13 thoughts on “The Histrionic Female Has an Insatiable and Destructive Desire for Attention

  • August 9, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    On point, Shahida Aribi. I had to grow up with these types of women. It does not matter if they are your sister, your cousin, or your mother. These types of women will set out to seduce the husband or boyfriend of their sister or daughter. In our culture, women go out of their way commonly to appear sexual, since there is a certain “onus” upon girls and women to do look and behave in certain ways…however, the type of women this article is referring to stands waaay out from the pack in this regard. You will know her easily from the rest of the “sexy” women out there, since it is her malignancy – her destructive nature and intent – that characterize her. Thank you so much for, again, reminding us that we’re not crazy/”just imagining things” as the gaslighting abusers like to imply…and that we’re not alone.

  • August 9, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    While I believe that articles such as this one are highly informative about the topic at hand, I can’t help but express my concern about the message that is being passed along to the general population…. There is still a great deal of stigma associated with mental illnesses (especially personality disorders) and many of the individuals who are diagnosed are deeply wounded at their core. That being said, Is there perhaps a way you would advise those of us who know someone with histrionic personality traits to be supportive while simultaneously retaining our own healthy and authentic sense of self?

    • August 1, 2018 at 9:23 am

      Well, here we are a year later, and if you’re still connected to the person hats off to you! Having been close to someone like this (I’m not a professional), I can tell you, it’s probably not going to be a nourishing core relationship. So to nourish yourself, do self-care and build core relationships with some folks that don’t include them. Just as someone close to a Narcissist must do. Be open and honest about this, no reason to hide. Don’t be sexual with an HPD despite their constant tendency to sexualize situations; that’s just an abyss. If that behavior is disruptive, remove yourself and call them on in fairly promptly (don’t wait months). The response will vary depending on setting (work, school, other community settings)

      It would be foolish, and increase suffering, to expect that. Don’t expect them to communicate consistently or constructively with you. Don’t be fooled by moments of apparent clarity or being-on-the-same-page. They can do mirroring which simulates genuine connection.

      I think HPD’s may appear “smart” but on closer inspection they dodge any kind of in depth discussion. They’re good at idle chit chat and verbal sparring but don’t go deep and accomplish very little.

      By the way, they can go from wildly flirtatious to cold, as they rotate through members of their “cult of love”. Their inconsistency keeps people hooked.

      Morals/values don’t exist or shift rapidly. Lying is continual; it’s used to create and re-create shallow images that temporarily serve as a replacements for non-existant identity, as well as to avoid any kind of accountability or openness (this is true of several related PD’s, same for all of them). Commitment, solid relationships, being reliable, get in the way of the the goals of people with this and the other Cluster B disorders.

      I believe, as with many other disordered individuals, it’s best to assume no intent or ill will on their behalf, it’s just that they’re unable to “see” others’ concerns (despite occasional moments of striking but short-lived campaigns when their extreme emotionality drives them to react to someone else’s crisis by blaming a common enemy or a staging a theatrical but unnecessary and disruptive, even damaging, rescue effort).

      • November 22, 2018 at 6:09 am

        Hi Jon, your description is 100% spot on compared to what I just experienced with a woman I was dating. We wrote over 15.000 messages (!) to eachother in several weeks in what seemed to be an amazing and deep connection, due to her perfected mirroring but it ended up in disruptive emotions when I gave her even a little bit less attention than she wanted. I discovered she hardly had a real self after all, especially when asking why she did what she did. I ended it cordially but clearly and not looking back.

    • November 18, 2018 at 7:37 am

      My son’s mother, although not diagnosed shows many signs of being histrionic, narcissist. I was supportive and stuck by her side, but in the process I became depressed. I’m now trying to get mentally healthy and heal from the terrible experience. In addition, I have to live with not having a realtionship with my child because of disorder. She knows how to work people and we live in a women basis state regarding family court. People must be very careful dealing with a person with HPD, your overall well being is on the line…

      • May 18, 2020 at 12:03 pm

        I really feel for you. This is what happened in our family but back in the 60s. My Mom twisted my Dad’s arm to marry him, made his life a living hell treating him like garbage and doing nothing but making messes all day while ignoring us, her two children. After demanding a divorce and gaining full custody, she constantly badmouthed our Dad, sabotaging our relationship with him. Both my sister and I were able to rebuild our relationship with our Dad in adulthood, but we shouldn’t have had to. I can’t believe he put up with her for 8 years! She is still driving me nuts but luckily he doesn’t have to bother with her. He has been happily married to a lovely woman now for 50 years.

  • February 14, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    Excellent article,true in every word and sense.

  • August 1, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Shahida your writing along with other resources and perspectives of people who knew my situation helped me end a relationship with a woman who, though really enchanting, would eventually ruin me if I kept her in my life.

    Thus began the suffering of the breakup, but that’s much less than the suffering of continuing, which would have been unbearable. She asked for friendship but I felt there was none, given this sort of behavior. I wonder whether she has an idea of what friendship really is.

  • November 7, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    This is officially my favorite blog on Psychcentral. As a woman, I have dealt with a convert narcissism of a close female friend. Sometimes people think that emotional abuse can only happen in family or romantic relationships from male to female. But it happens in female friendships also. This was something I never expected but it happened. Now that I have distanced myself from her, I wonder…was she aware of everything that she was doing, or was she subconsciously doing these things?

  • November 18, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Very imformative and explains my child’s mother pretty much to the t. Thank you for your contribution to this topic…

  • June 17, 2019 at 10:40 am

    What happens to the histrionic when she reaches a age where her sexual behaviour becomes more comical than seducing?
    Do they put off some of these behaviours as they grow too old?
    Luckily I went “no contact” long time ago but I’m curios about how her elderly days will treat her.
    For those that are facing court trial for custody of kids, then demand for a WAIS test of the Histrionic mother. For a narcissist it’s probably little or no use that they take this test but a Histrionic will most likely do very badly on this test and it can indicate that further psychiatric investigation is needed.

    • May 18, 2020 at 11:55 am

      My Mom who is 81 is contemplating MORE plastic surgery, and wore a midriff-exposing blouse to my sister’s memorial service. (Where she had planned to give a rendition of Ave Maria without bothering to tell anyone but we were able to control the situation.) I think the greatest frustration of her old age is not being able to manipulate men anymore.

      • July 26, 2020 at 4:11 am

        Wow. These types create quite the situations. I’m just staying away from ’em in the future. Mine lit up my life but also caused a lot of misery, really not worth it still recovering from her.


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