The Flaming Hysteric

by David Arredondo

3382506686_caba3e4321_oYou all know who I mean. It’s the woman—who no matter what—has to be the center of attention.

Her dress may be a little tight or short. She flirts incessantly. Her neckline may be a little low, or her breasts pushed up or surgically enlarged to a degree guaranteed to get men’s attention (which she might complain about). The slightest little incident throws her into a histrionic. She is vivacious, easily enthusiastic, very emotional, and dramatic. Her car is probably a flashy color (she’d get a convertible if she could) and designed to draw attention. 

This coworker tends to infuriate fellow females while entertaining the males. She’s especially interested in getting the attention and affection of the boss. She is needy and always hungry for the attention she craves. Above all, she is manipulative, self-centered, and focused on getting what she needs. She is shallow.

How are you supposed to get along with a coworker like that? Well, it’s different for men and women. (By the way, although this post is about female hysterics, the same personality profile can be seen in male coworkers as well.) For males who are the object of affection, it is relatively straightforward. These women tend to be “all show and no go.” As entertaining as they are, it stops right there. So enjoy yourself visually or perhaps in fantasy, but you can forget about any real intimacy.

For females, this is harder. These women can drive you crazy. In addition to sucking up all the male attention in the room, they also suck up to the boss. Their histrionics make a drum of every work project. There’s not a meeting they don’t disrupt. They are selfish and self-centered. And they love to gossip.

First, you are going to need patience. That requires effort. You will also need to observe yourself carefully as you respond internally to what seems like an endless affront. Do you want to slap her? Slash her tires? If you ripped her dress, you would only be adding fuel to her fire—she would love that (more drama). It’s especially important to stay centered at all costs. Information helps. It actually informs compassion. These women are deeply unhappy and always dissatisfied. They are in a state of perpetual hunger, and they can never get enough of what they crave. Maybe they get a man’s attention for a while, but sooner or later, it wears thin. The more they get to know her, they less they like her. In fact, her situation is kind of sad.

Here’s where compassion comes in. What if you were like her? She knows something’s wrong; she knows she’s a fake. She’ll never admit it, but deep down inside, there’s an emptiness that can’t be filled no matter how hard she tries.