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How to Deal with a Pot-Stirrer Who Loves to Stir Up Drama

How to Deal with a Pot-Stirrer Who Loves to Stir Up Drama

A pot-stirrer is someone who creates drama and tension for their amusement. For these people, stirring up drama is a pastime they can’t resist.

Why are they called pot-stirrers? Because they throw their negativity, anger, and hatred at others like someone would throw ingredients and spices into a pot. These people tend to figuratively boil with anger and animosity. Just like the water in an old pot.

Why do people act this way? I have my theories. Many pot-stirrers seem to be insecure and fearful. They use their words to lash at others when they feel less intelligent, beautiful or well liked.

I’m Not One to Stir Up Drama

I’m pretty level-headed. It takes quite a bit to stir me up, and I rarely hold a grudge. You have to commit multiple acts against me before I make a mental note of the wrongs you’ve caused.

I don’t cause a lot of drama because I’m risk and drama averse. Ask my friends or family, and they’ll tell you I’m about as calm and stable as they come.

I’ve been dating (now married to) the same guy for fifteen years. I’ve lived in the same house for eleven and worked at the same company for twelve.

If you like to live with a lot of drama in your life, then odds are that you and I aren’t friends. Some may say that makes me dull, but I’ll rightly accept that title.

People Who Stir Up Drama

Unfortunately, some extended family members love to stir up drama. I find the same people are always causing issues in my life, and I’m beyond the point of being sick and tired of it.

Some people seem to find joy in the act of pot-stirring. They love to create drama that negatively impacts the people around them. 

Unfortunately, their actions aren’t one-time events but repeated assaults.

I can’t go into specific issues, but I can say that the drama revolves around one person, and most of the drama involves imaginary issues in that person’s mind. 

When confronted with their behavior, this person tells lies to further their cause. When that doesn’t work, they pull out the victim card.

Stirring Up Drama

Unfortunately, this person’s toxic attitude is poisoning my relationship with other family members. 

I recognize that mentally healthy individuals do not stir the pot, and I would prefer to write this person out of my life.

Unfortunately, I cannot completely ignore this pot-stirrer due to other people in my life.

In this case, it isn’t possible to walk away and never look back.

Since she denies her actions, pointing them out won’t stop her from creating drama, and I honestly believe it encourages her to misbehave more often.

How to Deal With a Stirrer

Over the years, I’ve learned to control my reaction to the pot stirrers’ outbursts. I do my best to appear calm no matter how bothered or upset I am.

I realize that this person thrives on making me upset, so I try not to react in a visible or auditory way. This person wants to stir up drama, so I’m careful not to show my true emotions.

Deep in my heart, I believe she feels an emotional high when I get angry, so I bite my tongue and keep my words held tight inside.

I meditate and practice blank expressions every time I know we’ll see each other face to face.

Sometimes, when I refrain from reacting, the drama stops. There is no need to continue poking if I don’t appear upset.

Over time I’ve learned to avoid telling this person anything personal. I share very little and change the topic of conversation as often as I can. 

If I feel a flared moment rising, I redirect and diffuse the situation before an opportunity arises for her to stir the pot.

Sometimes, I say, “I don’t want to talk about that.” Then I temporarily excuse myself to check on my children or go to the bathroom.

I also try not to be alone with a pot-stirrer. They often gossip or use words against me in later conversations. So I make sure I am always with at least one other person when they are in the room.

Suggestions for Dealing with a Pot Stirrer

But despite my best efforts this person keeps creating drama in my life, so I’d love to hear additional suggestions. I’m willing to take advice from ANYONE who is forced to deal with a pot stirrer.

If you’ve ever faced something similar, please leave a comment below. If nothing else, misery loves company 🙂


Wednesday 4th of May 2022

I don't have any suggestions but I've definitely got one in my life and it's really stressful! Fingers crossed those in a position to remove them from our lives will recognise the need before too much longer.


Friday 29th of April 2022

I'm having a similar problem at the moment with my partners brother. He's telling my partner that I've been seeing and sending messages to another one of my partners brothers. My partner hasn't talked to me about this he just makes snide remarks to me under his breath when I say "excuse me" he says "oh nothing" I know his brother is doing it because of the things I've overheard and the way he changed something I said in conversation about me smoking he turned around and said " did you just say? That you want xxxx (his brothers name) to jizz on your boobs" I just rolled my eyes and ignored it. I was sitting next to my partner at the time so why isn't he seeing through his crap? He knows I didn't say that. Any ideas on how to deal with him?

Jamel Wright

Saturday 23rd of November 2019

For the record, my sister in law is mad toxic. Came to our home 4 months after we got married, questioning our marriage, and then disappeared on us when we went to NYC together.(Keep in mind she's from another country.)

So when she asked to visit again, i said hell no. She responds by going to my wife, and then a friend of my wife who lives close so she could visit. She tells her sister "your husband doesn't know what family is."

I told my wife "if you allow this, I won't be there. You know how i feel and always told me it was justified. You can't just switch the rules and prioritize people who obviously don't have the best interests of our union at heart."

It's a constant issue. I don't agree that being family means you're entitled to be involved.

Jamel Wright

Saturday 23rd of November 2019

The hell with that.

NO ONE, i repeat, NO ONE, ranks above your marriage. If they don't grow your marriage, you cut them off. Period.

I don't give a damn if it's family, in laws, whoever.


Tuesday 29th of November 2016

I do have to say your life sounds stable and impressive. However, with the lack of description as to what she or he is doing, its hard to say exactly how the issues could or should be dealt with. We all look at it from our one view, and when one isn't as stable as we are, its easy to pick somebody's flaws apart and point out how they are clearly NOT put together. I may be playing devils advocate here, but just remember that you also are not perfect. I'm sure your more stable and put together, but are you passive aggressive with them? Do you really give them the chance you think you do? Sometimes we get into a schedule where we can count on, and unstable people (jobs, lack of routine, new friends all the time, etc), they just don't understand why they're judged. Anyway, around these times of holidays, I'm just trying to ask people to look inside themselves to make the changes they'd like to see. BEST ADVICE IVE EVER RECEIVED is this: "When seeking the results you want, take emotion completely out of it, and stick with the facts". More than likely, people tend to judge others situations and that's how they treat them.