Drama Queens/Kings: Narcissists, Borderlines

Uploaded 2/6/2021, approx. 24 minute read

At the rate my views are dwindling, shortly I will be talking to myself. Now, there's nothing wrong with it. Don't misunderstand me. I am my favorite audience.

So, not all is lost. And every YouTube cloud has an invisible silver lining. I'm going to be the unprecedented first-time creator on YouTube with negative views.

What are negative views, you ask? I think it's speculative, mind you, but I think negative views is when I watch you, not the other way.

So, every time I watch one of you, I get minus one view.

And because there are so many of you, I can end up with minus millions in negative viewing on my YouTube videos.

So, you see, there's always hope. There's always something to look forward to.

Okay, darkening, enough with the drama. And drama is indeed the topic of today's lecture.

Drama in narcissistic personality disorder, drama in borderline personality disorder, drama in antisocial personality disorder, especially among secondary psychopaths and to some extent among primary psychopaths, drama, drama, drama.

I would suggest to the next DSM committee to replace the antiquated term cluster B with off-Broadway personality disorders.

Indeed, cluster B personality disorders is also known clinically and officially as the dramatic or erratic cluster, because everyone in cluster B is very, very dramatic.

But of course, the question is, what is the aim of being a drama queen or a drama king? Why expend so much energy, effort, creativity, imagination on generating, fostering and gendering drama? Where does all this lead? Is it goal-oriented? Is it controllable?

I mean, drama queens, do they control the drama? Can they turn it off and on? Can they switch off and on? Or is it stronger than any individual? Is it like a reflex or an instinct? Something like hunger, like thirst, like watching some vakni, something you cannot control?

Well, stay with me and listen to some of the answers.

And as usual, as distinct from others, I bring you the latest cutting-edge research, studies and so on.

Now, the thing about cutting-edge, it hurts. Cutting-edge hurts by definition. Cutting hurts. Cutting, by the way, is very typical of borderline personality disorder and has an element of drama in it.

Borderline people, people with borderline personality disorder, self-mutilate, attempt suicide and so on and so forth, partly in order to feel that they are alive, partly to quell and sort of mitigate and ameliorate the pain inside them, inside them, but partly in order to generate drama and get everyone around them to become the focus of attention, become the life of the morbid parting.

So, we'll talk about this as well.

Lydia Angelovska had observed recently that the pandemic had rendered all of us, drama queens and drama kings, even if we don't wish to be.

Drama is a tool, is an instrument, is a mode of communication. Drama is manipulative.

When people are helpless, when they're confined, when they are denied access to comfort zones, familiar settings, familiar faces, they resort to drama in order to manage their lives and in order to act upon and in the world. Drama is a kind of lost resort, the outcome of learned helplessness.

What are the motivations? Why do people become dramatic, erratic, unpredictable, terrifying sometimes, hurtful always?

I start by referring you to a previous video I've made about the victim in the triangle, the victim caught in a triangle. That's the famous Cartman drama triangle.

It seems that one of the major roles of drama is actually acting. People in dramatic triangles, the hero, the victim, the abuser, the hero is the rescuer, the saviour, and he saves the victim because she is abused by the abuser.

Everyone has his role. It's like a theater play. There's a script.

And the amazing thing that Cartman and others have discovered is that people rotate their victims and then they assume the behaviors of the abuser, they emulate the abuser, they internalize the abuser, and they become abusive.

The rescuer can suddenly become the abuser.

Actually, in the majority of cases, the victim comes to regard the rescuer or the saviour as an abuser, etc.

So it seems that drama, the dramatic triangle at least, triangulation has a lot to do with acting. It's a role. It's a role play.

What is the aim of acting? Why do we engage in roles where there are two reasons?

One, functionality. We settle into roles. We adopt emergent roles. We accept roles assigned to us by others in order to perform, in order to carry out certain functions.

Why do we carry out functions?

Because it's good for us. We are self-interested. We get something out of it. So acting role play allows us to function.

Actually, scholars like Goffman and even Carl Jung had suggested that all social interactions are a form of acting. And of course, there's a famous book by Erich Fromm, and that's Games People Play, where he claims that all interpersonal relationships and relationships in general are actually games, and that people are lucky. They like to play games.

The ludic person likes to play games, and I have dedicated a portion of a video that I've made regarding the narcissist as a ludic person, as someone who likes to play games.

So acting accomplishes this function of functionality, secures functioning.

But acting has another very important role, distancing. When we act, we are not ourselves. We are no longer ourselves. We are distanced from who we are.

And much more importantly, we are distanced from our experiences.

