What is histrionic communication and behavior? (overdramatization)

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Some people communicate in ways that come across as highly emotionalized. When people do this, or display or act out their emotions in a dramatic way, there’s a tendency for the conversation to become more and more emotional. When both parties use histrionic communication, and overdramatize the situation, conflict almost inevitably gets worse, and becomes intractable, or not resolvable.

You are probably familiar with the term “drama queen”. It’s usually a pejorative applied to people who seem to exaggerate the consequences of situations. often these people simply use more histrionic behaviors in their communication.

Examples of histrionic behavior include crying, focusing on the worst case (awfulizing), over-physicalization (banging things, throwing things) and so on.

Sometimes the use of these behaviors leads others to believe the person is unstable or completely unreasonable, which can be the case. Sometimes, it’s not, and dramatic communication is simply a communication style.


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