Histrionic Personality Disorder: Do You Know Anyone Who Is Very Seductive and Influential? (2023)

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Histrionic Personality Disorder: Do You Know Anyone Who Is Very Seductive and Influential? (1)

Last update: 01 January, 2018

A person with histrionic personality disorder is characterized by a pattern of cognitive, behavioral and emotional tendencies that include seductive behaviors, drama, and emotional instability.

In addition, people with histrionic personality disorder have a magnetism that attracts other people, in the short-term at least. At the same time they’re also easily influenced themselves.

(Video) 8 Traits of the "Superficial Personality Disorder" (AKA histrionic PD)

Ah istrionic personality can be seen in individuals who are seductive, people always seeking to attract the attention of others and are very influential. They also show intense feelings, exaggerate the importance of things, and are quite dramatic.

Histrionic personality disorder in film: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

If you remember the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Blake Edwards, the year 1961, and the character of Holly Golightly (played by Audrey Hepburn) then you’ve seen histrionic personality disorder.

Holly wants to be an actress. She leads a crazy, extravagant life and is also easily influenced. She lets herself fall in love and be persuaded by the men she meets along the way. She turns her life into a play.

Histrionic Personality Disorder: Do You Know Anyone Who Is Very Seductive and Influential? (2)

Now we’ll attempt to explain how a histrionic personality disorder is identified, what its causes are and what the most successful treatments are.

What is the difference between a personality disorder and just a personality?

You could say that we’re talking about a psychological disorder and not just a personality when it is a personality style that seriously affects the person and their environment.

People closest to those with a personality disorder suffer because it’s a psychopathologic condition that is egosyntonic. Therefore, people who have it believe that it’s “normal”.

This means that the disorder is integrated into the psychological structure of the person and is something that lives as part of the self.

Anxiety disorders or obsessive compulsive disorders feel like something invading the person and has a starting point (egodystonic disorders). Butp ersonality disorders start developing before adolescence, little by little. The person does not see it as something separate from themselves.

(Video) 10 Signs of Histrionic Personality Disorder

Personality disorders are also characterized by causing a great deal of disruptiveness and conflict in their immediate social context.

Unlike a “way of being”, which can be relaxed relatively quickly in psychological therapy sessions, personality disorders are especially resistant to treatment.

In addition, people with a personality disorder avoid going to a psychologist. The reason is that they feel “they’ve always been like this” and that “their problems are someone else’s fault”.

How is histrionic personality disorder diagnosed?

To diagnose a mental disorder, the criteria most frequently used in psychiatry and psychology are those of the American Psychological Association (APA). Currently, the term proposed by the APA in theDSM-5 is “Histrionic Personality Disorder”.

According to the APA, histrionic personality disorder belongs to Group B personality disorders. They are characterized by mood swings, drama and extroversion.

Diagnostic criteria: learn how to identify a histrionic personality disorder

You may know several people who fit the description of being dramatic, seductive and influential. But it doesn’t mean that they all have histrionic personality disorder.

To be able to say that someone has histrionic personality disorder, five or more of the following criteria should be met:

  • They feel uncomfortable in situations where they are not the center of attention.
  • Interaction with others is often characterized by sexually seductive or provocative inappropriate behavior.
  • Rapid changes of emotions and flat expression of them.
  • They constantly use their physical appearance to attract attention.
  • They have a style of speaking that is excessively based on impressions and lacks details.
  • Self-dramatization, theatricality and exaggerated expression of emotion.
  • They are easily persuaded (that is, easily influenced by others or by circumstances).
  • They consider that their relationships are closer than they really are.

In addition to meeting five or more of the above criteria, it is necessary that they be present by the end of adolescence.

When the diagnostic criteria are not met, the person may have a pattern, profile, or personality style that is histrionic.

(Video) [GUIDE] Everything You Need To Know About Histrionic Personality Disorder

Histrionic Personality Disorder: Do You Know Anyone Who Is Very Seductive and Influential? (3)

How does histrionic personality disorder develop?

Like most psychopathologic disorders, histrionic personality disorder has many causes. There are several causal factors and in most individuals there is a vulnerability (biological, psychological, social) that interacts with their environment (learning, education, drug use, relationships) and all this ends up triggering the disorder.

Other psychological disorders may have a very distinctive and identifiable triggering factor. For example a period of continued anxiety results in a panic attack or job loss that leads to depression.However,in personality disorders there is no precipitating factor of psychopathology.

Treatment of histrionic personality disorder

Treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy

Techniques include impulse management, emotional intelligence, improvement of thinking scheme and work on cognitive distortions. The main treatment objectives are to:

  • Counteract their style of global and diffuse thinking.
  • Distinguish fantasies from reality.
  • Be more realistic in cause and effect attributions.
  • Have more control over their impulsive behaviors.
  • Improve the concept they have of themselves.
  • Increase inter- and intra-personal psychological skills.

