If you should ever meet someone who exhibits the following symptoms, run. Actually, grab a gun, point, and shoot. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself, follow the previous directions, only aim the gun at yourself. At the very least, you could exile yourself to the remotest reaches of the Moab desert and start some sort of whiny, thespian-like commune. The only thing about this that is unappealing is that the collective noise that would be issued from such a large group of histrionics would probably be heard from the other side of the planet. We could solve this by building a dome around them.
I grabbed this from Wikipedia, but I checked it against my internal encyclopedia for accuracy. The following is a list of symptoms for Histrionic Personality Disorder.
- Constant seeking of reassurance or approval.
- Excessive dramatics with exaggerated displays of emotions.
- Excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval.
- Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior.
- Excessive concern with physical appearance.
- A need to be the center of attention (self-centeredness).
- Low tolerance for frustration or delayed gratification.
- Rapidly shifting emotional states that may appear shallow to others.
- Opinions are easily influenced by other people, but difficult to back up with details.
- Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are.
- Make rash decisions
- Threaten or attempt suicide to get attention
- is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention
- interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior
- displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions
- consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self
- has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail
- shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion
- is suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances
- considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are.
One thing a histrionic loves to do is to use big words that make them sound smarter than they actually are, and often times they don't even really know the meaning of the words. For example:
"The Civil War is, like, so cool! I just love studying histrionic events!"
Yeah, a histrionic person might not even know what the word "histrionic" actually means, but they would use it anyway because it sounds cooler than "historic," and they want you to marvel at their extensive vocabulary. If that fails to work, they would probably entice you with an ample view of their cleavage. Unless we're speaking of males, at which point he might tell you how often he works out and flex a bicep or something.
A histrionic person might also consider someone he or she just met to be their very best friend. Anyone who is familiar with the character of Michael Scott on "The Office" should know exactly what I mean. Actually, the Michael Scott character is a textbook histrionic. Watch any episode of that show and you will be able to make checkmarks down almost every single symptom while watching him. You'll get extra points if you can effectively diagnose Dwight.
Treating Histrionic Personality Disorder is not exactly an easy thing to do. As with all personality disorders, the behaviors encompass pretty much every scope of a person's interactions with the world at large, and people afflicted with these disorders are not convinced there is anything wrong with them, and this creates the biggest hurdle. It's the rest of the world that has the problem, not them. Also, there is little empirical evidence available as far as effective treatment methods. One that is to be avoided, however, are group therapy sessions only because they have a tendency to perpetuate the attention-seeking behavior of the individual. Anti-anxiety medication may have some positive effect, however.
My favorite method? Probably a heavy tranquilizer at a regular interval to keep the person in a constant state of sedation. Of course, you could always just ignore these people as well. But I've always wanted to use a tranq gun.