How to deal with a drama queen

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in Work Relationships | 0 comments

Have you ever known a drama queen? Someone that takes things personally, gets overly emotional, and insists everyone hear about it? Someone that creates drama by placing their concerns above everyone else’s.

I have worked with several drama queens- male and female. Not only is their behavior obnoxious, it’s distracting and destructive. It can poison relationships I have with the people they complain about. It encourages me to focus on the negative instead of the positive. Listening to their rants takes time away from the work in front of me. Morale dips as everyone deals with their negative energy.

I have recently been dealing with such a drama queen. Every time time this person came around I found myself getting caught up in the drama and the more I focused on the drama, the less I was being my most awesome self. I needed a strategy for dealing with this drama queen! Here’s what I came up with and I’d love to hear your ideas.

How to deal with a drama queen

how to deal with drama queensPhoto by Chris Blakeley

Don’t engage

Drama queens are fueled by roping others into their drama- don’t pick up the rope!

The drama queen I worked would rope me in by expressing concern and asking my opinion to engage me in a conversation. Before I knew it I was playing a supporting role in their drama.

Instead of engaging I can change my responses. For example, I can say, “Perhaps you should talk to him about this directly”, or, “that sounds like a difficult situation- good luck working it out.” By keeping my opinion out of it, I may be able to avoid participating in the drama.

Limit your interaction

You don’t have to attend every drama you’re invited to.

The last interaction I had with a drama queen wasted over 20 minutes of my time- time I could have spent being productive and getting work done. At the end of the workday I was behind and I realized I allowed it to happen by interacting with a drama queen just because they came into my office and sat down in front of me.

I can limit my interaction with drama queens with honesty by being true to myself. Next time they plop down in my office I can say, “I’m sorry, I don’t have time to chat today; I have a lot of work to do.”

Don’t buy in

Drama queens have a skewed perception of life- don’t let their reality alter your own.

I know a drama queen that’s a master manipulator, though I doubt they realize this about themselves. In the beginning of my relationship with them, I bought into their perception and it changed how I viewed certain people and situations at work. The manipulation was so subtle and it was easy to believe what they said was true. Once I caught on to this behavior it was shocking to see not only how I had bought in, but how they altered the perceptions of other employees.

Lesson learned: don’t believe everything a drama queen tells you. I will look for evidence that what they say is true or untrue and make up my own mind.

Don’t judge

Drama queens appoint themselves as supreme judge over the entire world! Don’t judge and you’re not adding to the drama.

Once I realized what the drama queen was up to, I found myself wrapped up in my judgement about them. I was so focused on the drama queens behavior that I wasn’t focusing my energy on areas that would benefit me. Yes, their behavior was bad but as long as I allowed myself to be distracted by judgement my behavior wasn’t much better.

The problem with judging others is it puts me in a negative state of mind and keeps me from doing something positive- no more! I have little to gain by judging others and too much awesomeness to lose.

Be awesome

Drama queens want all eyes on them. Instead of focusing on them, focus on you and be as awesome as you can be!

I have given too much of my time and energy to drama queens. I’ve got better things to do. Every time I get caught up in someone else’s drama, I do less of what makes me awesome. Fortunately the reverse is also true. By doing more of what makes me awesome I am far less likely to get caught up in the drama queen’s drama.

All I have to do is be awesome!

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