Not my Monkey

11 Mar 2015

All of us have them…friends and acquaintances that seem to thrive on drama and poor choices. It seems like every time you talk with them, something crazy is happening in their life.

I (Jeannette) had a friend whose’ doctor actually told him he was addicted to adrenalin! It’s easy to get sucked into the drama.

One of my normally levelheaded friends called to tell me a recent acquaintance-romance had taken a business trip to Europe. While gone, he had apparently been robbed, needed her to send money to get home. She had already sent him quite a bit of money, but still asked how she could help.

I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt this guy was a fake and ripping her off; but her heart was too involved and she could not see the (obvious) red flags. It was gut wrenching for me to see her being strung along I even lost sleep over it.

What do you do in a situation like that? If you have an ounce of compassion you want to intervene. If the person is a good friend or a relative, I want to help them; I want to rescue them and get them out of their latest quandary. I tend to think that if I can just talk reasonably with them, they will be able to see their way out of their predicament. I want to make it right!

Or maybe it’s not high drama; maybe it’s just a difficult decision that needs to be made, or a sticky situation that needs to be resolved.

Part of getting control of your own life is recognizing what you CAN control and what you CAN’T! The reality is that everyone has their life to live; most of the time people are where they are because of decisions they’ve been making all their lives.

I can control the decisions I’m making for my life but I can’t control decisions other people make for their lives.

I’m not saying throw up your hands and walk away from your friends and family who live in drama. But coming along side and helping them ask good reflective questions can be helpful, as well is challenging them think of alternative paths they might take. At the end of the day, you must realize that whatever it is, it’s THEIR decision; they are the one who have to live with the consequences.

I have to ask myself, if my friend chooses a path I don’t believe in, am I willing to walk with them, still be their friend, and support them even if they get into the inevitable quick sand?

Can I do it without feeling like I have to rescue them?

What is a healthy distance I need to not get sucked into the drama?

A little refrain that has been going through my head; I need to remember it when I feel myself getting sucked into anyone’s drama. “NOT my circus, NOT my monkey.”

Getting control of my life is realizing when and where I need to let go.

Royalty-free image by Oskar Henriksson in Stockhold, Sweden; retrieved from:



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