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Not My Monkey, Not My Circus! March 17, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

monkeysSometimes the illusion of peace in relationships stems from allowing someone else to call ALL the shots while we bite our tongues.

Even then determined drama queens find ways to stir up the dust.

Over time, I’ve gotten better at shrugging off the weight of their disapproval, side-stepping unnecessary conflict, and ignoring de bait.

If necessary, I repeat the mantra:

Not my monkey, not my circus!

Aah . . . that’s better!

How are you at side-stepping determined drama queens?

Related post: Β Taming The Mammoth ~ Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think (Wait But Why)



1. theonlycin - March 17, 2015

My side step involved divorce. Somewhat drastic, but oh-so effective. So much “ah that’s better!” πŸ™‚

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

So glad you’re in a better space now, Cin! ⭐

2. suzicate - March 17, 2015

I avoid drama queens, and when not able to I have different tactics depending on the person. It’s been years of trying different tactics with a few family members. They tend to get ugly when confronted, but they hate being ignored. I tend to look at them so they know I hear them but am not impressed by what is said…however, if they are saying something mean about someone else I tend to take up for the person not present which I sometimes wish I hadn’t responded at all.

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

That sounds similar. Last time, the prime time drama queen in my life got hot under the collar about something my father (who’s been dead for 2 1/2 years) did NOT do . . . 10 years ago.

When I said I wasn’t interested in discussing an unintentional oversight from 10 years ago, she hung up on me. I count that as a “win.” πŸ˜›

3. Hariod Brawn - March 17, 2015

You can usually talk them down off the ledge; it’s invariably only about 15″ off the ground anyway.

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

Hmmm . . . that depends.

One can reason with reasonable people but logic stalls when faced with those battling imaginings, especially those who refuse to re-evaluate their unsupported stance even when faced with ample evidence that their view of the world is internally inconsistent.

Hariod Brawn - March 17, 2015

Granted Nancy, those with deep neuroses and psychopathic tendencies are somewhat more of a challenge.

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

Exactly! And since I am not a trained professional, I’ll let those with deep-seated insecurities wallow in their crazy until they decide they need to seek help from a licensed therapist.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. ~ The Buddha

4. Jill Weatherholt - March 17, 2015

Drama queens are great manipulators. I’ve known/worked with a few in my life, and they are exhausting. If you allow them, they will suck you dry of all energy. I’ve gotten fairly good at spotting them so I try and stay clear…or hide. πŸ™‚

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

Drama queens in the workplace are best avoided. It’s not always as easy to side-step those (In-Laws and Out-Laws) who have infiltrated the ranks at family gatherings. :/

Like Suzi, I’ve tried different tactics and techniques with varying degrees of success. I used to want to alleviate their suffering by sharing a wider perspective on life with them. That usually backfired, causing more fireworks. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Now I just “smile and wave.”

5. Pix Under the Oaks - March 17, 2015

These days drama queens or people who suck the life out of me get the boot out of my life… real life and life on the internet. I need to sit down with you and have some pizza.. or chocolate chip cookies… or wine. πŸ˜€ I promise there would be no drama!

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

Yes! Pizza, chocolate chip cookies, wine, and . . . no drama! Sounds like a perfect get together, Pix.

We’re meeting my aunt, uncle, cousins, sister and her family at the UTC mall on Saturday ~ BFF and I plan to stop at Rise Pies!

Pix Under the Oaks - March 17, 2015

I want to eat at Rise Pies! Have fun with your family!!!! That is a very cool mall πŸ™‚

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

Thanks, Pix! We may have to make a repeat visit to Rise Pies the next time you and CH are down.

6. NancyTex - March 17, 2015

Great timing! I was just discussing something similar over lunch with a girlfriend on Sunday. The older I get, the more selfish with my time I become. It’s the one commodity I can’t replenish. Tick, tock, tick, tock. So, with what precious time I have to spend on things I *want* to spend time on, why would I choose to engage in unnecessary drama?

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

Yes!!! I am willing to donate a certain amount of my “free time” to charitable causes and pursuits . . . but not to “lost causes.” :mrgreen:

NancyTex - March 17, 2015

Bahahaha! Absolutely!

