If your partner shows these 10 traits, you’re with a drama king

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Does your partner hog the attention just a little too much? Do you find that your interactions with him drain your energy?

If you answered ‘yes,’ there’s a good chance you’re with a drama king. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. And who knows, the situation could be fixable with a bit of effective communication. 

But like anything, you should have a clear idea of the signs before anything. Fortunately, I’m here to help. In this article, I’ll walk you through the 10 telltale traits of a drama king. Ready to start living drama-free? Let’s get it!  

1) He always needs attention

Here’s the thing: a drama king lives for attention–it’s his drug of choice and he’s hooked.

The drama king might heavily exaggerate stories to get people’s attention–the more eyes on him the better. He tends to interrupt people and bring the floor back to him. 

When conversing with a drama king, it’s easy to tell… he won’t let you get a word in. 

The drama king might overshare on social media too—he’ll post intimate details about your relationship, one too many selfies, and provide frequent unwarranted updates about his day and feelings to his followers. 

Social media may be great in moderation but the drama king uses it excessively as a crutch to satisfy his thirst for attention and validation!

2) He plays the victim

From my experience, drama kings are experts at playing the victim even though they start the conflict in the first place. They like to enjoy the best of both worlds. 

He is cunning in his ways and often gets people to side with him by stretching the truth. 

But this is just the drama king lying to himself and to others. He may be in the wrong but convinces himself and others that he’s innocent. 

3) He’s always in crisis mode

Some people are just problematic. The drama king is no exception. He doesn’t need much to create a dramatic spectacle. 

He’ll blow up trivial issues and turn them into a big deal–he has the unique ability to fully melt down over nothing. 

He spends hours reading into things that are completely trivial. 

It’s like he’s a magician but instead of pulling rabbits out of a hat, he fabricates drama out of thin air. Amazing, really. 

We might fall for it at first, as giving people the benefit of the doubt is a decent thing to do. But soon things become more transparent. 

4) He’s inconsistent

Since the drama king is often flighty with his emotions, don’t expect much consistency. He can go hot and cold faster than the knobs on your shower. 

One minute he’s the sweetest, most caring partner you could ask for; the next he becomes distant and cold. 

Perhaps he’ll get upset over a harmless passing comment you made so he gives you the silent treatment. It doesn’t really matter though since fast forward a few hours, he’ll transform into his kind and caring persona once again.

Basically, when you choose to stay with a drama king, expect your life to be an emotional rollercoaster (not the fun kind.)

5) He loves a good argument 

Instead of letting it pass, the drama king can’t help but add fuel to the fire. 

In life, sometimes you just have to let the other person win in order to salvage the relationship. But this sentiment doesn’t resonate with him, he needs to be victorious at all costs. 

Occasionally, he’ll even resort to name-calling and schoolyard taunts. 

It’s nearly impossible to win an argument with a drama king, he won’t back down, even when he’s clearly in the wrong. 

6) He’s jealous and possessive 

Real talk: since the drama king’s foundations as an individual are delicate, he is prone to jealous and insecure behavior.

He severely dislikes the fact that you might have male friends. 

In fact, even when you’re having an innocent conversation with another guy at a party, he’ll step in quickly and shut it down.

He also might be upset when you wear something he deems too skimpy or provocative–even if it’s not. 

Occasionally, he’ll even be angry when you spend time with your actual friends since he considers time away from him a personal affront. 

I know a guy that became so jealous of his girlfriend’s fascination with the Korean boyband BTS, that he gave her an ultimatum: either drop them as a fan or he’d drop her. 

Now the chances of her flying to Seoul to partake in sweet lovemaking with BTS were virtually non-existent. 

Still, he chose to make it an issue instead of just letting it go. He took her independent interests personally, creating unnecessary stress and emotional angst for everyone involved. 

7) He lacks empathy

This is irony: although drama kings are so sensitive when it comes to themselves, they often have a disregard or lack of empathy for everyone else. 

They might say they care about others, but let’s not forget: actions speak louder than words. And their actions (or lack thereof) are deafening. 

