Histrionics resemble narcissists – both seek attention compulsively and are markedly dysphoric and uncomfortable when not at the center of attention. They have to be the life of the party. If they fail in achieving this pivotal role, they act out or create hysterical scenes.
The histrionic is preoccupied with physical appearance, sexual conquests, her health, and her body. The typical histrionic spends huge dollops of money and expends inordinate amounts of time on grooming. Histrionics fish for compliments and are upset when confronted with criticism or proof that they are not as glamorous or alluring as they think they are.
Histrionics sexualize everyone and every situation. They constantly act flirtatious, provocative, and seductive, even when such behavior is not warranted by circumstances or, worse still, is highly inappropriate. Such conduct is often ill received. People usually find this unabashed directness and undisguised hunger for approval annoying, or outright repulsive. Consequently, histrionics are sometimes subject to social censure and ostracism.
The histrionics’ intensity and unpredictability are exhausting. The histrionic’s nearest and dearest are often embarrassed by her unbridled display of emotions: hugging casual acquaintances, uncontrollable sobbing in public, or having temper tantrums. The histrionic’s behavior is so off-color that she is typically accused of being a fake.
Concerned only with the latest conquest, the histrionic uses her physical appearance and attire as a kind of conscious bait. It is ironic that histrionics often mistake the depth, durability, and intimacy of their relationships and are devastated by their inevitable premature termination.
Histrionics are the quintessential drama queens. They are theatrical, their emotions exaggerated to the point of a caricature, their gestures sweeping, disproportional, and inappropriate. The histrionic is easily suggestible and responds instantly and fully to the slightest change in circumstances and to the most meaningless communication or behavior by others.