Home » Pro » The Exhausted Woman » 6 Characteristics of a Histrionic PD in a Work Environment

The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

6 Characteristics of a Histrionic PD in a Work Environment

It’s hard to miss the drama in a conservative work environment where things are relatively calm. Granted there are pressures and tensions at the office, but nothing compares to the constant barrage of theatrics. One person seems to stand out in suggestive appearance, inappropriate behavior, and a need to be the center of attention.

In modern culture, these people are frequently called drama queens. But in psychology, they are labeled with a Histrionic Personality Disorder. A personality disorder is pervasive, meaning it exists in all environments including work, home, and community. Individuals who fall into this category seem to have a constant flow of drama following them everywhere. Some of it is outside of their influence, but some are the result of poor judgment.

Here are six ways the characteristics of a Histrionic Personality Disorder may manifest themselves in work settings:

  1. Validation– A Histrionic personality has an insatiable need for approval from co-workers and supervisors. This manifests by being easily influenced in order to gain even more approval.
  2. Tasks– Has great initial enthusiasm for projects but lacks follow-through. Usually, this PD (personality disorder) will begin a task highly motivated and committed but has difficulty finishing when the excitement dies down. Their need for immediate gratification causes them to become agitated at any delay.
  3. Relationships– Quickly attaches and clings to co-workers calling them their best friend when the feeling is not reciprocal. Often co-workers will avoid them in an attempt to set better boundaries. A Histrionic PD will seek out the excitement of new relationships and abandon old ones.
  4. Day-to-day– Histrionics are impulsive and like to engage in risk-taking behavior. They are easily bored with routine and jobs that perform the same tasks over and over. They tend to act out to gain attention and when it is not received, they act out even more. This results in depression when they are not the center of things.
  5. Responses– This PD is sensitive to stressful environments, worries excessively are flippant with responsibilities, and lacks specific detail in speaking. They can be emotionally expressive and manipulative, but also very shallow and fake.
  6. Ethics– Engages in inappropriate seductive behavior with people who are in other relationships or where there is a potential for conflict such as employer/employee. They use their physical appearance to sexually attract others, wear revealing clothing, and then will follow through with promiscuous behavior.


Because of this behavior, many Histrionics do not last too long in a job – which can be a shame because they tend to be highly creative. Their energy level and enthusiasm can be exciting to be around. While it may seem they work better in unstructured environments, too much flexibility can invite even more risk-taking behavior. They function well in environments where the rules are constantly reinforced and there are frequent rewards.

6 Characteristics of a Histrionic PD in a Work Environment

Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

Christine Hammond is a leading mental health influencer, author, and guest speaker. As an author of the award-winning “The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook,” and more than 500 articles, Christine has more than one million people downloading her podcast “Understanding Today’s Narcissist,” and more than 400,000 views on YouTube. Her practice specializes in treating families of abuse, and trauma, with personality disorders involved which are based on her own personal experience. Her new book, Abuse Exposed: Identifying Family Secrets that Breed Dysfunction will be published in 2020. Christine is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Qualified Supervisor by the State of Florida, a National Certified Counselor, Certified Family Trauma Professional, with extensive training in crisis intervention and peaceful resolution. Based in Orlando, you may connect with Christine at Grow with Christine (


No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment

APA Reference
Hammond, C. (2020). 6 Characteristics of a Histrionic PD in a Work Environment. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 28, 2020, from