Are you tolerating a man who blows things out of proportion and refuses to quit his histrionic personality? You are probably with a male ‘drama queen’. Here’s our take on the situation.
So you’re at this party and everyone’s having a blast. And just when you decide to hit the dance floor with your partner, the waiter serves your guy the wrong drink — and he goes berserk. Not only does he make a mountain out of a molehill by screaming at the waiter in front of everyone, but also, instead of celebrating the friend’s birthday, he decides to celebrate his fight over this petty issue. And that’s when your heart sinks and you think, ‘My man’s such a drama queen’. Yes, that’s the word for him, too. And why not? After all, he screams, shouts, vies for attention and wants the whole world revolving around his histrionics — character traits often attributed to women. The drama queen could be anyone; it needn’t necessarily be your husband or boyfriend.
Rebecca Joseph, a copywriter, agrees. “I have a very close guy friend. He’s cute and macho. But I’ve never come across anyone who cribs as much as him. It’s fun at times, almost like spending time with another woman.” Clinical psychologist Mansi Hasan says, “Women may find it difficult to handle such emotional outbursts by men. It may also affect the relationship in a negative way — women are also emotional and two emotional people may create conflicts.” But the question is, why have men suddenly taken to this pattern? While experts say this has always been the case, here are some contributing factors:
Born like that
Psychiatrist and psychotherapist Anjali Chhabria says it could be something to do with his personality. “We come across more and more men with narcissistic, histrionic and dependent personalities. That will reflect in the manner they behave in.”
It depends on how one’s family deals with situations. Someone who has seen a lot of drama in his family during his growing-up years will pick that up. Like Hasan says, “They may have seen parents or siblings behave in this manner and get attention.”
Hungry for attention
Sometimes, he may not love the drama as much as the attention it brings. Hasan explains, “They may get their way out with this kind of behaviour. It is rewarding for the person — he gets attention and also gets what he wants. Many women like men who are ‘dramatic’ as they find them emotional and sensitive. Some men are addicted to being dramatic just because they’re addicted to attention as well.”
Unaware or insecure?
Some men probably don’t realise how overtly dramatic they can get. Also, there are those who turn dramatic because of insecurity in relationships. Chhabria says, “A dependent personality involves a strong sense of attachment. Such individuals need constant support and reassurance from the people they are close to, especially their partners. They tend to be overly sensitive and insecure about losing their loved ones. This makes them go all out for their partner and they expect the same in return.”
Dealing with a drama queen
It’s best not to assume too much when with a drama queen. Also, be calm when dealing with their mood swings. Says psychologist Chandni Mehta, “Explaining how immature their behaviour is, and exercising patience and calm, are ways to deal with them. Maintaining a distance is another mature approach. Fighting back may work, but it can also worsen the situation.” Try to be self-aware and avoid any created drama. Also, let go if you love the person. Chhabria says, “Women should let such men express themselves freely and they should stand by them, rather than reject them.”
Effects on relationships
Mehta: “It can start fights and spiral in unwanted directions. It may also create more insecurity and instability.”
Hasan: “Unless the woman is emotionally strong, there are likely to be conflicts in the relationship. Such men should be encouraged to express themselves, but not through tantrums or whining.”
Chhabria: “Being overly expressive may sometimes be seen as selfishness. The partner may feel less important and think that her man is only concerned about his emotions. Along with being expressive come expectations. This can be a burden for the partner and she may wish to end the relationship.”