So for example, if I had experienced, if I had undergone a trauma, if I were traumatized, one of the tools at my disposal is to distance myself from the trauma.

And I can distance myself from the trauma by pretending to be someone else, by acting a role.

And of course, acting by definition is dramatic.

Indeed, we observe a substantial increase in dramatic behavior among victims of complex trauma, PTSD.

And if you go to communities and forums populated by the covert narcissists known as empaths or self-styled as empaths, does drama not end? These are highly dramatic people. I mean, they revel in their drama. They put on shows endlessly.

I mean, so acting is an integral part of coping with trauma and coping with trauma via distancing.

Here are the first two functions of drama, to enhance functionality via playing a role and to distance yourself from ego-dystonic experiences, such as trauma.

And by the way, to distance yourself from things about yourself you don't like.

So if you don't like a behavior of yours, if you don't like a trait of yours, you can distance yourself from such behavior or trait either by projecting them onto someone else, attributing them to someone else, or by acting, by becoming dramatic, by shedding your identity and assuming someone else's identity, distancing.

The second reason to be a drama queen or a drama king is that it tends to enhance, regulate self-esteem. Technically, clinically, it tends to regulate a sense of self-worth. How come? Why would acting, not to mention acting out, regulate your self-esteem?

How is this accomplished?

Well, by reverting the locus of control. Someone who resorts to acting, someone who resorts to drama, as Rangelovska has mentioned, I cited her earlier, as Lydia Rangelovska has observed, someone who does this is at the end of their tether. They are helpless. They ran out of solutions. Their coping strategies are not working anymore.

The situation is dire because they don't have the recipes or the procedures to secure favorable outcomes from their human environment, so they resort to drama. They dramatize the situation.

When they dramatize the situation, they assume a dual role. One role is a director of the drama. They're like a movie director.

And the second role is the star of the drama, the main actor or main actress, the center of attention, the life of the party, the one who has access to privileged asymmetrical information, because only the person who initiates the drama knows where the drama is going and how the drama is going to end. Drama is power. It's a power play.

When you engage in drama, you throw everyone into a maelstrom of uncertainty, unpredictability, threat. Everyone around you is very frightened or very worried or very concerned or a bit ill it is or a lot ill it is. You control the moods and the emotions and the thoughts of everyone around you when you involve them in a drama.

In other words, it's about power. Engaging in drama reverts the locus of control. When, for example, you are a victim, when you are a victim, your locus of control is external. The abuser has the control. You are objectified. You are the passive recipient of the control. You are the subject, not the object.

So suddenly you reverse the tables. Suddenly you are on top. You're not the bottom. You're the top. Suddenly you are the dom, not the sub. Suddenly you are in charge. You call the shots. You determine what's happening and what's going to happen.

And your abuser is thrown off. Your abuser is, for a minute, perplexed, baffled, unsure, doesn't know how to proceed and what to do.

Thereby you regain the locus of control. It becomes internal instead of external. Your abuser is no longer in control. You are.

Now, of course, when you have an internal locus of control, and especially when the locus of control reverts from external to internal, you gain a lot in terms of self-confidence and self-esteem. It uplifts you. It buttresses you. It strengthens and empowers you to regain the control and the locus of control.

And that's the second reason to engage in drama.

The classic reason given is actually not as important as people think, and that is attention seeking.

If you go online, everyone and his dog will tell you that drama is about attention seeking.

Well, most of the time, actually, it's not.

But in some highly restricted cases, in some highly specific personality disorders, for example, histrionic personality disorder, attention is important.

Narcissist, by the way, rarely engages in dramatics. There's a huge confusion online between borderline and narcissist. Borderlines are much more dramatic than narcissists.

Narcissists prefer to obtain narcissistic supply via control, their control freaks. Borderlines are drama queens and drama kings.

And histrionics, for example, engage in drama in order to secure attention. You can secure attention in three ways.

One, you're the hero, you're the rescuer, you're the savior using the Karpman model. So this guarantees and grants you attention.

Or so in other words, when people are grateful, gratitude is the engine of the attention. And the attention is a result of a drama.

But very often these so-called heroes, these saints, they engineer situations where they will become heroes, where they will save the day or the damsel in distress. They are covert narcissist, actually. And this is their passive, aggressive, manipulative way of creating circumstances and channeling and directing everyone to a stage set where they can attain and take on the role of a hero.

So their heroism is self-induced, self-imputed, and self-created, self-generated.

But still, it's a form of drama. And its main, its pivot, emotional pivot, is gratitude.

So hero, gratitude.

