Personal Drama – Drama Queen Part I

by Dr. Joe :) · 12 comments

In previous posts, I’ve shared insights on Dental Fear & Anxiety, Dental Avoiders, and  Dental Pain Exploiters. These all relate to the topic of Reasons People Hate Dentists.

Sharing personal drama as a complete drama queen

Drama Queens love to share all of their personal drama

Now I’m going to flip things around and reveal the bane of a dentist’s existence – Dental Drama.

Before I can tackle that, I’ll first explain more about Personal Drama, the Expressive Profile and Toxic Drama.

Sharing Personal Drama

Personal drama is about taking how you feel inside, and revealing that to others around you. You feel fantastic and everybody knows it. You feel upset and everyone gets the message loud and clear.

Maybe you’re more reserved and not into drama. On the other hand, maybe drama is your thing.

Whatever the case, let’s explore what Personal Drama is all about…

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4 Steps of Emotional Response

  1. Feeling it
  2. Reflective Pause
  3. Expressing it
  4. Owning Your Emotions

Developing emotional maturity entails mastering each of these 4 steps. Weakness in any one step can easily become your undoing in your relationships and career.

Emotions can motivate you and help guide decisions, but they need to be tamed to be useful.

I’m still figuring out this stuff. Growing up with Spock as my role model didn’t exactly provide me with a deep emotional repertoire to draw upon.

I only made the breakthrough after reading Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. That’s where I realized that emotions could be extremely useful IF they can be mastered and channeled properly.

That’s a big IF.

Emotions can motivate you and help guide decisions, but they need to be tamed to be useful.

These 4 steps are self-explanatory, so what I’ll focus upon are the huge pitfalls at steps 2 and 4.

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Lack of Reflective Pause

A common problem everywhere you look these days is a glaring lack of  Reflective Pause on emotions. That’s the step where your emotions are filtered and your reactions tempered.

The Rage Threshold seems to be disturbingly low.

A common mistake is to misinterpret emotions as “truth” instead of seeing them for what they really are – Action Signals that may or may not be helpful.

Without that Reflective Pause, your emotions would come rushing through you like a runaway freight train. When that happens, civility would be a casualty as you would literally crash into other people… much like that Oscar-winning movie Crash.

I loved that movie. It was more about cultural and racial conflicts, but the idea of emotionally-charged people crashing into each other certainly applies here.

We all have our worst moments.

Lately I see a lot more of those moments in people. The Rage Threshold seems to be disturbingly low.

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Negative Emotions Dominate

Negative emotions are powerful and can easily dominate your attitude if they’re allowed to grow unchecked.

negative emotions tend to dominate

Don't allow negative emotions to dominate

Suppressing your negative emotions is essential to have any hope of a productive life.

Without tempering, negative emotional outbursts would be practically reflex and your emotions would begin controlling your everyday life. People would steer clear of you to avoid the toxic fallout of your outbursts.

Without the emotional control provided by that Reflective Pause, you would behave like a sailboat without a keel – constantly being tossed about by every little breeze that comes your way. Without the calming affect of emotional stability, others could easily interpret your behavior as hostile or antagonistic.

The other pitfall to developing emotional maturity is in Owning Your Emotions. I’ll get more into that later with the topic of Toxic Drama.

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My Life as a Drama Queen…

Does your life sometimes read like tabloid headlines? Those days where you experience moments of intense highs and lows?

How is it some people seem to attract far more drama than others? Each day becomes a string of dramatic adventures.

It comes down to your inclination to emphasize and express Personal Drama.

Some people diminish the drama, and some people emphasize it.

For those that emphasize, you can call that “wearing your heart on your sleeve.” Some would describe it as being a “Drama Queen.”

Whatever you want to call it, there’s plenty of theatrics going around these days. It seems we live in the Age of Personal Drama.

Disney has tapped into this trend with a slew of shows centered upon early-teens dramatizing on and on about relationships and everyday living. Young children can’t get enough of it.

Sharing Personal Drama online has become all the rage of late. You can chronicle your personal life on Facebook, share intimate details of your moment-to-moment activities on Twitter, and rant about the service at a local restaurant on Yelp.

No more living in quite indignation. Everyone gets to carry their virtual protest sign and vent their frustrations to anyone who’ll listen.