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it . . . after all, our freedom is at stake! 😎

7. William - March 17, 2015

Do I side step drama queens? Not always. After all, I do reply to your articles.

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

Once upon a time, you accused me of acting like Queen of the Castle. C’est la vie. You are free to wander down the cyber hallway and see if you can find a venue more to your liking.


William D'Andrea - March 21, 2015

Just because I disagree with you, every now and then, it doesn’t mean that I want to stop being in contact. You’re always coming up with very interesting things to discuss. You are also one of my favorite people.

If we only communicated with people who we agree with, our minds might dry up. Thinking up replies to your ideas keeps my mind alive.

Thank you for being so constructively provocative.

nrhatch - March 21, 2015

Glad you find SLTW to be an interesting cyber-cafe.

8. Silver in the Barn - March 17, 2015

My dear mother is a drama queen – always has been, but it is getting worse as she gets older. I think they used to call her kind of behavior “high-strung.” I tend to deal with it with humor as much as I can which is not always achievable. Our favorite response is “Yes, Hyacinth”, a reference to Hyacinth Bucket on “Keeping Up Appearances.” That disarms her, usually.

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

I love that, Barbara! Perfect response to high-strung Hyacinths that cross our paths.

And keeping our sense of humor about is KEY!

9. Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com - March 17, 2015

Hey Nancy! How is it that you can say the same thing as me in such a short and direct way and it takes ME a 1,000+ words! As you know I’m working on this but LOVE being reminded. ~Kathy

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

Being able to link back to YOUR post (and your excellent examples) meant that I could keep my post short.

Thanks for the share of this amazing mantra!

10. anotherday2paradise - March 17, 2015

Thanks so much for sharing this mantra, Nancy. I think I might be muttering it under my breath quite a bit in the near future. πŸ™‚

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

This mantra is invaluable ~ before I try to get all my ducks in a row, I check to make sure they are my ducks.

QUACK!!! :/

11. Val Boyko - March 17, 2015

Love – avoid de bait!
I wholeheartedly agree Nancy.
Those darn monkeys always try to land our backs too!

Val Boyko - March 17, 2015

… and thanks for the reminder to check my ducks πŸ˜‰

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

Yes! We travel best when we travel light.

Val Boyko - March 17, 2015


12. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - March 17, 2015

I’m working on it! πŸ™‚ I’ve discovered that as I’ve stopped comparing myself to others, my eyes have been opened to drama queens that I didn’t see before and it’s helped me weed them out of my life!

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

It pays to “weed our gardens.” 😎

13. Jacqueline King - March 17, 2015

Loving the mantra, Nancy ~ and all the affirming comments. The perfect article for me to read today, I agree with everything you say. Thanks for that! πŸ™‚

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

Hi Jacqueline! When I saw this mantra on Kathy’s SMART Living blog, I adopted it immediately! Glad it resonated.

14. judithhb - March 17, 2015

i do as Suzicate does -just look at them saying nothing. Most of all these drama queens hate to be ignored. Good post Nancy.

nrhatch - March 17, 2015

I actually used that technique at Water Aerobics this morning. It worked like a charm!

15. Tiny - March 17, 2015

Most often I really don’t give a hoot…they can present their circus elsewhere. If I have to get involved, I’ll speak my truth – take it or leave it.

nrhatch - March 18, 2015

And that practice leaves you with more time to report on the Salt Marsh for us!

Tiny - March 18, 2015

That’s right πŸ™‚

16. Anne Lene - March 18, 2015

Love it! A mantra I will take to heart, I’m trying to be better not letting others eat my time and energy. This mantra I’ll write and put on my desk πŸ˜‰ Perfect timing as always, Nancy πŸ™‚

nrhatch - March 18, 2015

Yay! One of my favorite things about the blogosphere is when the right thought lands in our cyber lap just when we need it.

17. L. Marie - March 18, 2015

The photo of the monkeys cracked me up. I like that mantra. Over the years I took everything negative to heart. But it’s time to stop living that way.

nrhatch - March 18, 2015

I love those monkeys! Especially paired with the mantra.