The second possibility to obtain attention via drama is when you claim to be a victim. Then you get, for example, compassion, empathy, pity, and in any case, attention. So attention seekers pose as heroes and make sure to engineer situations where they end up being heroes. Or they pose as victims. And when they pose as victims, they garner the attention and the positive emotionality that they seek.

That is not to say, of course, that all victims do that. And it's also not to say that everyone who engages in attention seeking as a victim is not a victim. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying many victims engage in dramatic behavior in order to garner and secure attention, among other reasons.

So I'm mentioning all the reasons.

One of them is attention.

The third role is the seducer. And it's very typical of the histrionic. It's the chase. It's the ostentatious flirtation. It's the overt, overt seductive behavior.

So histrionics do this. And it's another form of attention.

The next reason for dramatic behavior is when one has a victim or a rescuer mentality. A victim mentality, I recently made a video about victim mentality, which I recommend that you watch. It's one of two. The other one deals with the Karpman drama triangle.

Victim mentality is simply the tendency to interpret life events and behaviors of other people in terms of victimhood.

There are recent studies. I mentioned them in the aforementioned video. In the videos that I've made, I mentioned specific studies, dozens of them.

And I want to repeat myself in this video as well.

So victim mentality is simply an organizing principle. It's an explanatory principle. Why did he do this to me? Because I'm a victim. Why am I not getting what is owed me? Why am I not being promoted? Because I'm a victim. Why did my mother misbehave the way she did? Because she victimizes me. My neighbor victimizes me. Everyone victimizes me. History, society, etc.

You see the thin line between victim mentality and actually paranoid or persecutory ideation and indeed victims of this sort, professional, lifelong, committed victims.

Victims who wouldn't hear any information to the contrary that maybe they're not victims or maybe they're contributing to their victimization time and again by behaving unwisely. They don't want to hear any of this. They don't want to hear any of this because their victimhood imbues their life, gives their life sense, direction, purpose. Life has structure and order and meaning if you are a victim.

Exactly the same goes when it comes to the rescuer mentality or the saviour mentality. Just reverse the rules. It's someone who believes that he has to save people. It's especially common among men. They want to save women, fallen women, damaged women, broken women. They have this rescuer, savior instinct or reflex. I'm going to save you. I'm going to fix you. I'm going to fix you. It's common among certain professions like therapies, for example. Bed therapies have rescuer mentality.

Both people with victim mentality and people with rescuer mentality are very, very dramatic. They use drama to aggrandize themselves and to impose their interpretation of reality on others.

This leads us to projective identification in a minute.

But they ferociously and sometimes viciously force other people to accept the dramatic elements in their narrative of victimhood or rescue.

You see, these kind of victims, it's not enough to be a victim. You need to be a victim in exceptional circumstances. You need to be victimized by the most amazing, vicious, wicked, demonic abuser to have ever roamed the earth. Your victimhood is aggrandized, grandiose. It's fictitious and fictitious. It's out of this world. It's fantastic. It's HBO stuff. It's a movie.

These victims and these rescuers, they are emotionally invested in converting this victimhood, their victimhood or their rescue exploits, their rescue shenanigans into movie-like, Hollywood-like level story. Very often, these victims and rescuers would say, I need to write a book about this. Or had you just witnessed my life, you would have made a movie. It's the stuff of movies. Or I'm going to write a book. Why write a book?

Because my experience is unique. No one has ever had anything remotely close to this.

So this is the drama element.

Now, the next reason for dramatic behavior is novelty seeking.

Novelty seeking, risk-taking, thrills, adrenaline junkie and impulsivity.

Now, all these together, if you put them together, there are major elements in psychopathy, especially primary psychopathy.

The psychopath has a low tolerance for boredom and a low tolerance for frustration.

Consequently, the psychopath is impulsive, reckless, novelty seeking, risk-taking, adrenaline junkie. These people are highly dramatic and this is the dramatic psychopath.

That's a psychopath who is ostentatiously spontaneous, amazingly daring, daredevil, daring do. Happy go lucky in your face. That's the most reckless manner possible. Defies God, defies fate, defies nature, defies you, defies society, defies authority.

Many creatures in the Capitol Hill riots, and I'm using the word creatures judiciously, they were this kind of dramatic psychopaths.

So this is another reason for dramatic behavior in cluster B personality disorders.

Next, provocation.

Drama is an instrument intended to provoke. Why provoke?

Projective identification. I refer you to videos that I've made about the comfort zones.

Some people, I mean, most people try to force people around them to conform to a narrative that is comforting.

