How to handle the drama queen at the office

Posted on March 13, 2018 at 3:45 PM

Dysfunctional company dynamics often stems to a drama queen. You can easily recognize the type. He or she is gossipy, passive aggressive and always looking to start a conflict. Your energy is about to be drained from hysteria, speculation and needless trouble. Fortunately, there are some tricks you can do to reduce and manage some of this behaviour. Here are some steps to dethroning the drama queen at the office.

  1. Put the problem back on them

    Whenever they present you with a problematic situation you are expected to solve, try putting the burden back on the drama perpetrator to find a solution. Simply asking what the drama queen plans to do about the situation can short-circuit the quest for attention and put the responsibility back in their court. You may have suggestions, such as checking in with a certain department or a supervisor, but never get drawn into fixing the issue yourself.

  2. Avoid participating into the chaos

    Try to neutralize catastrophic thinking and attitude as much as possible. That may require gathering more information to get clarity whether the problem is really as serious as it is being presented. Do not ever validate the catastrophic thinking by getting upset as this is exactly what this type of person is looking for. The drama queen is a highly anxious person who is unable to regulate their emotions, so what they do is try to spread their anxiety on you.

  3. Try to understand them

    Do not ignore your drama royalty entirely. Instead, try to understand what they get out of stirring the pot. Perhaps they want to feel more needed or valued. If you can get a sense of the driver behind the behaviour, you may be able to reduce it by helping the person to find more productive ways to satisfy their needs. Always try to reinforce positive attitude by praising and rewarding it.

  4. Protect yourself

    It can be very hard to not let the drama queen wear on you and your colleagues. It is important to find the best ways for you to release the tension this type of co-workers create. That may include going for a walk, practicing yoga in your spare time, or doing something else that helps you decompress. Try dealing with drama queens exactly how you would handle any other type of stressful situation and do not forget to take care of yourself.