Expressive Personality: Wired for Drama – Drama Manipulation

by Dr. Joe :) · 23 comments

In Drama Queen Part I you learned about Personal Drama. Now discover how the Expressive Profile is wired for drama and uses it for manipulation.

masks for drama in dental office

The Expressive Profile emphasize theatrics and drama.

When’s the last time something has really upset you? Three month ago? Three hours ago?

Here’s the thing. Though all of us experience moments of emotional upset, how we outwardly express emotion can be very different. Some people are easily upset, and some are into lots of Personal Drama.

Your Personality is one of the biggest factors in your tendency to express Personal Drama. You might have a reserved nature and display very little emotion. On the other hand, maybe you tend to be very effusive and expressive with your emotions.

Before elaborating on the Expressive Profile, let me explain a little background on different Profile Systems…

Profile Systems

There are many Personality Profile Systems available out there – Myers-Briggs, DISC, True Colors, Keirsey, Hartman, etc. These Profile Systems all helpful in understanding the nature of people and appreciating the diversity of strengths people have.

People reveal themselves in how they interact with others. Even voice patterns are a dead giveaway.

Many are based on a four-quadrant model similar to the Four Temperaments Model that Hippocrates developed around 400BC. His ancient profiles are strikingly similar, even though he took the odd approach of basing profile names on body fluids.

I’ve used a number of the Profile Systems. I appreciate the detail of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, but for on-the-fly simplicity I prefer the Social Style Model. It’s simple, useful and easy to implement. The more widely used DISC Profile is nearly identical.

It’s very easy to read people using the Social Style Model. As soon as their guard is down, people reveal themselves in how they interact with others. Even voice patterns are a dead giveaway.

The Social Style Model is based on two simple questions:

  1. Are you more of a talker or a listener by nature?
  2. Are you more emotional or less emotional in nature?

That sets up a grid with 4 distinct personality profiles – Amiable, Analytical, Expressive and Driven.

the peacock represents the expressive profile

The colorful peacock represents the Expressive Profile

My natural style? Analytical. I’m constantly seeking answers to questions, especially those that begin with WHY?

  • An Amiable person asks HOW? as in “How can I help maintain peace and harmony?”
  • An Analytical person asks WHY? as in “Why is this relevant and worth exploring?”
  • An Expressive asks WHO? as in “Who do I want to talk to and spend more time with?”
  • A Driven asks WHAT? as in “What do I need to do here to win?”

Your natural style? Chances are you’re an Analytical if you’ve managed to read this far. Other styles don’t usually bother with all the boring facts and details. Unless they had a specific reason to read more, they won’t. Analyticals on the other hand, have an insatiable appetite for knowledge and insight.

Expressives? They’re too busy expressing themselves on Facebook, Twitter and their ever-present cellphone to stop and listen to anyone else’s take on things.

You can also use birds to describe these 4 styles – Dove, Owl, Peacock and Eagle. Many find it easier to relate to the symbolism of birds as opposed to words alone.

One of these four – the Expressive Profile (peacock)- represents people that are very effusive with their emotional display. These are the ones that project more Personal Drama and routinely act out in a drama-queen fashion.

I’m not here to pick on the Expressive Profile. Any of these 4 personality styles can be overdone to a fault. Any one style has glaring weaknesses that can be easily compensated by a more balanced approach. Most people maintain some balance, though one natural style will still dominate their personality.

Much of what I’m about to describe is the extreme version of an Expressive Personality. People rarely display such full extremes. For one thing, it wouldn’t be socially acceptable to do so.

Here’s a secret… People are used to acting in certain socially-acceptable ways. The trick is to catch them when their guard is down. Just add stress, liquor, power or wealth in any combination and you’ll see more of a person’s true nature.

sweet post-doodle - 573

Expressive Personality Profile

Are you one of those life-of-the-party types?

To an extreme, an Expressive can be a vain, self-centered Drama Queen with a theatrical, volatile nature.

Expressive people are social butterflies. They’re talkative, energetic, inspirational and fun to be around. They love a good party and are just getting warmed up when everyone else is exhausted.

Their strength is their passion, enthusiasm and ability to influence. They’re born to perform to an audience.

Weaknesses? As is often the case, their weakness is their strength overdone. Their social nature makes it difficult for them to stay on task. “Life is a party” is the motto they live by.

