Me, Me, Me

October 21, 2010

I posted this article on Histrionic Personality Disorder a while back, but I decided to revisit this in light of the Tila Tequila/Ms Magazine shitstorm. People often confuse HPD with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Though they may seem similar they are actually quite different. A person with HPD basically has an inferiority complex, and compensates by desperately seeking attention and approval. A narcissist, on the other hand, actually believes he/she is superior to everyone.  Here are a few key HP traits:

  • Theatrical gestures
  • Inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior
  • Rapidly changing and shallow emotions
  • Easily influenced
  • Considers relationships more intimate than they actually are
  • Easily frustrated
  • Sensitive to criticism
  • Weak Boundaries

Though the HP may seem very outgoing and popular, their relationships are very shallow. An HP uses people like accessories, to bolster their fragile self-esteem. They keep people around who flatter their ego, enable their drama, or simply listen to them talk about themselves. They can also be overly flirtatious. Their weak sense of boundaries makes it hard for them to maintain a long-term relationship. These weak boundaries likely began with inappropriate family relations and then continued into adulthood.

An HP’s emotional intensity can manifest itself as anger, rage, abuse and distance in relationships. They will often belittle someone if they feel they are getting more attention or if they feel that person has too much power over them. The HP can also be very manipulative, using emotions to get what they want and deter what they don’t want.

The HP can never get enough attention and becomes terribly insecure and jealous (fears abandonment) if they are not the center of attention.  If this persists the HP may even seek to punish their partner with cruel devaluation, rage, cheating and complete disregard for their feelings. If they don’t get the attention they need from their partner, they will look elsewhere. Sometimes going as far as flirting with other people in front of their partner or cheating just to make them jealous.

HPs can be very promiscuous, but it’s less about the sex and more of a tool to get the attention and the sense of protection they need. It’s interesting to note that HPs are prone to mysterious illnesses- headaches, itchy skin, panic attacks. While the symptoms are very real, it is very likely they are subconscious cries for attention.

An HP’s outrageous behavior might seem like harmless fun, but it actually causes a lot of undue emotional pain and public embarrassment for people in relationships with an HP. In short, it is emotional abuse. HPs are unbelievably selfish. A person in love with an HP, never knows if their love is real.

And for those with BPD (It is not unusual for those with Borderline Personality Disorder to also show signs of HPD. This goes back to the inferiority-complex.), it can affect their ability to seek help. A BPD/HP uses their outward appearance and sexual experiences as a quick fix, a distraction from getting to the root of his/her problem. If someone compliments a BPD/HP on how sexy they look, it is a much needed boost of confidence. But it is also a short-lived boost of confidence. When someone relies on such superficial approval to keep their spirits up, a bad-hair day can turn to self-loathing and deep depression.


Look at me


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