NOTE: This post appeared in its entirety on Essence.com.
This post is specifically for the scene-causing drama queens who show their hind parts at every opportunity. It’s for the intense instigators and tacky troublemakers that think “going in” on somebody is cute. I’m talking directly to the antagonistic agitators that spit words of fire when they impugn unsuspecting citizens. If that is not you, then pass this post on to someone who you know fits this description. Now, let me start with a lil story.
Two weeks ago, I sat alongside my sister at our favorite waffle shack. It was a Sunday morning, so the place was sufficiently packed. There were all kinds of folks trying to get their waffle-on, including a Black couple with an adorable toddler who happened to sit down near us. I thought they were a very nice couple, until about 20 minutes later when they turned into Marcus and Angela from Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? Remember them?
Apparently the establishment’s policy is not to give receipts when a person pays with cash. I know. That’s crazy, right? But what was even crazier was the Angela wannabe’s reaction. First, she raised her voice, which quickly unsettled the frail little waitress and sent her into shakes and stutters. A more seasoned staffer came to her aid, but by the time she opened her mouth, the aggravated woman was waving her arms and cussing. The solid staffer barely got a complete sentence out before she too was verbally impaled; this time with the irate woman aiming for the crappy service and bad food. Needless to say, staffer number two scurried off to get her manager.
The manager came out and he too was unceremoniously challenged as he stood there looking defeated. By this time, the makeshift Marcus-type had returned from the car with the toddler in tow and directed his argumentative companion to take the child and go to the car. He then started his own exchange, but in a calm, barely audible tone. The manager and “Marcus” disagreed, but he left quietly anyway, and without a receipt.
After they left, the waffle shop erupted with commentary from all sorts of characters who’d been watching along. “All that over a receipt?” said one patron. “Well the service is crappy, but don’t clown. Just don’t come back,” said another. And then there was the dreaded on: “Why Black women always gotta show out?” Ugh! I knew that one was coming.
As a customer, I understood that substandard service, bad food and the receipt debacle is cause for some sort of reaction. However, no matter how good her reasons, Mrs. hothead would always be seen as the bad guy by having that way. That’s the thing about being a rabble-rouser; nobody ever remembers the reason you went off and all they recall is your negative reaction. (Usually in surprising detail) Why? It’s because drama queens get no love. So, ask me how I know? Keep reading.
One of my favorite mantras is, “Never give anyone your own behavior as ammunition.” For years, I allowed my own behavior to be my saboteur time and time again. When a heated exchange with my boss ended with me packing up my desk, trust me when I tell you, HR didn’t care that she antagonized me for months. The only thing that was addressed was my behavior.
When my boyfriend had disappointed me, yet again, it was my over-blown reaction that caused him to end the relationship. He said I was “too explosive.” And, no matter how much I tried to show him what he did to cause my reaction, the fact still remained that he left and blamed me. Once my dear friend failed to invite me to her snooty little dinner party. Her reason: “I can never tell how you are going to act.” The thing I remember most about that night was how much it hurt to be excluded by someone I loved and trusted.
Nowadays, I’m mostly known for my direct, yet diplomatic responses. Old friends often marvel at my changes and there is no shortage of party invitations in my inbox these days. In my next post, I’m going to tell you exactly how I went about changing my toxic behavior. For now, I would simply just love to hear how these drama queens really make you feel.
Jai Stone – The Emotional Nudist
Jai Stone is a socialpreneur, author, syndicated blogger and the founder of the Emotional Nudity Lifestyle Brand. Jai writes about love, life and the pursuit of authentic joy. Follow her on Twitter @JaiStone or visit her blog.