Wednesday, April 28, 2010

OPD - is it sucking the life out of you??

Other People's Drama

So I was reading a weekly E-zine that I subscribe to and this weeks article was about how much time we allow to be taken up by Other People's Drama (OPD). If we were to keep track and if we only spent 1 hour a day on OPD at the end of a year we would have spent a full 3 weeks - 24hrs a day watching, engaged and distracted by OPD.

Now I must admit I almost didn't get my son out the door to school on time today because I was reading the latest on Sandra Bullock. Crazy I know... I love the woman and knew her return to public life would be classy and I have been checking daily to see when that was going to happen.

Imagine almost forgetting to pack lunch for my kid, because I want to find out how someone I have never met is going to handle her public divorce. hmmmmm.

And I consider myself to be a person who has their celebrity watching in check, meaning I don't waste countless hours on the internet or watching TV shows. I tend to check a few websites, read the new articles and click off to more important issues in my life.

Now, let's look at the next level of OPD, people you know... how many people hear about drama in someone's life and each time they visit with someone new. Friend of a friend divorcing, neighbour's sister going into rehab, the business downtown is declaring bankruptcy.

More time...

Next Level of OPD our own family and friends, how often do we get unneccesarily caught up in the drama of our family and friends. In a recent situation in our family I had to take a step back and make a specific offer of support - what I was willing and able to do vs. daily, weekly hour or hours long phone calls rehashing information with no clear solutions being worked on. At this point in my life as much as I want to be supportive I just don't have the time and energy to talk endlessly on the phone and go no where but in cirlcles. I'm all for talking...but you can't be the only person to support someone.

Back to time being spent... the article focused mainly on celebrity watching, which I'm sure I spend at least 30 mins doing, but now if you add in the other 2 levels I talked about, do you see how much of YOUR time is being consumed?

Again, I believe support of family and friends is a responsibility, but take care to guard HOW that support is given and taken. Very rarely does a situation require carte blanche to take over all your time and energy.

The article continued to talk about the things you could be focusing on instead....YOU. If you dedicated 30 mins to an hour a day focussing on something that would be good for you or moving yourself forward, what results would that produce.

if you could spend 3 weeks, 24hours a day working on a business plan or idea or marketing plan, what kind of wonderful, creative and solid plans would come of it?????


A big one for alot of people...If you spent 30-60 mins a day walking, what would you feel like, look like and think like at the end of the year.


If you spent 30-60 mins a day sorting, tossing and putting away the clutter in your basement, living room, bedroom. What would your house look like, feel like???


If you spent 30-60 mins a day dealing with bills, banking, budgeting, menu planning, grocery lists and investing information. What would your financial situaton look like, feel like.????


If you spent 30-60 mins a day thinking, being, doing and showing your spouse how much you value them and your marriage. What would your marriage look like, feel like.


Lots to think about. What do you think? What could you be spending 30 mins a day doing??



  1. This was great thanks for posting

    John Wills Photography

  2. I recently did this myself, stepped back from OPD. Even if I have the time, that's not how I want to be spending it. I find that the people who take up most of your time with their drama are doing EXACTLY what you were experiencing: going over and over the same stuff. It's like they're stuck in their situation and can't or won't move on. Some people never change so stop calling me to talk about them! HAHAHA Excellent topic.

    Products Promoting Health & Wellness for you AND the environment:

  3. That's a great reminder to step away and support on your terms and cut it short if you find that you are being OPD to others, you just never know what that line is to others. But what we can do in place of being caught up in OPD....such great suggestions Shannon. Thanks for the reminder!