People love drama and people love to make each other the targets of their drama. I see it (and participate) in it enough to think that this must be a natural human tendency. Maybe the reason for targeting people is to make the “shooter” feel better than their target, or to highlight flaws in someone else, or maybe it’s just out of boredom. Whatever the reason, it’s annoying to be the target of someone’s drama and it’s unhealthy to be the drama-maker.
I have been the target and I have been the shooter. A target is someone that another person is mad at and is talking about in a bad way. Being the target sucks because gossip and bad feelings swirl around you and follow you. It makes you feel sad to have someone noticeably mad at you. It makes you paranoid if this person is talking about you behind your back. Sometimes a person is targeted for no reason and sometimes they are targeted because they did something purposefully mean to the other person. Regardless of why you are targeted, it can be hard to make it stop. It’s tough if you are not a confrontational person and don’t feel comfortable telling someone to their face to “knock it off”. It’s also tough if the solution to get the other person to stop involves an apology. Sometimes an apology is warranted, especially if you did something mean on purpose. Sometimes an apology makes you feel mad because you feel the other person should be apologizing to you. It can also be hard to make it stop if the other person is not willing to let go of the problem and stop targeting you.
A shooter is someone who does the targeting. Unfortunately it is addicting to be a shooter because it relieves stress and is a way to vent frustrations. Some people are “serial shooters” and they aren’t happy and can’t function unless they have someone to be mad at. Being a shooter sucks because you are mad at someone and those mad thoughts and words don’t really make you feel better. Also spreading gossip about someone makes you look crazy to other people. People do like gossip but the gossiper always looks a less nice and less professional when they are talking about someone else. Most shooters are not good at confrontations and prefer to complain about someone rather than address the situation.
There are ways to stop being a target and stop being a shooter. If you find yourself the target of someone’s frustration the best thing to do is suck it up and tell them to their face to knock it off. Explain to them that they can’t go around talking about you and if they have a problem with you that they need to tell you directly. Since most shooters are non-confrontational, bringing the confrontation to them by hitting them head-on is a good way to shut them down. Once they know you aren’t going to take it anymore, they give up and move on to a new target. If you realize that you are targeting someone, the best way to stop is to quit complaining about them immediately and apologize for being a jerk. Tell them you are sorry and that you are going to stop. This doesn’t mean you have to tolerate annoying behavior by someone else. You should absolutely tell the other person if they are doing something that is making you crazy and is the reason you targeted them. But then you should stop gossiping and being mad at them.
Get over it.