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What is the Best Way to Talk to Drama Queens?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 23, 2024
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In modern language, drama queens are people who often make small incidents or situations into bigger issues than they need to be. They may become emotional to the point of being theatrical over things that others don't respond to in this manner. The best way to talk to such a person is usually to first tell her to calm down and then let her know that you won't discuss anything until she does speak and behave calmly.

Calming anyone who is over-excited or speaking loudly may help her stop and think before acting out. Of course, people who are known as drama queens are typically used to behaving in a loud or disruptive manner anytime something isn't to their liking. Try to figure out if the person is seeking attention or genuinely upset. If it's the latter, try gently explaining the reasons why there is no need to be upset to try to calm her fears. If she seems to be making a fuss mainly to be the center of attention, you should mention that you feel embarrassed by her over the top behavior and you won't be a part of any future similar situations.

You could try to remind the person that others are affected by her behavior and deserve a calmer approach. Drama queens are often thought of as being selfish and may be sensitive to being called on that; rather than calling them names, just point out the situation as you see it. Gently say that there is no need to blow things out of proportion because it makes things worse for everyone else. Make useful suggestions for solving the problem to avoid the conversation becoming about blaming the person for overreacting.

By focusing on developing a solution together, rather than arguing, further fuss can usually be avoided. Some overly dramatic individuals may not necessarily want to create attention to themselves by speaking loudly or behaving inappropriately. They may be simply be used to immediately reacting to their emotions, rather than thinking things though first. Be kind and help the person to think before acting. It isn't easy to talk about this to someone as she is likely to feel insulted, which may easily lead to more bad behavior; speaking about it in a light, humorous, non-judgemental way during a dramatic episode is often best.

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Discussion Comments
By anon291669 — On Sep 15, 2012

I am being treated as a drama queen and am not liking it one bit. It all stems from being left to deal with the delivery and installation of an appliance for the convenience of everyone else involved but me.

I was trying to prepare for surgery and something that should have taken one day ended up taking a week with the unit being dropped in the roadway. I had to move the tenants' belongings out of the way, clean up after the workman, put everything back and while trying to leave a note about the man having to come back, I was treated with great disdain by the tenant for still being there! She later referred to the whole thing as me being "dramatic" when in fact I was pissed and annoyed with her (she uses facial expressions to the extreme) and never was told by her if the new range was functioning properly or not, etc.

She could only focus on my anxiety about dealing with everyone else's crap and not what I was truly concerned about. You're right, no one likes to be labeled. I am not the person giving her ulcers! I expect consideration in regard to trying to do something nice for someone and feeling as though it was truly unappreciated.

By JaneAir — On Aug 24, 2012

@sunnySkys - That approach only works for the loud drama queens. I've found that some drama queens are a little bit more insidious. They like to stir up drama quietly, behind the scenes. When this happens, there's very little you can do to stop things from getting out of control.

By sunnySkys — On Aug 24, 2012

@Azuza - I think most of us would prefer not to deal with drama queens, but sometimes it's unavoidable. For instance, if you have a close family member that is a drama queen, you will have to deal with them, even if you choose to limit contact.

I've found that the best way to deal with a drama queen is to get let them wear themselves out. If you let them talk for long enough, eventually they'll calm down and you can have a real conversation with them.

By Azuza — On Aug 23, 2012

In find that the older I get, the less tolerance I have for any kind of dramatic behavior. I prefer to just avoid being friend with drama queens, rather than trying to find ways to deal with their behavior. Dealing with crazy behavior is emotionally exhausting, and with most drama queens, there's really no way to get them to stop acting dramatic.

In fact, I've found that telling an upset person to "calm down" is a perfect way to get them even more riled up! I'd rather just remove myself from the situation and call it a day.

By strawCake — On Aug 23, 2012

@Kristee - I think slapping someone in the face is pretty dramatic, and definitely not the best way to deal with a drama queen. In fact, for a guy to do this to a female drama queen in public is a pretty quick way to get arrested! Then there will be even more drama.

By Kristee — On Aug 22, 2012

@seag47 – I guess that would depend on your tolerance for embarrassment. I just cannot sit there and let someone have a loud, emotional reaction in public while I'm around.

I know it is not the best way to talk to a drama queen, but I tend to snap at them. As soon as my friend starts to become loud and dramatic, I cut her short and say, “You will not embarrass me in public again, do you hear?”

Getting angry and assertive is the only way to make her be quiet. I don't know why she doesn't get even louder and storm out, but I'm just glad that my method works.

My brother has his own method for dealing with her. He actually slaps her across the cheek, and that is enough to shock her into silence for awhile.

By seag47 — On Aug 22, 2012

It's never easy when your best friends and drama queens are one and the same. I don't know why, but drama queens are always drawn to me. I suppose the fact that I am a good listener makes me safe and easy to be around.

I have learned to just endure their dramatic ways. I think that the best thing to do is to let them react how they want to, and I try not to seem embarrassed by their dramatic behavior. This is who they are, and to tell them to behave otherwise would be like telling them to be someone else.

By Oceana — On Aug 21, 2012

I think there is usually a drama queen in every family. My first cousin on my mother's side is the drama queen in mine.

I think that it is best to talk to a drama queen in private whenever possible. I have been embarrassed by her emotional outbursts in the past in public, so I have made it a point never to go to the mall or the movies with her.

If we get together, I suggest watching movies at home or making dinner there. I really don't want to get stuck at a table in a restaurant with her and have her make one of her scenes.

By Armas1313 — On Mar 04, 2011


It seems that you are playing off of everyone's desire to be recognized and appreciated. This is the motivation which causes drama in the first place: people feel like they aren't being recognized or heart. If you can effectively assuage people's fears of being ignored or under-appreciated, you can easily help them to see the big picture.

By Renegade — On Mar 03, 2011


Many people simply approach people whom they deem to be "drama queens" in an offensive or antagonistic manner, which is only retroactive and causes no good for anybody. Learning to befriend difficult people is the best way to help them to learn.

By SilentBlue — On Mar 01, 2011

I tend to approach drama queens by "anchoring." This means that I will find something that I can agree with and emotionally connect with them on before I bring an issue which may upset them. Flattery or encouragement, for instance, can easily pacify most drama queens, unless the flattery is done in a very obvious manner. After gaining their trust, you can then carefully introduce an observation or critique.

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