People who enjoy getting others riled up and who can’t hold their opinion back have a high need for drama, new research finds.
Other aspects of a ‘need for drama’ include saying things just to see how others react and feeling like a victim all the time.
The conclusions come from a new study which validates a 12-point scale to measure need for drama.
People who score high on the ‘need for drama’ scale also typically have high but non-clinical levels of psychopathy and narcissism.
The typical life of dramatic individuals is described by the study’s authors:
“People with drama-prone personalities generally live chaotic lives and inflict contrived crises on family, friends, and co-workers.
In our interpersonal relationships, we would likely identify “dramatic” individuals with their histories of failed relationships and their conflicts with friends and family.
Often this interpersonal drama becomes public on social networking sites.
In the workplace, dramatic individuals are likely to engage in gossip to influence others, create conflicts among co-workers and management, and feel that they are the victims of others’ gossip and conflicts.”
The study found that three factors make up the need for drama:
- Interpersonal manipulation: “characterized by a person’s willingness to influence other people to behave in a manner serving of the manipulator’s goals.”
- Persistent perceived victimhood: “the propensity to constantly perceive oneself as a victim of everyday life circumstances that many people would dismiss as benign.”
- Impulsive outspokenness: “characterized by a person’s compulsion to speak out and share opinions, even when inappropriate and without regard to social consequences.”
Need for drama test
The more that you agree with these statements the higher your need for drama:
- Sometimes it’s fun to get people riled up.
- Sometimes I say something bad about someone with the hope that they find out what I said.
- I say or do things just to see how others react.
- Sometimes I play people against each other to get what I want
- I always speak my mind but pay for it later.
- It’s hard for me to hold my opinion back.
- People who act like my friends have stabbed me in the back.
- People often talk about me behind my back.
- I often wonder why such crazy things happen to me.
- I feel like there are people in my life who are out to get me.
- A lot of people have wronged me.
Agreeing with the following statement, though, is linked to lower levels of need for drama:
- I wait before speaking my mind.
The study was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences (Frankowski et al., 2016).
Drama image from Shutterstock