Never afraid to be walking clichés, cast members of reality TV shows regularly say, “I don’t want any drama!” before hurling insults at their “friends” or calling out perceived slights against them. Of course, they have a financial incentive to stir up trouble—but what about the people in your life who are always in a conflict, a crisis, or a horribly unjust situation?
It could be that they have a personality type called “need for drama,” or NFD. A few years ago, Scott Frankowski, an assistant professor at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, and his colleagues developed and tested a scale to measure this quality. NFD has three components: “interpersonal manipulation,” which is a tendency to control or “mess with” other people; “impulsive outspokenness,” a habit of speaking out at inappropriate times; and “persistent perceived victimhood,” a propensity for believing one is a victim in situations that others would dismiss as benign. Unsurprisingly, there is also a moderate-to-strong correlation between NFD and endorsing gossip, Frankowski says.
While the description “drama queen” is—inherent to the expression—associated with women, Frankowski’s research showed that men are equally likely to have this penchant. He has more recently found, however, that when people are presented with descriptions of dramatic behaviors, they judge women who exhibit them as less fit for leadership positions than men who display the exact same characteristics. “Women are penalized for such tendencies much more than men are.” (You can read the rest of this article at the following link and take your own NFD quiz https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/202008/always-the-victim)