What it means to be a Drama Queen

by Feb 27, 2016

The catastrophizing reactions of the Drama Queen.

“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players”  said William Shakespeare.

For many, even those who are not pursuing an acting career, dramatic reaction and the role of Drama Queen are central to their existence. They speak using extreme language at both ends of the worst/best spectrum. Their  body language conveys exhilaration or abject misery. [Tweet “The Drama Queen knows no middle ground.”]

Drama Queen

Drama Queen

Sexist language

Firstly, this behaviour is assigned a female characteristic, even though men and women can exhibit these behavioral traits. This is another form of benevolent sexism. Drama Kings are out there in numbers. No one means anything by it. But it’s damaging. It’s also referred to in some cultures as “Princess” behaviour, which also implies spoilt, entitlement and petulance. This is perhaps even worse. It’s also used when dealing with people who are “high maintenance.”  [Tweet “But it’s important to know that your drama persona can be a diva or a divo.”]

Whether male or female it can still be challenging if you have a relationship either personal or professional, with a Drama Queen or King.

Would you like to turn your relationships around at work or in your personal life? Take a look at – Relationship Mastery: Business Success and Personal Joy


A Drama Queen exhibits an irrational thought process when the individual anticipates worst case scenarios known as catastrophizing. This is self-explanatory. They see a catastrophe in every situation. A lost client becomes potential bankruptcy. A job rejection means a life of poverty as a homeless person.

A second element is projecting negative thoughts onto the future. “I always fail” / “I will never ..” / “Something is bound to go wrong”

Because we believe something will go wrong, we make it go wrong. We think ourselves into a negative outcome. Read: 6 daily habits to boost your confidence

The lack of middle and measured thinking, means that the Drama Queen or King can become paralyzed to find real solutions to meet their goals and a life of contentment and fulfilment. There are different degrees ranging from mild “hissy fit” outbursts, which are generally met with an almost affectionate and indulgent response “you’re such a Drama Queen.” On the severe end, they can be part of a clinical condition on the DSM scale.

Causes of Drama Queen Behavior

In extreme cases  a Drama Queen can be highly emotional and attention seeking, with an excessive need for approval.  This can be rooted in childhood trauma, whether actual or perceived, including childhood neglect.  If a child is not given the recognition they need, exaggeration and over reaction maybe what is needed to get attention.  A Drama Queen, is never able to recover from what has happened in her/his past and the behaviour can end up driving people away, despite having many other excellent qualities. Some of these characteristics can be associated with a Borderline Personality Disorder.  Some scientists also suggest the condition can be caused the way the brain is wired.

How to react

At the mild end of the behavioural spectrum, especially in the workplace; you can deal with it by encouraging your colleague to reframe their negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Read: Two-Part Practice to Build Self-Confidence and 3 tricks to downsize self-doubt

“I am bound to lose the order… I always make mistakes in pitches”

“I have excellent sales skills and even if I get nervous I know how to deal with that”

With more serious behaviour, there is no point engaging with a Drama Queen. On a personal level, you have to draw your line in the sand and tell them the catastrophizing theatrics don’t work for you and they are damaging your relationship. This type of behaviour does tend to produce a fight or flight reaction, with avoidance being the most common and effective.

In the workplace, Drama Queen behaviour is toxic and expensive to handle in terms of lost time and energy dealing with it, both at the time of the incident and coping with the fallout afterwards. Very often professional help is the only solution.

3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services for building inclusive workplaces

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services for building inclusive workplaces

Individual services

Only 50% of women create a career strategy. Make sure you are on the right side of that equation to reach your potential

Corporate services

“Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.” — Jesse Jackson

Upcoming events


📢New program: How to create inclusive job postings

In today's rapidly evolving world, it's essential for organisations to embrace diversity and inclusion. Organisations unconsciously communicate their company cultures and values in everything they do including their job postings. These can either attract or repel talent from a diverse range of backgrounds.

A crucial step in this process is ensuring that your job postings reflect these values. Our training program will equip you with the knowledge and skills to craft job descriptions that attract candidates from all backgrounds, eliminating bias and fostering an inclusive hiring process.


create inclusive job postings

Full programme details HERE


📢New Programme available with 3Plus International

“If you have a brain you have a bias” and nowhere is this more apparent than in our hiring processes.

The ‘How to Mitigate Bias in the Recruitment Process’ programme is designed to convey the serious nature of bias in the recruitment process with a focus on gender bias and the way it impacts both businesses and organisations, but in a way that is thought-provoking and engaging.



Full programme details HERE

Dates for the Diary


11th June 2024 : Corporate Training  - Build your Personal Board of Directors

14th June 2024:  Corporate Training How to Handle Everyday Sexism

1st July 2024 Corporate Master Class  “How to make your job postings more inclusive “

9th October 2024 Corporate Event  ‘How to Build your Circle of Success for Career Advancement”

Download and listen free podcasts

Latest Podcasts

Related articles