How to Deal With a Drama Queen Manipulator

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If you're dealing with a drama queen manipulator at work, there are a few important things you need to know. Deal with a drama queen manipulator with help from a professional certified mediator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Improving Your Workplace
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Vivian Scott, author of "Conflict Resolution at Work for Dummies," and co-creator of Every workplace has at least one person in it who could be described as a drama queen manipulator. Male or female, doesn't matter. There is someone who's going to come rushing into your office or into your cubicle with a dramatic story to tell you. How should you respond? Well, first, as hard as it might be, don't respond in like kind, and by that I mean, if they want to share all the dirty details of something that just happened in the break room, don't ask about all the little dirty details that happened in the break room. Instead of responding to the incident or responding to the event, respond to the reaction. When the person has told you the story, ask them what it is about the story that's most upsetting for them, or why it matters, or something like that, rather than getting caught up in the story. If you have a coworker who is particularly dramatic, or you feel is being manipulative, always make sure that you're talking with that person individually and privately. There's nothing more that a drama queen would enjoy than having you address something in a public setting because, boy, wouldn't that make a good story? So, you want to make sure that you're talking with them privately. Talk about what you're observing, how it makes you feel, and what you'd like to see moving forward. For example, you could say, "I notice that there's been a lot of talk about XYZ lately, and to be frank, it's making me feel uncomfortable. I think from here on out, I'm just going to pass on any conversation about that, unless it's with the bigger group, and the purpose of the conversation is to find a resolution." That way, you're being really clear about kind of setting a boundary with this person, and maybe opening up the conversation to brainstorm better ways to handle this moving forward. If you're the manager of someone who's exhibiting this kind of behavior, you're going to want to be really clear about your expectations of what you don't want to see, as well as behaviors you do want to see. Simply telling someone to stop being dramatic doesn't give them an awful lot to work with. So, sit down with them, make it a formal discussion. You might want to even tie it to their review process and let them know that these particular behaviors need to stop, and instead new, positive behaviors that you'll describe need to come in their place. So, those are some of the ways that you can deal with a drama queen manipulator. I'm Vivian Scott, author of "Conflict Resolution at Work for Dummies," and co-creator of


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