So we all have comfort zones. We all have expectations as to how other people should behave or will behave. That's known as a theory of mind. We have a theory how what makes other people tick, how they are likely to respond, what choices they're likely to make, what decisions they're likely to adopt, and how they're going to treat us. So there's a theory of world and theory of mind, and it's known as the internal working model.

So every one of us, each one of us is an internal working model, which dictates the way we communicate with people and dictates our attachment styles.

So people with cluster B personality disorders, many of them have grown up in abusive environments, abuse, classic abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, even non-classic abuse, for example, being parentified or being objectified or being instrumentalized or being idolized. These are also forms of abuse because they prevent the child from developing boundaries, separating and individuating, becoming an individual when the parent is selfish, narcissistic, absent, dead, dead mother, etc.

So we discussed all this in numerous previous videos.

So these kind of people, having grown up in abusive, traumatizing environments, their comfort zone is abuse. They feel good only when they feel bad. They feel relieved when they are tortured, humiliated, degraded, insulted, beaten up. When they feel relieved, they feel relieved because it's familiar. They know the ropes, they know what to expect, they know the rules, and they know how to manipulate the other party, the abuser.

But what happens when such people team up with non-abusers, Mr. Nice Guy, the girl next door? What happens then?

Well, they try to force their intimate partners, their colleagues, their friends, their neighbors, anyone, their boss, their employees, they try to force people around them to abuse them. They want to be abused because they feel good and relieved and comfortable only when they are abused. This is their comfort zone.

So they push people to abuse them. And this is known as projective identification.

The provocation is dramatic. They engage in theatrics, dramatic behavior, erratic behavior, immature, infantile, juvenile behavior, and all this is intended to push people's buttons, to get them to misbehave, to maltreat, to mistreat, to abuse, to react with aggression. They want people to do this because then they feel good.

That's another group. You can see that attention seeking is actually in the minority. Dramatic behavior has many, many very, very important psychological functions and caters to very critical needs, regulation, locus of control, and so on.

The next thing is emotional blackmail. Drama is often used to emotionally blackmail someone.

To force the other party to cater to your needs, to serve you, to save you, to give you something, to be present, to not abandon you, etc., via emotional blackmail.

We all know the stereotype of the mother who wouldn't let her grown up son leave her side. She is always mysteriously ill, sick. She always needs help with electricity, with groceries, with something. She wouldn't let her grown up son go, have his own life. When he dares to try to attempt to be independent, autonomous, his own man, she would tell him, I sacrifice my life for you and you are not willing to change my bulb. Aren't you ashamed of yourself? That's emotional blackmail.

But of course, as you just saw, it's drama. It's family drama. It's a morality play. The son is all evil. The mother is all good, self-sacrificial, saintly. She's an empath, probably.

And the son, the poor son, is then motivated to act in ways which he would otherwise have chosen to not act. In other words, his agency is taken away from him.

Drama, any drama, any stage play, any production whose main target, whose main aim, whose main goal is to emotionally blackmail someone, it has to do with removal or decrease of the other person's agency, ability to act independently and maintain personal autonomy. And this is another motivation for drama.

And then we have pure, bare, naked manipulation. Drama creates stress. Drama creates the impression of brinkmanship. Something really bad is going to happen. Drama creates heightened anxiety. Drama generates fears. Drama fosters uncertainty, extreme uncertainty.

And so drama is highly manipulative because people would do anything to reduce the anxiety, to get rid of the uncertainty, to introduce some predictability, some element of predictability, to somehow regain control of the situation, to calm the other person down, to avoid escalation. People would do anything. People are conflict averse. Majority are conflict averse. They're peaceful.

So drama is an aggressive act of manipulation intended to go to the edge, to the border. I forgot how it's called when two cars travel at each other, high speed. And like the last minute, the chicken turns.

So this is a game of chicken, this kind of drama, manipulative drama.

And the dramatist, the person who initiates the drama, the drama queen or the drama king, they are willing to escalate no end. Anyone who has lived with a borderline will tell you this. They're willing to escalate no end. They're willing to break things. They're willing to go out and get drunk and sleep with a stranger. They're willing to crush the car. They're willing to harm the children. I mean, they're willing to do anything for the sake of the drama until their wishes and needs are met.

And this could be a trifle. It could be like, don't go to work today. I want you to be with me. Or again, you're traveling, you're neglecting and abandoning me. I mean, it could be something, you know, both reasonable and trivial.

And the escalation is disproportionate to the alleged offense. And this is the source of the power of the drama, because the drama is disproportional.

