Do you know what histrionic personality is? Surely, even if you don’t know exactly what it is, you know someone with such a personality.
These are people who tend to exaggerate their expressiveness, to be very emotional and to constantly seek attention when they are in a group.
In this article we will learn what is the histrionic personality and what are its most characteristic traits. After reading the article, you will surely think of a friend or acquaintance who manifests these behaviors. These traits allude to behavioral, emotional and cognitive factors.
- Recommended article: “Shy personality: 17 characteristics of these people”.
Histrionic personality: what is it?
The histrionic personality is considered a disorder of the personality (histrionic personality disorder), classified as such in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders) and ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases). Personality disorders consist of personality disturbances, with maladaptive, rigid and dysfunctional traits.
This type of personality is based primarily on a general behavioral and relational pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking. In addition, although these individuals may have high self-esteem and personality, they are usually weak or fragile in this respect. On the other hand, they find it difficult to recognize their own mistakes and the responsibilities of their actions.
The histrionic personality presents these traits but also some others. In this article we will know 14 of them, the most important ones.
14 characteristic traits of the histrionic personality
Thus, in addition to the above mentioned, we are going to know the 14 most characteristic traits of the histrionic personality.. As we will see, these refer to the cognitive, emotional and behavioral sphere of a person.
1. Excessive emotionality
The main trait of people with a histrionic personality is excessive emotionality. This is translated in “excessively” emotional behaviors, sometimes with an exaggerated character. The person behaves in a melodramatic way, sometimes accentuating his emotional symptoms.
2. Attention seeking
Another typical trait of the histrionic personality is the person’s constant search for attention.. Thus, the person acts as if he/she always wants to be the center of attention; raising his/her voice, exaggerating gestures, talking continuously, intruding in conversations so that others will look at him/her, etc.
In addition, they do not feel comfortable if they are not the center of attention at a dinner party, at a family gathering or with friends, etc.
3. Sexually seductive or provocative behavior.
Another symptom of the histrionic personality is sexually seductive or provocative behavior.. In the person, this translates into “enticing” behaviors, dressing in a “sexy” way, making “off-color” comments, flirting, etc.
4. Superficial emotional expression
The emotional expression of people with histrionic personality is superficial and rapidly changing.. Thus, they may move from one emotional state to another excessively quickly (e.g., from crying to laughing), and their emotional states are usually superficial, i.e., shallow and short-lived.
5. Use of physical appearance to attract attention
Linked to trait number 3, we find that this type of person tends to dress “provocatively” (in the sense that they wear “provocative” clothes). (in the sense that they wear clothes that enhance their bodies); logically, the clothes are not provocative, but rather the person’s intention, which is to attract attention and provoke a positive reaction in others.
Thus, they seek by all means to seduce, and to achieve this they use their physical appearance above all (for example, in the case of women, they wear a lot of make-up, they dress up in a notorious way, etc.).
6. Excessively subjective and nuanced way of speaking
The way of speaking of these people is also characteristic, as follows, speak in a very personal and subjective way. They do not usually use much nuance in their speech; this means that their language is not usually complex and does not represent deep issues. In addition, their speech is very focused on them; it is an egocentric language (“I”, “I want”, “I need”, “it happened to me”, etc.).
7. Display of self-dramatization and theatricality
Another trait of the histrionic personality is theatricality, which is accompanied by dramatic behaviors that refer to oneself that refer to oneself (self-dramatization). Thus, they explain things in a very intense way, exaggerating them and emphasizing their emotional component.
They show how everything affects them emotionally in excess, and there is a certain or a lot of theatricality in their comments, gestures, postures, etc. It is as if everything they explain is a “drama”.
8. Exaggerated emotional expression
Closely related to the above, another trait of these people is their exaggerated emotional expression, mentioned above.. Thus, they express everything they feel in a dramatic and exaggerated way, emphasizing the emotional parts and reducing everything to “emotional stuff”. Everything affects them and they continually let it be known.
9. Suggestibility: easily influenced
In addition, they are easily influenced. Although in public they appear to be “strong” people with a lot of personality, in reality they are very vulnerable and manipulable.. Their personality, in a certain way, is fragile (as well as their self-esteem). That is why they constantly require -need- the attention and approval of others.
10. They consider their relationships more intimate than they really are.
When they meet someone they are quick to offer tokens of affectionThey address this person as if they were their best friend, invite them to places, treat them with a confidence they don’t yet have, etc. Thus, they themselves believe that these new relationships are already intimate, when in fact they are not, and may simply be acquaintances.
11. Exaggerated body language
Their body language is also exaggerated (as well as their displays of affection, their comments…). That is to say, they use gestures in a constant and exaggerated way.This translates into: gesticulating a lot, talking very loudly, laughing very loudly, etc. Their body posture can also be peculiar or show that they “want to be noticed”.
12. Unstable emotions
As we have seen, their emotional pattern is oscillating, and changes from one moment to another. In a certain way, they show very unstable emotionsThey do not remain in one emotional state for a long time. Moreover, anything can make them change from one state to another (sometimes even not at all).
13. Marked extroversion
On the other hand, they are very extroverted people.. They quickly and easily relate to others; they open up, explain things (even intimate things), converse, ask questions, etc.
They also tend to be very egocentric people.. This is related to their constant search for attention. They need others to flatter them, look at them, listen to them, pay attention to them, etc., and if this does not happen, they feel bad. This is also related to low self-esteem, another frequent trait in this type of personality.