They thrive at social gatherings as opposed to confined work environments. Big on enthusiasm but not as strong on precision or competence, an Expressive  tends to be chaotic and may try to fudge their way through things. An Expressive will enthusiastically take on new roles and challenges only to find themselves way over their heads. They tend to get easily sidetracked with their ability to turn any situation into a gabfest or party.

To an extreme, an Expressive can be a vain, self-centered Drama Queen with a theatrical, volatile nature. They can become very indulgent and self-absorbed in their emotions. You’ll see them up one minute and way down in the dumps the next.

Once an Expressive Profile gets into a negative spin, he or she can be overwhelmed by negativity and susceptible to dramatic outbursts.

sweet post-doodle - 573

Wired for Drama!!!

Notice how I added three exclamation points to the sub-head? That’s how an Expressive Personality naturally communicates! Every sentence ends with an exclamation!

Guess What? I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more BOLD! (taken from “More cowbell” – a popular SNL skit)

MAYBE I”LL EVEN JUMP TO ALL CAPS! (I’ve seen entire pages written in caps)

It quickly becomes excessive if you know what I mean.

The Expressive Profile is into Personal Drama in a big way. These people crave attention and are wired for drama. Emotional display is often over the top and their moment-to-moment mood is obvious to everyone around them.

Calm and cool is boring to them. When they can’t find any excitement they’ll create some.

Expressive people have a tendency to talk loud and fast. Difficult to get a word in once they’re on a roll. They’re not eager to relinquish their hold of the talking stick in any conversation.

An Expressive will talk for the sake of talking, as opposed to only speaking up to make a specific point. Call them a chatterbox if you like. They have a tendency to think out loud and enjoy telling those rambling, shaggy-dog monologues that wander off along various story-lines.

The Expressive Profile is attracted to action and drama. Calm and cool is boring to them. When they can’t find any excitement they’ll create some. Like a fisherman’s tale, they tend to amplify and exaggerate with their stories. The highs are higher and the lows are lower. Whatever it takes to get and hold precious attention.

If their emotional indulgences and self-absorbed tendencies are left unchecked,  an Expressive will evolve into a Drama Queen. Increasingly narcissistic,  poor listening skills, relentless attention-seeker and more impulsive in nature. They’ll develop a hair-trigger emotional response, particularly with rage.

Do you know anyone who fits the Expressive Profile? Do they have their Drama Queen moments?

sweet post-doodle - 573

Drama Manipulation

Wasn’t that a hilarious video?

Drama Manipulators take full advantage of that. They have no reservations about being loud and demanding in public.

Having helped raised 5 children I can relate to that cute little toddler’s manipulative ways. I can tell you from personal experience, the tricks get much less cute as they get older.

Back in Drama Queen Part I, I mentioned Histrionic Personality Disorder and gave the example of a child throwing a tantrum.

What about adults? How do they use drama for manipulation?

Adults tend to make dramatic displays with more finesse than just falling to the ground kicking and screaming like a child would. Their intention is basically the same – to manipulate an outcome in their favor using drama.

Some Expressive  know they can get exactly what they want with Drama Manipulation. They know they can easily get others to back down to their theatrical outrage. You see, most people have low confrontation tolerance and hate feeling publicly embarrassed. They’ll naturally try to avoid or appease anyone making a big scene.

Drama Manipulators take full advantage of that. They seek to dominate others with drama. They’re selfish bullies.

It’s easy to just give in to Drama Manipulation. The problem with doing that is that you’ve now empowered them. They OWN you and will bully you all the more.

Have you ever met a full-blown Drama Manipulator? I worked with one for many years. She dominated the work place and had everyone ducking for cover to avoid her wrath.

I just recently heard a profanity-filled recording of Mel Gibson raging on his girlfriend. A clear case of Toxic Drama. I’ll get more into that in my next post.

Drama Manipulators have no reservations about being loud and demanding in public. They thrive at being the center of attention and believe in the philosophy “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” They know how to play the crowd.

They fully expect others to back down and give in, and they’re often rewarded for their efforts. Theatrics for profit and gain.

Ultimately, people don’t appreciate such Drama Manipulation, and that’s one reason why those with an extreme Expressive Profile have trouble maintaining deep friendships.

Stay Tuned…

Now that you’ve learned about Personal Drama and the Expressive Personality Profile, you’ll be exposed to Toxic Drama in Drama Queen Part III.

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 owner-founder of Royal York Dental – a respected dental clinic serving Etobicoke since 1950.