Ultimately, you say to yourself, well, to avoid this kind of drama, I better make a small sacrifice.

Manipulation accomplished, mission accomplished.

And finally, drama is a destruction, a decoy. Something bad is going on. Something horrible has happened. Some trauma, some betrayal, some external circumstance, which is adverse, some pandemic, some war, some hunger, some explosion, terrorist attack, I don't know what, some fight, which leads to a divorce or, or to break up or separation, some, something bad with the children. I mean, something which essentially threatens the precariously balanced, disorganised personalities of cluster B people.

So what they do, rather than cope head on with the impending looming problem, even if they do identify the problem, what they do is distract, they create a diversion, they divert attention, they create a distraction. Suddenly, they become extremely dramatic.

And everyone forgets about the real problem and gets focused on the drama. The drama becomes the vortex, the core, the center of attention. And everyone's resources goes towards ameliorating the drama, controlling the drama, converting, reframing the drama, getting the person to calm down and stop the drama, preventing escalation of the drama, etc. Everyone is around the drama.

And the problem that gave rise to the drama is completely forgotten for a while at least.

So it's a diversionary tactic and an attempt to redirect unwanted attention from some problem.

So for example, if someone with cluster B had misbehaved, she did something really, really bad, like sleeping with a stranger, she would create enormous drama in order to deflect attention and deflect chastising and opprobrium and criticism from what she had done.

If someone with borderline personality disorder is a dependent personality disorder, suddenly faces abandonment, she will create drama. And she will create drama because she can't cope with the impending rejection and abandonment.

If a narcissist wants to accomplish something at work and keeps hitting, keeps being stonewalled or believes himself, believes that he's discriminated against or because of envy, he is, you know, he's not getting his due. So he's going to create a passive aggressive drama, but it's still drama.

And the idea is to attract attention to the damage that he can inflict.

So narcissists and psychopaths, they create destructive dramas and it's a demonstration of their potential and power to hurt people, destroy things and institutions and so on.

So while the borderline codependent and so on and so forth, this kind of people create drama in order essentially to engage in distorted and thwarted object relations with external objects, in other words, with intimate partners.

The psychopath analysis is the goal oriented and they're likely to engage in drama either to motivate someone to accomplish some outcome or to demonstrate how ruinous, how dangerous, how threatening, how destructive they can be if they're not given what they have demanded, what they've asked for. So it's a kind of blackmail. It's not emotional blackmail. It's technically criminal blackmail. You know, you don't give me the promotion. I'm going to destroy this company. You don't give me what I want. I'm going to cheat on you.

This is narcissistic and psychopathic reactions and they are actually, the lines are blurred because as I keep saying in my videos, these patients transition between the various personality disorders and within each personality disorder, they transition between three states overt collapse and covert.

So all these drama or dramatic behaviors come into play and the nicest, most loving and caring and empathic borderline can engage in drama in order to convey and communicate to her intimate partner how much she needs him, how much she wants him, how afraid she is of abandonment and rejection.

But then if he doesn't pick up the thread, if he doesn't respond in kind, if he refuses to participate in the drama that she had initiated, she flips on a dime and becomes a secondary psychover. And then her drama is malevolent. Her drama is intended to convey the message. I'm going to hurt you badly. I'm going to hurt you badly and I can do it again and I'm going to do it again. So better, better, you know, be careful.

be careful.

So you see, drama runs through all these personality disorders and it's not a fixed feature and it doesn't have, mostly doesn't have to do with attention. Although all these people are infantile, all these patients are essentially infantile, they're regressive, they regress to early childhood and we know that children do use temper tantrums and so on in order to secure attention. We are forgetting that children also use, also use rage attacks and displays of misbehavior to secure outcomes, to manipulate the adults. And these two features survive into adulthood in people with personality disorders. They are children in adult bodies and this is how we should interpret their dramatic behaviors.

But add to this life experience, knowledge, thoughts, tools that children don't have. And you're beginning to understand how seriously dangerous drama is.

Dramatic behavior is drama queens and drama kings are not an oddity, they're not an eccentricity, they're not a sitcom. They are probably the most dangerous among the personality disorder group.

They are drama, dramatic behavior in cluster B leads to all the outcomes that we are terrified of, including aggression, including blackmail.

And so when we see a drama queen or a drama king, we should be doubly careful, doubly cautious, triply worried and concerned with heightened defenses. This is a major sign, drama, including on a first date, drama, you see drama walk away, walk away, it's an exceedingly bad sign.

So I opened with my own personal drama and I have depleted my dramatic reserves.

Like real Broadway, I'm close for the season.

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