Dealing With a Drama Queen
by Judith Orloff, MD
We dare not ask how they’re feeling--they might tell us. As a psychiatrist I’ve observed that a drama queen’s parents often equated concocted “disaster” with intimacy.
Years ago, I was amused to see that a magazine had a “Drama Queen for a Day Contest.” They described their winning contestant as, “She came. She puked. She conquered.” A stark truism about how this vampire operates on a subtle energetic level. The way they drain is to exhaust our life force with intense emotion; then they go in for the kill.
My patient Greg felt this after working with Joan, a new employee. The two consulted together on computer projects but because Joan always had a drama brewing in her life, she’d consistently leave Greg hanging. One week, Joan suffered food poisoning, “almost died.” Another week her luggage didn’t arrive on her flight--the World War III she waged with customer service made her late for work. Then her vintage pink Mustang, “her baby,” was towed yet again! By the time Joan left his office, Greg felt tired and used.
If you suspect someone may be a drama queen, take this quiz. Answering “yes” to at least two questions is suggestive. Three or more “yeses” indicate a sure thing.
Drama Queen Quiz (from Positive Energy)
Does the person frequently start sentences with, “Oh my God, you’ll never guess what happened?” When a brown spot appears on this person’s skin, are they sure they are dying of a fatal disease? Is this person always making up or breaking up with their boyfriend or girlfriend? When her husband forgets to email one night while traveling, does she accuse him of having an affair? After a few phone hang-ups, does this person call the police, hysterical that thieves are casing their house? If their boss doesn’t instantly compliment their work, do they frantically tell everyone in earshot they’re about to be fired?
Protect Your Energy by Breathing Deeply and Centering Yourself
With a drama queen, setting limits will reign in their emotional extravaganzas. Greg had to continue telling Joan, “You must be here on time to keep your job. I’m sorry for all your mishaps, but work comes first.” By staying calm and also shielding himself, he didn’t fuel her hysteria. Understand: this vampire doesn’t get mileage out of equanimity; they only win if they succeed in jangling you. To keep your calm practice this exercise.
The moment you sense a drama queen revving up, take a slow, deep breath to center yourself. Breathing is a wonderful way to quickly reconnect with your life force so their in-your-face intensity won’t sear into your energy field and cause burn-out. Keep concentrating on your breath. Tell yourself you know what’s happening, and you can handle it. As I remind my patients: you have power here. I know how easily we can lose it. But, when beset by this overheated drainer, you need to own that moment. Do so by letting your breath release tension and ground you. This will keep you from getting caught up in a drama queen’s story.
Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's ”Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love ”
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About the Author
Judith Orloff, MD is author of the New York Times bestseller, Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life, upon which this article is based. In the book she educates readers about empaths, highly sensitive people, and offers strategies for anyone who wants to avoid narcissists and transform difficult emotions to positive ones. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist and an empath who combines the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths (highly sensitive people). Connect with Judith on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about empaths and the power of intuition, as well as Dr. Orloff's books and workshop schedule, visit her website. Republished with explicit written permission from the author. Join her empath Facebook community for sensitive souls here.