish GAPRA’s bi-weekly articles. If you’re ready to guide children in grades K – 12 through painful friendships and emotional bullying:

For help with emotional bullying:

For the When Girls Hurt Girls® program: