Strengths & Weaknesses

Dear Dr. Darcy:

I’m the youngest of 5 children, I’m a girl, and I’ve always been louder, more energetic, and more social than my siblings.  I’m referenced as the drama queen in my family.  This label was cute when I was growing up.  Now that I’m in my 20’s it’s less cute.  I feel like they use it to put me down in an inside-joke sort of way.  I just got a job in PR [public relations] and everyone had something to say about how I found the perfect job for my personality.  Is being a drama queen something I should go to counseling for?

ANSWER

It depends on where you fall on the drama queen spectrum.  If you fall anywhere between the middle and the left half, your drama queen ways probably don’t effect your ability to have relationships.  You’re probably the life of the party.   A great hostess.   You likely attract people.  If, however, you fall between the middle and the right half of the spectrum, your drama queen ways can cause unnecessary upheaval, both in your life and in the lives of those who you’re in relationships with.  In that case, YES, you should go into counseling.

But rather than overly pathologize this part of you, let me make the following point: Your greatest strength is also our greatest weakness, and it’s that way for everyone.  If your 'drama queen ways' negatively impacts your life, all you need to do is turn down the volume on that particular trait.   You wouldn’t want to get rid of it altogether because in certain situations it serves you well – when it’s at the right volume.

Your family is right:  You did find the perfect career.  You found a profession that will tap into your ability to take social risks, to speak up, and to spin facts in an entertaining way.  Continue doing what you’re doing and if you receive feedback telling you to tone it down, just do it.

Writer’s Stats: Female, Straight