Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How to Avoid In-Scene Drama

Goths are a bit of a dramatic lot, you have to admit. It's inevitable for any kind of small community to attract dramallamas but especially so for a subculture who mainly meet on the internet, in school, or in clubs. Add to that our propensity for snark and sarcasm and for being slightly, well, melodramatic, and you have a recipe for in-scene fighting. But what to do if you're a darkling who just doesn't want to be involved in any kind of scene drama? Here's a handy guide.

Don't Start Drama

You would think this would be quite obvious but evidently not. Not all drama starts with a big fight, most of it starts with much smaller incidents. Gossiping and snide comments, if heard by the wrong person, can blow up more than you would expect. Generally speaking, be kind to others, don't judge without understanding, and treat others how you want to be treated.

Don't Pick Sides

If two people you know have gotten into a fight, try not to pick sides. Most of the time this drags you into a disagreement you have nothing to do with and just reflects poorly on you. If the argument is as childish as most of them are, it really isn't worth it. Yes, this might lead to tension if both of them are your friends, but it's better than possibly losing a friendship because of it. 

Don't Try to Negotiate

If the two people who are bickering can't seem to come to a conclusion, don't try to broker it for them. This gets you involved in drama that has very little to do with you unnecessarily and, if the situation continues to worsen, you'll just get dragged down with it. 

Avoid Known Dramallamas

Most of the time you'll be able to spot people who are prone to drama from a mile away. Common symptoms include going through friends or relationships quickly, prolonged breaks from the community, loud gossiping or rumor spreading, being banned from local clubs, etc. Avoid these people when possible and stay out of their muck. 
Pro-tip: Pay close attention to the people that loudly complain about drama in the scene. They tend to be the ones that start drama (or at least escalate it.)

Pick your battles

There are going to be times when you really do need to intervene in a bit of drama, to defend someone or to stand up to someone else who is being toxic. Most of the time, however, it won't be worth the additional stress that in-scene fighting will bring, or the hit to your reputation. Know the difference between a situation that requires you to get involved and one that you can watch from the sidelines. 

Stay on Track

If you decide you need to get engaged in a situation, be careful. Make sure you fully understand the situation at hand and, when dealing with the other parties, stay on track. Insulting people on a personal level or resorting to petty insults to try to save face isn't productive.

Exit with Grace

After the situation has been dealt with, try to exit with grace. Either extend the hand of friendship and try to patch things over or keep your head high and don't re-engage. Once the fight is over, don't hold grudges over it. If you were wrong, apologize with sincerity. Give the people who were involved in the fight some space. Move on. 

That being said, when you know this isn't a battle you need to get involved in...

Ignore and Disengage

The best thing to do to avoid scene drama after you've decided not to engage in it is to completely ignore it. Not just directly, either. Avoid gossiping about it (even online), don't act passive-aggressively to the people who were involved, and try to pretend it's not happening.

In scene drama can seem like a very big deal at the time

How do you avoid drama in your local scene? 


  1. I don't go anywhere. So, I don't have to worry about drama. XD

    1. Ha ha I was going to write the same thing. I became a solitary goth.

    2. LOL, my only Goth friends are my online friends!

      If I want drama, all I need do is go to the saloon on a weekend. Mary Rose, your Ignore and Disengage advice works well for the Country Scene, too. Unless you're a man, and then sometimes the drama just follows you out into the parking lot. ;)

  2. I wish I had this advice when I was a teenager!

  3. There isn't a scene where I live - so it's really just me. ;)

  4. Very good advices!! Drama and gossip are things that has made me avoiding groups of any kind. I'm one of the lonly goths and it actually feels like I'm the only old goth in my town.

  5. There are also appear to be two kinds of drama - the kind where there is no underlying actual problem, and people deliberately wanting drama are creating a storm in a tea cup over nothing much, and the other kind where whatever the underlying argument is, feelings run deep and the actual issue needs to be resolved at some point for it to stop continually resurfacing.

    The first type can be ridden out, and with careful observation those who are either starting or perpetuating the drama for their amusement or for some silly convoluted social politics will be evident, so you can know to avoid those people and their drama. A key sign with this people is that they make private disagreements as public as possible - they will post their personal fallings-out on social media, on forums, and tell everyone who will listen, provide you with screen-caps of sections of privately messaged conversation to "prove" who is in the right, and try and get as many people as possible to join in with the airing of grievances.

    The second type is trickier, especially when it is an issue that actually involves the local scene instead of just an issue affecting the personal lives of certain members - say an argument over the management/mismanagement of club nights or the organisation of an event or some such (for example there's been big drama recently in the Lolita community over how certain large Lolita events in America were run, and it has managed to cause an /international/ scale drama!).

    With the second type, I guess it is a case of picking your battles, and doing what you can to further things in a way that doesn't result to petty tactics (no giant internet battles, no getting an e-posse on side to troll and harass the opposition, no screaming matches, etc. etc. and certainly not trying to bring harsh real-world problems onto them, so no doxxing, no telling their employers that after hours they are goths/fetishists/whatever misunderstood group, etc.) - try and resolve it like mature adults with discussions, compromises, and simply refusing to participate in events you don't think are run right, or if you think you could do better, actually DOING something (a perennial complaint about club nights "the music selection is awful! The venue is awful! The timing is awful! I could do better!!" - but rarely does anyone actually try and do better, because they are just having a moan.)

  6. Your post inspired me to write my own post: - I linked to you and recommended this post because I think it will be very useful to a lot of people. I will link to you on my Domesticated Goth facebook page, too :)

  7. I'm a mostly solitary goth, but interestingly I am seeing this type of drama played out in my other identity - as a writer. The local writing scene has turned on one of their own who admittedly made a big mistake (plagiarism, which they held their hands up to and publicly apologised), and is publicly shaming and humiliating them across all forms of social media. I am on the fringes of this group, and have decided to withdraw from it completely, because what they are doing has now veered into the malicious. They are systematically destroying a very nice person's life and career and it horrifies me. This person has been a generous teacher to me, helped me develop my own writing style and while we are not close, I just feel so bad for her.

    I don't condone plagiarism, but neither do I condone ruining someone's life and mental health. It's easier for me to walk away completely and walk in my own furrow than to try to retain any contact with these vile people. Somebody made a public mistake and is reaping the consequences - those who brought that person down should stop acting like a vindictive pack of hyenas and continuing to pile the virtual hatred and faux piousness that is currently proliferating on social media. Where most people don't show their own faces.

    Jane (