PTypes - Personality Types
PTypes Neurotic Solutions Sadistic

Neurotic Solution: Histrionic Type 

The strategy of the Histrionic solution can be interpreted from the discussion by John M.Oldham and Lois B. Morris of the Dramatic personality style.

Histrionic Personality Disorder
Dramatic Personality Type
Self-Effacing Solution 



Neurotic Needs

Compulsive Attachments

Compulsive Aversions

  • attention
  • expressiveness
  • emotionalism
  • romanticism
  • impressing others
  • captivating others
  • glamor
  • amusement
  • affection
  • alliances
  • an audience
  • appreciation
  • being entertaining
  • admiration
  • feelings
  • dramatics
  • demonstrativeness
  • being ignored
  • being unattractive
  • being unlovable
  • being uninteresting
  • being abandoned
  • being helpless
  • frustration
  • not getting their own way
  • not getting compliance from others
  • being treated unfairly



Neurotic Solution

American Psychiatric Association (1994, pp. 657-58)



Excessive emotionality and attention seeking.

  • is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention;


  • interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior;      


  • displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions;       


  • consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self;         


  • has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail;         


  • shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion;           


  • is suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances;


  • considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are.




Neurotic Beliefs and Attitudes 

Rationalizations and reinforcements of the compulsive attachments and aversions and the neurotic solution that they engender.

Aaron T. Beck, Arthur M. Freeman and associates (pg. 362)

  • I am an interesting, exciting person.
  • In order to be happy I need other people to pay attention to me.
  • Unless I entertain or impress people, I am nothing.
  • If I don't keep others engaged with me, they won't like me.
  • The way to get what I want is to dazzle or amuse people.
  • If people don't respond very positively to me, they are rotten.
  • It is awful for people to ignore me.
  • I should be the center of attention.
  • I don't have to bother to think things through�I can go by my "gut" feeling.
  • If I entertain people, they will not notice my weaknesses.
  • I cannot tolerate boredom.
  • If I feel like doing something, I should go ahead and do it.
  • People will pay attention only if I act in extreme ways.
  • Feelings and intuition are much more important that rational thinking and planning (362).



Idealized Image


The particular "solution" is idealized (Horney, 1950, pg. 22)


John M.Oldham and Lois B. Morris (pp. 131-32):

Dramatic types are all heart. They have been granted the gift of feeling, with which they color the lives of everyone around them. When possessed of great talent, Dramatic men and women can transform human emotion into the highest art form. Even in their daily lives, their wit, their laughter, their sense of beauty, their flamboyance, and their sensuality can lift the spirits of a roomful of strangers. All the world's a stage for individuals with this very common personality style. Life is never dull or boring for them and certainly not for those who share it with them. Dramatic people fill their world with excitement; things happen in their lives.


  1. Feelings. Dramatic men and women live in an emotional world. They are sensation oriented, emotionally demonstrative, and physically affectionate, They react emotionally to events and can shift quickly from mood to mood.

  2. Color. They experience life vividly and expansively. They have rich imaginations, they tell entertaining stories, and they are drawn to romance and melodrama.

  3. Attention. Dramatic people like to be seen and noticed. They are often the center of attention, and they rise to the occasion when all eyes are on them.

  4. Appearance. They pay a lot of attention to grooming, and they enjoy clothes, style, and fashion.

  5. Sexual attraction. In appearance and behavior, Dramatic individuals enjoy their sexuality. They are seductive, engaging, charming tempters and temptresses.

  6. Engagement. Easily putting their trust in others, they are able to become quickly involved in relationships.

  7. The spirit is willing. People with Dramatic personality style eagerly respond to new ideas and suggestions from others.


Attributes of the Idealized Image


    1. Forgiveness, Mercy, Magnanimity.
    2. Hope, Cheerfulness, Sociability.
    3. Tolerance, Liberalism, Open-mindedness.
    4. Liberality, Graciousness, Politeness, Courtesy.
    5. Charity, Affability, Empathy, Sensitivity, Considerateness, Friendliness, Compassion.
    6. Tenderness, Agreeableness.
    7. Refinement, Idealism, High-mindedness.
    8. Energy, Attentiveness, Enthusiasm.
    9. Artistry, Culture.
    10. Boldness, Spontaneity.
    11. Creativity, Humorousness, Wittiness.



Neurotic Pride


Neurotic Claims


Neurotic Search for Glory

 The neurotic search for glory is the comprehensive drive to actualize the idealized self. Besides self-idealization it consists of the need for perfection, neurotic ambition, and the drive for vindictive triumph. The need for perfection functions in the personality as, what Horney called, "tyrannical shoulds."

Tyrannical Shoulds






American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV. 4th ed. Washington: Author.

American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed., text revision. Washington: Author.

Aaron T. Beck, Arthur M. Freeman and Associates (1990). Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders. New York: Guilford Press.

Terry D. Cooper (2003). Sin, Pride, and Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology and Psychology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Karen Horney (1950). Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W. W. Norton.

John M.Oldham and Lois B. Morris (1995). The New Personality Self-Portrait. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam.

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