8 signs you’re dealing with a drama king or queen, according to psychology

Let’s be honest, we’ve all stumbled upon them at some point in our lives. Hopefully you’re not the drama king or queen in question, either.

But you know who I’m talking about – those individuals who seem to thrive on chaos and conflict.

One eensy teensy disagreement that would normally fly over people’s heads turns into a full-blown drama episode, and they sure can’t keep their fingers out the cookie jar when it comes to gossip and pettiness.

Interestingly enough, psychology can provide some pretty interesting insights on how to spot these drama enthusiasts.

So, let’s dive into the world of high-intensity emotions, exaggerated stories, and continuous conflicts to see what makes up a drama connoisseur. 

1) Fuelled by conflict

Drama lovers have an absolutely insatiable appetite for conflict. They live on heightened emotions and hysterical reactivity like vampires do blood.

And sure, we all have disagreements from time to time. We are human, after all.

But for the drama kings and queens out there, conflict isn’t just a part of life – it’s what gets them up in the morning and what spurs them on excitedly.

Psychology tells us that these individuals often engage in conflict to validate their own self-worth (forcing others to show how much they care for them and their issues) or to manipulate situations to their advantage. 

Calm waters bore them desperately, hence why they won’t shy away from stirring the pot if things get too calm for their liking.

Someone who readily turns molehills into mountains and lives for conflict is a clear indicator that you’re dealing with a drama king or queen.

2) Attention seeking to the max

Queen bees, drama lovers live for the spotlight. Try and shift them to the sidelines and you’ll be in for some trouble…

In psychological terms, this is known as histrionic personality disorder, where individuals consistently display excessive emotionality and attention-seeking behavior. 

Not all drama lovers suffer from this condition, but a good few sure do exhibit the same symptoms and will often go to great lengths to ensure they remain in the spotlight.

Think showing up fashionably late and announcing themselves loudly as they enter a room. 

Steering every conversation back to themselves.

Talking over people and belittling other people’s achievements so they can remain the focus at all times.

If you encounter someone who acts in this way, who always needs to be in the limelight, there’s a pretty chance you’re dealing with a drama king or queen.

3) Overexaggerating absolutely everything

Continuing on from molehills being turned into mountains, drama lovers exaggerate almost everything.

Something as simple as running to the grocery shop late at night turns into a long tale of trial and tribulation. 

They nearly got run over. 

The cashier was nasty. 

The ice cream selection pitiful. 

How could you possibly now have a decent, calm evening now that they only had the bad flavors of Ben & Jerry’s on offer?!

Psychologists refer to this as ‘catastrophizing’, where individuals blow situations out of proportion to gain attention or manipulate others’ emotions. 

This type of behavior is a hallmark trait of drama kings and queens, who not only thrive on conflict but also on any form of attention.

We all might embellish stories from time to time, and listening to loved ones detail their daily lives is part of showing how much you care.

However, those who falsify or exaggerate stories for the purpose of being the center of attention are not sharing their experiences with you out of sincerity but rather out of a love of drama.

4) Always the victim, never at fault

Another sign to keep an eye out for is perpetual victimhood. 

Drama kings and queens have a unique talent for turning themselves into the victim, regardless of the situation, and even if they were the ones who caused it in the first place.

A phenomenon called ‘victim mentality’ in psychology, individuals habitually see themselves as the victim and suffering party, and others as the cause of their misfortunes. 

They believe they’re always on the receiving end of life’s hardships, even when evidence suggests otherwise.

Plus, they’re masters at spinning events to paint themselves out as the good guy, which makes recognizing this behavior tricky as it’s human nature to sympathize with those who seem to be suffering. 

5) One finger in the gossip pie

One thing to always remember is that the person slyly telling you about other people’s secrets is also sharing your secrets, too.

These types of individuals thrive on gossip. 

For them, it’s not just about staying informed or connecting with others, nor trying to find good advice or support to better navigate difficult situations.

No – gossiping and spilling secrets is a tool for stirring up drama and gaining attention.

In psychological terms, this behavior is often associated with low self-esteem, a need for validation, and a desire to manipulate others.

Because if the drama lover knows everyone else’s secrets, they have full control over those people who otherwise risk having their own sordid secrets spilled.  

In other words, beware of those who have no problem telling you about other people’s personal problems!

6) Lots of acquaintances, no close friends

Deep down, we all long for meaningful and lasting relationships. 

But for drama kings and queens, forming and maintaining these bonds can be a real challenge.

They might be surrounded by people and acquaintances, but how many of those people are actually their true friends?

Their constant need for attention, penchant for conflict, and habit of playing the victim often prove detrimental to their relationships. 

Over time, friends, family, and partners may find the constant ups and downs exhausting and opt to distance themselves from the toxicity. 

It’s heartbreaking to see someone caught in this cycle of drama addiction. 

However, recognizing these signs can help you better understand the struggle they’re facing, distance yourself if appropriate, and maybe even guide them towards seeking help.

7) Living on an emotional rollercoaster

Highs and lows are a part of life, but for drama kings and queens, it’s like being on a never-ending emotional rollercoaster. 

And they love it.

In psychological terms, this kind of emotional instability can be a sign of underlying mental health issues, such as borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder. 

It can even indicate someone who has grown up in an environment where emotional instability was their norm, thus creating it to maintain a sense of what they’re accustomed to.

So if you notice someone experiencing dramatic mood swings regularly, it might be more than just theatrics – it could be a sign they’re dealing with some serious inner turmoil.

8) Passive aggression disguised as niceness

Passive-aggressiveness is another exhausting trait commonly found in drama kings and queens. 

Instead of expressing their feelings or frustrations directly, they often resort to indirect methods such as subtle digs, backhanded compliments, or silent treatment.

Psychology deems passive aggression a defense mechanism used to avoid direct confrontation or hide feelings of inadequacy. However, for the drama-lovers out there, it can also be a tool for manipulation and stirring up drama.

And being on the receiving end of passive aggression is no walk in the park. Feeling chided, snubbed, belittled and criticized can erode a person’s self-esteem very quickly.

So, if you notice someone consistently communicating in a passive-aggressive manner, it’s important that you set and maintain clear boundaries to avoid getting sucked into the drama..

Dancing with drama lovers

The 8 signs above might not be definitive proof that you’re dealing with a drama king or queen, but they do provide a framework to better understand behavioral patterns that suggest someone is addicted to drama. 

These individuals are often caught up in their own cycle of chaos, fueled by underlying emotional turmoil or mental health issues. 

And whilst their constant need for attention and love for conflict could be a cry for help, it’s important to remember that it’s not your responsibility to change someone, especially if their behavior is causing you harm.

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