I have an uncle like this. He’ll get easily offended and go into a fit of rage when he feels someone has insulted him. 

In other words, he’s highly sensitive when it comes to himself but when it comes to the plight of others, he doesn’t seem to give much of a crap. 

In fact, he’ll criticize, victim-blame, and lecture before helping. I’ve heard him once tell a homeless person to get a job instead of empathizing with their situation. 

8) He doesn’t take responsibility for his actions

The drama king always wants it both ways, even if this isn’t how the world works. He’s very skilled at avoiding accountability.

It’s rare he owns up to his mistakes, since this requires integrity. Instead, he’ll search for scapegoats to blame. Or he’ll come up with highly creative reasons to excuse his actions.  

And if all else fails, he’ll do his best to garner sympathy. In other words: be prepared for some waterworks! 

This speaks to the drama king’s manipulative tendencies and brings me to the next point…

9) He’s a skilled manipulator

Drama kings can be quite cunning and won’t hesitate to use emotional manipulation to get what they want. 

They’ll employ psychological abuse and weaponize the trifecta of guilt, fear, and obligation to set you straight. 

A few years ago, I remember one of my friends had finally gathered the strength to leave her long-time, toxic boyfriend. He responded by threatening self-harm. If she left him he claimed he’d do something drastic. 

Concerned, she stayed and looked after him. Then she got sucked in… and before she knew she was back to where she started. He held her hostage emotionally and lo and behold, it worked.   

10) He has a tendency to gossip and spread rumors 

Fun fact: a drama king also often means a gossip king. He doesn’t like to engage in dialogue about ideas, art, current events, or anything of substance. 

His topic of choice: gossiping about people behind their backs. He lives for this energy. 

He’ll spread rumors to turn others against each other, effectively creating conflict where there was none. This is done to satisfy his insatiable appetite for disharmony.

By putting others down, he feels better about himself–a reflection of his self-worth. Not very manly. 

How to deal with a drama king

Now that you know the signs of a drama king, it’s time to take action. Here are a few steps you can take to make your life just a bit easier.

  • Stay grounded: Don’t get caught up in their dramatic antics. It’s easy to get wound up and fall into the trap. This is what they want since it will escalate the situation. Remain calm and let it pass.
  • Communicate clearly: One of the reasons why drama kings get away with their behavior is because we enable them by staying passive and letting them walk all over us. Instead, take a more assertive approach by speaking in a straightforward, calm, and direct manner. Be clear about how their behavior is affecting you. 
  • Set boundaries: Have a strict set of boundaries  and once they’re crossed, you know it’s time to make a move.  Try not to compromise these boundaries unless it’s absolutely necessary. Be firm!
  • Practice empathy: I know it can be hard given the circumstances, but try to be the bigger person. Maybe they’ve had a complicated childhood or are going through a tough period in life.  By approaching them with no judgment and an open mind, they may be encouraged to change their ways.
  • Seek support: Finally, if your partner’s behavior is becoming so unbearable that it’s affecting your health, you should consider professional help or counseling. This will give you added perspective and insight and can empower you to move forward.

Final thoughts

To recap, the drama king has some less-than-desirable personality traits and to be with him will take some effort. 

If you feel it’s still worth a shot, then make sure you frequently communicate with your partner and actively help him get past his bad habits. You never know… maybe you’ll eventually get him to change! 

But if this doesn’t work, then know when to walk away. Have a deadline. You deserve happiness, respect, and support in life… if you’re not getting that, then perhaps it’s time to seriously rethink things. 

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Justin Brown

Justin Brown is an entrepreneur and thought leader in personal development and digital media, with a foundation in education from The London School of Economics and The Australian National University. As the co-founder of Ideapod, The Vessel, and a director at Brown Brothers Media, Justin has spearheaded platforms that significantly contribute to personal and collective growth. His deep insights are shared on his YouTube channel, JustinBrownVids, offering a rich blend of guidance on living a meaningful and purposeful life.

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