General Question

syz's avatar

What's the appeal?

Asked by syz (35647points) August 27th, 2008

Why do so many people create drama? Some of the people that I work with will actually (and overtly) create drama around them if their own life is quiet, or going well. What is with them? What possible reason could there be to make yourself and all of the people around you upset, angry or distressed?

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11 Answers

eeyore200343's avatar

i know someone like that. i dont know why they do it but its down right annoying!

Scrumpulator's avatar

I find that these sorts of people really have no clue. There is no thought in their heads that what they are doing is wrong. I think the whole issue is just one of focus; people focus on the wrong things, and this in turn, blows things out of proportion in their own heads.

Harp's avatar

One version of what you’re asking about is something the DSM-IV calls “Histrionic Personality Disorder”. It’s distinguishing feature is “an excessive pattern of emotionality and attention-seeking behavior. These individuals are lively, dramatic, enthusiastic, and flirtatious. They may be inappropriately sexually provocative, express strong emotions with an impressionistic style, and be easily influenced by others.”

Here are the diagnostic criteria (5 or more are considered indicative):

1. Is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention
2. Interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior
3. Displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions
4. Consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self
5. Has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail
6. Shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion
7. Is suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances
8. Considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are.

The causes are not well understood, but it may be triggered by childhood events, and there may be genetic factors: “There has been evidence and research clearly indicating past history of sexual abuse and/or being alienated by parents as a child. This alienation usually takes the form of emotional alienation, and that love is really not there for them. These children grow up seeking and desperately needing attention at all costs. Clearly many different factors have to take place before a full-blown histrionic disorder can develop. However the above has consistently been found in full-blown histrionics..” (source”)

cookieman's avatar

@Harp: This is also know as…my mother.

gailcalled's avatar

@Cprevite; you beat me to it. My psychiatrist called it “Narcissism” or “Personality Disorder.”

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

The reasons are myriad. Sometimes they come from that dysfunction, that’s what they’ve learned, that’s how the react. And it very familiar to them so on an unconscious level they are comfortable with it. Some create it to draw attention to themselves. There are many more reasons…I came from that background and therapy and surrounding myself with good people helped me not repeat it [and ohsomany other things]...

I don’t like it when folks do this, but I don’t take it personally…

loser's avatar

Some people need the attention and excitement in their lives. Drives me nuts, personally.

hearkat's avatar

I always described these people as having a cloud of drama always around them… much like Pig-Pen in the old Peanuts cartoons.

I believe it is a cry for attention and for others to feel sorry for them. Those I know who are like that usually had pretty traumatic childhoods, so they are used to playing the victim role.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

people want excitement may it be positive or negative.

As long as I’m not an innocent bystander let them be. I don’t agree with it but hey it’s the life they want to lead not mine.

gailcalled's avatar

If it is your mother, it makes growing up tough. My mother’s narcissism was triggered or exacerbated by her staggering beauty. It put her in 15 MGM movies before she was 21 and left her with the sense that her looks, charm and kittenish behavior would turn her life and family into a fairy-tale one with a happy ending and very few flaws.

It worked well for her (but not for us) until her last boyfriend finally died (RIP) at 94.. My mother is miserable now, having no intellectual interests or skills and no ability to enjoy her large and lovely family or make women friends.

I needed years of therapy also to sort things out. And luckily I paid attention to my brain (altho I do not scare the horses when I venture outside. And my sister is pretty cute.)

syz's avatar

@Harp….That’s a freakishly accurate description of one of my problematic employees. Doesn’t help me figure out how to deal with her, but it’s very interesting.

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