When you have time, you might read the linked article at the end of the post from Wait But Why ~ it explains how we are hard-wired to care what “our tribe” thinks . . . and how we can defuse that time bomb.

18. Grannymar - March 18, 2015

All my life there seems to have been a drama queen or three. I prefer to deal with the real life and death issues without the operatic weeping and wailing. With my heart condition, I have learned to close myself off from all the drama going on around me. I refuse to listen or take part. Why should I? My health is more important to me. Drama Queens are only looking for notice and attention.

nrhatch - March 18, 2015

I just read a fabulous article on Wait But Why about Facebook statuses:


It talks about how the most annoying status updates are about image-crafting, narcissism, loneliness, getting attention, and/or inducing jealousy. In short, they’re designed to serve the author not the reader.

The same analysis can be applied to Drama Queens who over-react to minor setbacks and experiences to get attention, craft an image, or feed their narcissism under the mistaken belief that “we” care about everything that happens to them . . . even if it’s nothing more significant than a hangnail or pothole. :/

In contrast, the best status updates (and people) are those that are:
1) Interesting/Informative
2) Funny/Amusing/Entertaining

Grannymar - March 18, 2015

That was an interesting article. I too, need to trim my comments at times!

nrhatch - March 18, 2015

Many/most/all of us will see ourselves in some of his thoughts on “annoying posts.” For me, it boils down to whether we are sharing to “give” something of value to others . . . or just to “get more” of whatever it is that feeds our insatiable egos.

Most of your posts are clever, amusing, entertaining, interesting, and/or informative.

Behind the Story - March 18, 2015

I enjoyed the article. I think I found it through you. Thanks for the tip.

nrhatch - March 19, 2015

As soon as I read it yesterday, I posted it to my FB wall. Wait But Why is an impressive blog with amazing content on friendships, relationships, self-awareness, mindfulness, etc. I plan to dig deeper.

19. Behind the Story - March 18, 2015

I’ve been scrolling down, trying to think if I know any drama queens. I can’t think of anyone. I don’t know, maybe I don’t take de bait, or maybe I enjoy a little drama, or maybe my memory is bad.

nrhatch - March 19, 2015

Haha! Perhaps the happiest people on the planet are those with the worst memories ~> waking up with amnesia every morning allows them to experience everything in the now with “new eyes” that are not clouded by pre-judgment.

20. sufilight - March 19, 2015

The quote is a favorite one. I avoid drama queens and do not engage them online or offline.

nrhatch - March 19, 2015

In High School, I loved getting caught up in all the daily dramas of Who said What to Whom and How. No more. Not now.

The older I get, the less inclined I am to hang around pot stirrers and drama queens who are always riled up about “This, That, and The Other Thing” (or even nothing at all).

All those clouds of drama obscure the good in life and drag us away from THIS moment . . . the only place peace resides.

21. livelytwist - March 21, 2015

Saw this status update on FB and adopted it:
You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.
Not my monkey, not my circus. πŸ™‚

nrhatch - March 21, 2015

Yes! We don’t have to attend every argument AND we don’t have to internalize gratuitous compliments and criticisms. We can allow them to float away into the ether.

22. jannatwrites - March 22, 2015

I’ve had a lot of experience with side-stepping. It gets old… I often keep my mouth shut because the person isn’t worth the energy or wasting my words on them.

nrhatch - March 23, 2015

You iz smart! People lose their power over us when we refuse to let them press our buttons.

If we consciously choose to put peace of mind ahead of all else, we will discover the power that lies within. ~ Joseph V. Bailey

23. Three Well Beings - March 24, 2015

And the bait is always placed right out there for the taking, isn’t it? I sure do try not to pick it up, and if I do, not to run with it! πŸ™‚ I may have the monkeys, but I don’t like the circus….work in progress. LOL!

nrhatch - March 24, 2015

Yes! There is always someone willing to toss their problems and issues into our laps. The more mindful we are, the more able we are to pick and choose which monkeys to catch.

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