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Histrionic Personality Disorder

Do you know anyone you would label a Drama Queen?

There’s actually a medical term for this called Histrionic Personality Disorder.  People with this disorder show a pattern of excessive emotional display and attention-seeking behavior.

According to Wikipedia’s definition, “Associated features may include egocentric tendencies, self-indulgence, continuous longing for appreciation, feelings that are easily hurt, and persistent manipulative behavior to achieve their own needs.”

A child throwing a tantrum is an obvious example of this behavior. Lots of children go through that stage and grow out of it as they mature.

What about adult tantrums? I’ll get more into that in Drama Queen Part II.

Stay healthy and keep smiling!

Signature for a Toronto Cosmetic Dentist.

Dr. Joe 🙂


Dr. Joe Bulger

About the Author: is a West Toronto dentist. He’s also the founder of Royal York Dental – a respected dental clinic serving Etobicoke since 1950.


Leave a Comment

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Community July 12, 2010 at 12:17 am

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as you and I both know, it’s not the destination but the ‘journey’ that counts. Now that the way is clear, the sky’s the limit!! Thank you for your inspirational life story.

2 Paul Novak July 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm

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Howdy again Doc. Good post as per usual. I’m a bit of a stoic myself, but if there is one thing that can turn me into a histrionic it’s goinig to the dentist! J/K. Used to be that way, but as I mentioned before I’ve been lucky enough to find a good egg who keeps the unpleasant parts of dentistry to a manageable level. I know more than a couple folks though whose lives are spent amplifying every single event into an emotional nuclear eruption. I do my best to avoid them, couldn’t imagine having to perform work for them.

3 Dr. Joe :) July 13, 2010 at 7:34 pm

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Hi Paul. You’re right, managing those people who love amplifying everything is challenging. In some ways they crave drama so they can have another wicked good tale to share.

Anxious people are different. They’ll amplify things in the moment, but only because of their heightened state of anxiety. They aren’t the drama types.

You used to be one of those anxious typed and know what a difference it makes going to a dentist you trust.

4 roxyd32 July 15, 2010 at 9:11 am

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Love this post.. I can totally relate to the Drama Queen aspect– Publicizing one’s life on facebook and twitter seems to be the norm these days. I have cousins and friends that do not live in the country, and due to their status updates, I know exactly what has been happening in their lives. LOL! I can totally see how people with these “dramatic episodes” can translate to issues in the dental chair… Never a dull moment!

5 online marriage counseling September 20, 2010 at 12:32 am

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Came here after searching in Google – nice site you have mate!

6 jane@dentists in alpharetta July 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm

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sometimes it’s hard not to let negative emotions dominate. pessimism is not great but it is difficult sometimes to avoid. i do wish i could get more in tune with controlling emotions where it was subconscious and i didn’t have to work at it. interesting stuff…

7 Jack @ Thesis Writing Services February 6, 2012 at 5:34 am

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becoming a drama queen is not a easy job it needs a lot on attention to what you are doing only few talented people can do this and becoming a drama queen is about creating scenes that only few can do!

8 Dr. Gurz @ Diamond Bar Dentist September 26, 2012 at 8:33 am

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Agreed, Drama Queens are a big factor we doctors have to face everyday. For us its like a double treatment, oral and psychological. I have several patients coming and saying that it is impossible to go for a dental treatment and is there any other solution to that. For that I have made a seperate department so that people could be educated about these issues. We use video support, oral learning activites and related activities so that people are no more unaware of the procedures.

9 Dr. Joe :) September 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm

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Drama Queens in the chair are challenging enough… Drama queens on the team are a nightmare!

10 Dentist@Raritan Dentist November 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm

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Using the SOAP notes approach to documentation…

It’s important to take an objective stance in what patients are saying. The subjective part or their “Chief complaint” also plays an important role, but providing good care requires objective findings to support your treatment. So I say… listen to a patient out and see whats going on. If its there, try to correct it. If not, then just keep note of it, but you can’t treat something you cannot see for yourself.

11 Michelle November 14, 2012 at 11:21 am

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I guess I’m the only idiot who didn’t fully undersand this article. Not to say it not good. I’m just lost.

12 TheTruth May 13, 2016 at 10:35 am

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Many of these people do really need help very badly.

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