So I said in our that anybody who is a drama queen (or king) is totally out of the question as an SO. And then someone who shows absolutely no signs of being one kept apologizing for simply experiencing and expressing her own wholly legitimate emotions and was afraid that I’d see her as a drama queen. No, not at all. So I figured maybe I should try defining that a little better.
Feeling things is normal. Even when the feelings aren’t the “nice” kind—anger, resentment, bitterness, pain, rejection, jealousy, etc. They’re every bit as legitimate as joy, happiness, pleasure, compersion, etc. Expressing your feelings appropriately is not only “okay” but important for decent relationships. I know all too well from living here in my head that what I feel isn’t always entirely rational based on what happened—but hey, thoughts and emotions are different things. And I have to acknowledge the emotions, even when I don’t necessarily act on them. As responsible people, we control how we act, but I don’t know anyone who can control what they feel. Some people are more rational than others, yes, but feelings just aren’t rational.
So—let’s say I’m upset about something that involves Sam. Because our relationship is important, I have a responsibility to say, “Sam, I’m upset about X.” Then we can deal with whatever it is. There may be tears involved, and it may take time to work out whatever the issue is, but we’ll do it. Somehow.
If, however, I was a drama queen, I might not let Sam know that anything was wrong. No, he’s supposed to read my mind! And when he failed to do so, I’d get angrier. And maybe do something like make an LJ post about how pissed off I am and what a shit he is. And talk to my friends about it and get even more upset (triangulation, anyone?). By the time we actually talked directly to each other, I would be feeling all righteous and might not even be willing to discuss it, because hey, he’s obviously WRONG. And everybody who commented agreed that he’s a Bad Guy, so see, I’m right! And now we have to deal with whatever the basic issue was AND all the ripples from the theatrical tear.
There are certainly other nasty DQ characteristics—needing to be the center of attention all or most of the time, blowing minor things way out of proportion, getting hysterical on a regular basis, etc. They do seem to be given to tacky public displays—wanting to discuss sensitive issues in a crowded restaurant, screaming or ranting or otherwise calling attention to themselves, etc. They frequently live in such a way as to create regular crises so people will run to their rescue. And from what I’ve observed, they usually deal with un-created, legitimate crises poorly—because hysteria isn’t a functional way to react to emergencies.
Now, I’ll admit that I didn’t have really high drama tolerance levels, to begin with, but my ex-husband absolutely burnt out the circuits to the extent that I have absolutely zero tolerance now. None. If someone over the age of six says, “I never want to see you again” I take that at face value. Okay, I’m gone. If someone takes something that has happened between us, blows it out of proportion, and goes talking to other people about it without coming to me and saying, “Look, this is upsetting” and trying to work things out—well, we probably don’t even have a friendship anymore. We certainly aren’t going to be SOs.
So—what does “drama queen” mean to you?