If you would like to learn more about your dental options, fill out our contact form or CALL 416 231-0550 for a FREE & Easy No-Obligation First Visit.


{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 cna training July 12, 2010 at 12:15 am

Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

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2 Dr. Joe :) July 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I’m glad you liked it. Let me be honest, not having a degree in Psychology, I can speak more candidly and not remain within the limited confines of proven theories. Having 5 sisters and working with 25 women has taught me some things about Drama Queens!

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3 Amanda@Royal York Dental July 13, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I like this post!

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4 pharmacy tech July 15, 2010 at 3:47 am

Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

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5 roxyd32 July 15, 2010 at 9:39 am

This post actually made me chuckle as I thought about where I fit into the 4 personality profiles.. Definitely a good read! For myself, I consider myself to be more driven, however, there are the times that I fall into the expressive category– Moreso when I am inandated with stress– that’s when the actual “outbursts” happen. I think that as humans, while there are 4 distinct personalities, that we can change occasionally depending on the situation at hand… Now the Toxic drama on the other hand is what I want to hear more about!! RoxyD

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6 jpavlukov July 18, 2010 at 11:30 pm

it was very interesting to read.
I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?

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7 Dr. Joe :) July 19, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Yes, feel free to quote anything you like. I looked at your site but couldn’t read it :)
Looks like my Twitter button is out of commission. Thanks for mentioning it.
My Twitter acct. is torontodentist1

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8 cna training July 27, 2010 at 7:11 pm

nice post. thanks.

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9 physical therapist August 2, 2010 at 1:35 pm

this post is very usefull thx!

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10 Michael Aviado August 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Great article. I think I can use this in my business and make sure I dont fall for drama manipulation.

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11 cna training August 6, 2010 at 11:38 am

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

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12 Doug@Poster Printing September 4, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Make love not war!!

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13 Michelle@CNA Training Class September 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm

We have different personality and sometimes we can’t understand other people by their ways of action. When incident like we have to argue on someone we need to understand that we have different attitude.
Michelle@CNA Training Class´s last blog post ..A CNA Training Can Bring You Lots Of Benefits

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14 Small Pet Carriers October 20, 2010 at 6:02 am

Ah personality, it’s a wonderful thing, no? Personality is what makes us who are we. It’s that organized set of unique traits and characteristics that makes you different from every other person in the world. Not only does your personality make you special, it makes you YOU! K about the blog, when I go through the blog I feel that I have an expressive personality! I always end the sentences with an exclamation mark! So many thing in the blog is applicable in my case. Really it is a good article!

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15 Erin July 15, 2012 at 7:05 am

Thank you so much! I’m a driver/analytical personality, and I’ve been plagued by people with expressive personalities. More than an irritation, I haven’t found a good way to deal with them. I hate the drama. I hate that they won’t work unless it’s fun or beneficial for them, and they seem more concerned with getting attention and serving their agenda than anything else. I hate that they will fudge their way through things and have no facts or experience. It makes working with them challenging. And in personal relationships you are right that deep relationships don’t happen easily or at all. Amiable people seem to be able to deal with expressive personalities the best. I know these are general statements I posted, but I’m happy to know I’m not the only one who’s had a large dose of drama.
Erin´s last blog post ..T.H.I.N.K

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16 Vincent July 25, 2012 at 11:06 am

very educative piece u have there, please write more on the other personalities so we may be able where to categorise our friends and understand them better

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17 Neza@toothpaste brands August 22, 2012 at 3:47 am

Ha Ha Ha.. All dentist are not same mate !

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18 Dentist@Raritan Dentist November 3, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Dealing with different personalities is part of the job. This goes for dentists and any other profession as well. Its part of life… not just dentistry.
Dentist@Raritan Dentist´s last blog post ..About us

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19 Orthodontist south riding va February 21, 2013 at 2:49 am

It is really interesting stuff! In general I don’t have the patience to read an entire blog (may be because am not the analytical type!) but this one I finished it at one go. I am eagerly waiting for more such intriguing information.

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20 Love1 April 24, 2013 at 7:02 pm

I am an expressive and I have read books on this subject and to one degree you are right and to another you are wrong! You should re-write the article and take your personal feelings you have from the past out, everyone of us (individuals on earth) are still unique:(

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21 Dr. Joe :) April 27, 2013 at 12:56 am

Thank you for your open and honest response. Nothing wrong with being an expressive. The challenge with an expressive person in a dental chair is the extreme drama that can ensue.

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