Dealing with Difficult People: The Drama Queen


In this series of dealing with difficult people we must tackle one of the most disruptive personalities in any environment, especially in the work place: the drama queen.

drama queen

Before you label me a male chauvinist, let me say that the drama queen is not gender specific. Males can make some of the most disruptive drama queens, sexuality issues apart.  I do not refer to them as drama “kings” because that title sounds too dignified to represent the type of chaos this personality type brings into any group dynamic.

A drama queen is someone who makes every issue and problem about herself. She always has to be the center of attention. Drama usually follows her or she’ll make sure to create it.

Left unchecked, the drama queen will

  • Keep tabs on everyone just in case she needs material to create drama
  • Give with the expectation of receiving
  • React, well, over react based on run-away emotions
  • Never feel satisfied unless she gets her way
  • Fail to empathize with the broken, hurt and even sick
  • Demand compassion but extend none

Unfortunately this person is also not self aware, so dealing with her in reasonable terms is almost an impossibility. Your options to neutralize her disruption are few. If you suspect you work for a drama queen, I’m sorry for you. Update your resume and keep looking. However, most of us have to deal with her inside work and home environments.

The most effective way I have found to deal with the drama queen is by acknowledging her status as the center of the universe and enlisting her help in dealing with your problem, that has suddenly become hers, and, therefore, worthy of solving.

Is this strategy too manipulative? Do you have a better way?


  • That’s not a bad way to go. Drama queens like to be on the inside, so it placates them to be included in your problem.

    Another strategy is to commission them to go solve a problem somewhere else, effectively removing them from your project/meeting/etc.  

  • Eddie Pullen


    I am a daily reader here and a first time “commenter”.

    I have encountered the drama queen in/on my staff before and prefer to confront the individualistic attitude with humility and truth. 

    The truth will either help them conform more to the image of Christ or they will need to be dismissed if the drama continues incessantly.

    I believe it is a mistake (and sinful) to utilize another person’s selfish attitude without revealing a better path.  They will have the choice to accept and grow or reject and remain prideful.  In any case, the truth needs to be shared so that the individual can have the opportunity to see their actions in a different light.  Any other action is taking a lower road while choosing to ignore the root of the problem.

    This process can be painful at times for both the drama queen and the “truth-teller”, but this is a price that must be paid by the dq and the leader who hired her.


    • Jen

      While I see your point, if you’re not this person’s direct supervisor, you will get NOWHERE trying to point out his/her shortcomings and possible solutions.  In order to keep the peace (and your own sanity) it’s best to deal with the situation the best way you know how and I think Maurilio hit the nail on the head.  In my experience, these people are typically wired that way–it’s their personality.  It’s not my, or anyone else’s job, to try to change what comes to them naturally.  Utilizing it to everyone’s advantage, however, seems to be the best course of action.

  • Anonymous

    This is a difficult thing to ponder, not everyone works in a wholesome Christian environment and not every drama queen is a believer. 

    Eddie, we can’t handle everyone with a one-touch/one-word gospel. Jesus never did that and the bible doesn’t show that.

    I think its a good principle of practice in your practice of “helping” a drama queen, something to take note of.

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