Dealing With a Drama Queen Friend

List: Posted: 01/16/12

I personally love drama queens as friends.  They are the most entertaining people I know.  As long as the drama does not involve me, I am all ears.  Sometimes I get a guilty conscience for listening to so much gossip and for often fueling the flame, but for the price of a couple of drinks I usually get over it.


However, drama queens can often get on my nerves like it does for most people.  Here is the best way to deal with a drama queen friend.


Why Drama Queens Act Out


Drama queens react wildly to small situations, creating inappropriate and often very loud scenes because they do not know how to properly process their emotions.  Whether it comes from parental neglect or a lack of education, these personality types seek fulfillment through attention, good or bad. 


Because they are simplistic individuals, you should deal with them as you would a child.  A simple cause and effect approach is usually successful.

How to Turn Off the Crazy


Drama queens love drama because it garners sympathy and instant attention for them.  To stop the person from being overly dramatic, you need to stop feeding into their act.  If you stop showing her sympathy by not responding to her antics, she will no longer get what she desires.  The best way to stop a drama queen from being one is to ignore them. 


Be careful though, because the first thing a drama queen does when she can’t get her way, just like a screaming child, is to intensify the drama.  In her mind, drama equals attention so she thinks that by increasing the drama, she will increase the attention.  This could mean a louder and more obnoxious friend. 


However, if you maintain your position, your drama queen friend will start to associate drama with disregard and being ignored.  Hopefully she will realize that overreacting to situations is not the appropriate way to get what she wants.

How to Promote Better Behavior


Positively reinforce her when she acts properly.  Let her know that having a conversation is a much better way to resolve issues.  Commend her for her efforts when she approaches a situation with class and dignity.  This is the same idea as giving a dog a treat every time it does something good. 


If the issue persists, you can try gently admonishing your friend.  If she constantly acts out in public, point out her actions in a calm and non-judgmental way.  Careful not to be too critical or to embarrass her - this will only make her turn against you.  The goal is to get her to understand when she is being overly dramatic.  The problem with drama queens is that they usually are oblivious of their actions.  They can’t see themselves in their own true light. 


If you feel she is particularly receptive to you, you can sit down and have an honest conversation with her.  Be honest and firm, but considerate of her feelings.  Let her know how her drama affects you personally - don't start by reeling off a list of her faults.  You are trying to help her, not accuse or blame her for anything. 


For instance, tell her that you would love to invite her over for a family dinner, but you are afraid to in case she throws a tantrum in front of your mother.  If she sees that she is missing out because of her behavior, she will be more inspired to fix it.


Drama queens can have deep seated personal issues that may stem from a lack of attention as a child.  Rectifying their behavior may require professional help.  If you feel her antics are a part of a much bigger internal problem then you may want to speak with a personal therapist or psychologist for advice.   


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      The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of See Additional Information

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