Training in social skills and assertiveness is basic to the improvement of the disorder.That’s because these are people accustomed to manipulating their interpersonal relationships. They do it with emotional crises, complaints, and other non-assertive attitudes (usually aggressive).

An important part of psychological therapy is dedicated to helping the patient identify what they want, what they feel, what bothers them and how to express it properly.

As part of this training in assertiveness, they learn to question their belief that the loss of a relationship would be disastrous.In addition they learn to cut the fuse on the idea of ​​rejection.

Although it’s a disorder that has a complicated clinical procedure, improvement is not impossible.

(Video) Understanding Histrionic personality- The Pain Behind the Drama

Therapy is fundamental, freeing people with this disorder from the great suffering that their psychopathology causes in them.

It also helps them recognize and take responsibility for the suffering that their disorder generates around them. This helps them to repair the damage it causes and have a better life.

It might interest you...


What are people with histrionic personality disorder like? ›

These personality disorders are commonly described as dramatic, excitable, erratic, or volatile. Specifically, people with histrionic personality disorder are typically characterized as flirtatious, seductive, charming, manipulative, impulsive, and lively.

How do you know if someone has histrionic personality disorder? ›

Act very dramatically, as though performing before an audience, with exaggerated emotions and expressions, yet appears to lack sincerity. Be overly concerned with physical appearance. Constantly seek reassurance or approval. Be gullible and easily influenced by others.

What famous person has histrionic personality disorder? ›

Many other celebrities exhibit behaviors associated with histrionic personality disorder. It's possible that stars like Britney Spears, Anna Nicole Smith (deceased), Richard Simmons, Marilyn Monroe (deceased), and many others are drawn toward careers that naturally feed their attention craving personalities.

What triggers histrionic personality disorder? ›

Causes of histrionic personality disorder are unknown. Genes and early childhood events may be responsible. It is diagnosed more often in women than in men. Doctors believe that more men may have the disorder than are diagnosed.

Do people with histrionic personality disorder lie a lot? ›

Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD): Those with HPD act in a highly emotional and dramatic way to draw attention to themselves. They often lie as a way to enhance and/or facilitate their dramatic and attention-seeking behaviour. In contrast, archetypal pathological liars do not constantly seek attention.

Do histrionics play the victim? ›

Much like someone diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, teens with histrionic personality disorder always seek to be at the center of attention and feel uncomfortable when they aren't. However, they are willing to play the fool or the victim to get attention.

What happens when you ignore someone with histrionic personality disorder? ›

Recurrent attention-seeking behaviors may lead you to believe that ignoring a histrionic personality is the only way to go. But, ignoring your partner with a histrionic personality may increase their emotional distress and, in turn, increase the chance of more attention-seeking and overdramatic behaviors.

How do histrionics manipulate? ›

They tend to seek attention, and they can be manipulative to maintain the interest of others. They may use behavior, including seductive sexual behavior, suicide attempts, or even physical illness, to obtain your attention.

Do histrionics get jealous? ›

People with HPD will likely demonstrate some of the following symptoms: feels discomfort at not being the center of attention. exhibits oversexualized behaviors. has shifting and shallow emotions, such as jealousy or greed.

Did Marilyn Monroe have histrionic? ›

It's known that she suffered from histrionic personality disorder: an emotional disorder that has some features that fit perfectly with Marilyn's seductive style.

What is the new name for histrionic personality disorder? ›

Like borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder falls under an umbrella known as “Cluster B” personality disorders, which also include antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.

How to deal with a friend with histrionic personality disorder? ›

How to Deal with Someone with Histrionic Personality Disorder
  1. Set boundaries. ...
  2. Know when to take a break. ...
  3. Remind them that you care about them. ...
  4. Encourage them to think about their actions. ...
  5. Keep calm and don't encourage dramatic attention-seeking behaviors. ...
  6. Communicate honestly.
Aug 10, 2021

What does a histrionic want? ›

For people with histrionic personality disorder, their self-esteem depends on the approval of others and doesn't come from a true feeling of self-worth. They have an overwhelming desire to be noticed and often behave dramatically or inappropriately to get attention.

What is an example of histrionic? ›

Exaggerated crying, unnecessary yelling, and overdone gestures are all examples of histrionics. Unlike real emotional reactions, histrionics are fake and intended to manipulate others.

Does histrionic get worse with age? ›

Personality disorders that are susceptible to worsening with age include paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, obsessive compulsive, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, avoidant, and dependent, Dr. Rosowsky said at a conference sponsored by the American Society on Aging.

Are histrionics promiscuous? ›

Histrionic females are skilled at exaggerating their needs to desired males while masking their true promiscuous nature. They often seek to control their partner through emotional manipulation. Histrionic females manipulate others to gain nurturance whereas sociopathic males manipulate others for material gain.

Are histrionics empathetic? ›

Do histrionics have empathy? People with HPD may have difficulty recognizing and identifying emotions in others (as well as in themselves). This may appear as lack of empathy.

Is histrionic a severe form of narcissism? ›

Histrionic narcissism can be difficult to diagnose, making the symptoms of both conditions more severe. People with symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder are often referred to as having narcissistic personality disorder with histrionic traits.

