A favorite saying around my house is “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” Every once in a while I’ll see the saying out in the world, usually in graphical format. (By the way, you can get a print like the one in the picture it seems for only $5; full disclosure – I am not associated with that product in any way.) It always serves as a good reminder to not get sucked into other people’s drama. In fact, it would probably serve you well to avoid all kinds of drama, since it’s almost always unnecessary stress. Resist the allure, no matter how tantalizing, to jump in on the gossip or the pot-stirring all the time.
Sometimes it’s hard, though.
Look, I get it. I facilitate a lot of discussions on social media, which sometimes (okay, often – who am I kidding?) devolve into drama. I do make attempts to moderate, but mostly I try to teach people to self-moderate. When it gets too unwieldy, I simply step away from it and let the circus wear itself out.
“We have the power to hold no opinion about a thing and to not let it upset our state of mind – for things have no natural power to shape our judgments.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.52
What it boils down to is adding superfluous stress and anxiety to your life. It’s a distraction, allowing other people’s drama to pull you away from more important matters. One of the core tenets of Unlock the Master Within is all about this (Key 6). Dispose of distraction. You don’t have to engage people. You don’t have to participate. You are under no obligation to hold an opinion on any subject. This will go a long way in helping you eliminate the inessential components of your life (and will free up lots of your time). Ask yourself if something actually matters enough to warrant a response. Does it affect your life? Or are you just making an excuse to respond? Are you going to remember this interaction two weeks from now? A year from now? What will the future look like if you don’t respond?
Be honest with yourself about how important a thing really is. If this specific interaction isn’t going to matter in two weeks, it probably doesn’t matter now. It’s not your circus and not your monkeys.