Are histrionics attractive? ›

This study examined the HPD–attractiveness link in a mixed-sex sample of college students. Consistent with expectations, HPD women were rated higher in attractiveness than women with other PDs or no PD. However, a parallel HPD–attractiveness link was not found in men.

Are histrionics happy? ›

In summary, they are unhappy people. But they give the appearance of being happy. In fact, this is called “la belle indifference”… It is a special symptom.

Do histrionics have a fear of abandonment? ›

One of the biggest differences between histrionic and borderline personality disorder is that people with HPD are primarily motivated by a desire for attention, while those with BPD are primarily motivated by a fear of abandonment and rejection.

What personality type always has to be right? ›

ESTJs have a tendency to think they are always right and that their moral compass is objective, absolute and universal.

Which is worse narcissist or histrionic? ›

Both issues are characterized by unstable or impaired personal relationships. People with HPD may struggle to be emotionally intimate with others, while people with NPD are more likely to cause significant emotional harm.

What are those with a histrionic personality disorder most likely to display? ›

Those with histrionic personality want to be the center of attention, and are uncomfortable in situations where they are not. They can display rapidly shifting and shallow expressions of emotions, and their behavior is over-reactive and intensely expressed.

What is the difference between histrionic and narcissistic? ›

The primary difference is that people with NPD have an inflated sense of self and think others should admire or validate them, while people with HPD yearn to be the center of attention.

What is histrionic narcissism? ›

Histrionic narcissists use their seductiveness and even reproductive abilities to gain control of a relationship, maintain the upper hand, or just simply to hurt someone. Histrionic women cross into narcissistic territory through abuse of power and gender roles and the exploitation of relationships.

What is the age of onset for histrionic personality disorder? ›

Histrionic personality disorder usually begins by late teens or early 20s.

What disorder is pretending to be someone else? ›

Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, has an average age of onset between the ages of 5 and 6 years old. It can go unnoticed due to the assumption that a child is playing a game in which they are pretending to be someone else.

What personality disorder is gullible? ›

Those with histrionic personality disorder may be easily influenced by other people's opinions. While gullible, they are also selective in the opinions they believe and act on. If a belief serves their needs—for attention or esteem, they may use it to manipulate others.

What is histrionic style of speech? ›

People with histrionic personality disorder use impressionistic speech. They speak in a very general manner and lack detail. Instead of focusing on describing what happened, they talk about how they felt during the experience. People with histrionic personality disorder are easily influenced by others.

What is a histrionic speech is? ›

: deliberately affected : overly dramatic or emotional : theatrical.

What is the hardest personality disorder to treat? ›

Treating antisocial personality disorder

But antisocial personality disorder is one of the most difficult types of personality disorders to treat. A person with antisocial personality disorder may also be reluctant to seek treatment and may only start therapy when ordered to do so by a court.

What's the hardest mental illness to treat? ›

Personality disorders are some of the most difficult disorders to treat in psychiatry. This is mainly because people with personality disorders don't think their behavior is problematic, so they don't often seek treatment.

What is the most painful mental illness to live with? ›

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) has long been believed to be a disorder that produces the most intense emotional pain and distress in those who have this condition. Studies have shown that borderline patients experience chronic and significant emotional suffering and mental agony.

Do histrionic people lack empathy? ›

People with HPD may have difficulty recognizing and identifying emotions in others (as well as in themselves). This may appear as lack of empathy.

What happens when you ignore a histrionic? ›

Recurrent attention-seeking behaviors may lead you to believe that ignoring a histrionic personality is the only way to go. But, ignoring your partner with a histrionic personality may increase their emotional distress and, in turn, increase the chance of more attention-seeking and overdramatic behaviors.

How does HPD affect relationships? ›

In addition to difficulty maintaining romantic relationships, someone with HPD may have trouble keeping close friendships of the same sex. People are often put off by the sexual behavior of a friend with histrionic personality disorder because it can seem threatening to the friend's romantic relationship.

How do you talk to a histrionic person? ›

How to Deal with Someone with Histrionic Personality Disorder
  1. Set boundaries. ...
  2. Know when to take a break. ...
  3. Remind them that you care about them. ...
  4. Encourage them to think about their actions. ...
  5. Keep calm and don't encourage dramatic attention-seeking behaviors. ...
  6. Communicate honestly.
Aug 10, 2021


1. Histrionic Personality Disorder Deep Dive | What is Hysteria?
(Dr. Todd Grande)
2. Cluster B (Borderline, Antisocial, Narcissistic, Histrionic) Personality Disorders
(Memorable Psychiatry and Neurology)
3. The 4 Most Misunderstood Personality Disorders & How to Spot Them
4. What is Histrionic Personality Disorder?
(Dr. Todd Grande)
5. Narcissism? Borderline Personality Disorder? This May Imitate Both...
6. What are the symptoms of Histrionic personality disorder?
(Courage Coaching)


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