The “Histrionic” part of Female Histrionic Narcissist is the least generally understood – its the bit you have to explain to most people. Most people cope with the Female and Narcissist bits well, but the “Histrionic” generally need to be explained. Which is somewhat surprising as its plural is widely understood.
melodramatic behavior designed to attract attention.”by now, Anna was accustomed to her mother’s histrionics”
The Female Histrionic Narcissist will do pretty much anything for attention and in that regard she is in many ways like a dog. Dogs want attention – attention and food, but we’ll skip the food part. Dogs want attention all day, every day and to a dog it does NOT matter if that attention is good attention or bad attention.
This is why my dog steals my socks – because I used to shout at her and call her “bad dog” for eating yet another of my dwindling supply of socks. To my dog that was WAY better than sitting in her basket ignored – and its the same for Harley Quinn.
The WORST thing in the world for Harley is not being the centre of attention. At the top of the list is freely given adoration, followed by prompted adoration, followed by drama to get attention BUT still on the POSITIVE side for her is being screamed at for doing something terribly wrong.
YOU think you are giving negative feedback – well ok, screen your head off – when in reality you are rewarding and reinforcing the negative behavior. Harley would FAR rather you be screaming at her than you be quietly working and she have to entertain herself.
In the absence of any alternative stimuli Harley will start creating problems – she likes you to have problems, especially if they generate supply for her and she goes about creating them in two ways. I call them:
Problem Forestry is when she goes into the woodland of your life and cuts down a specific tree, just like a lumberjack would. She has a wander around looking at the things in your life she can destroy. Selects a likely species and sets to work with and axe.
I used to own a large Amazon Seller turning over a couple of mill a year. Angel – the name of my personal Harley Quinn, worked for this business. She knew the inns and outs of it fairly well. At least well enough to know where to create maximum damage for the least effort and she chose well. We processed 200 orders a day from head office and naturally some of them would be waiting for an out of stock item. We had a super simple system – orders waiting went into a custom rack – a long line of holders for orders – each new day the oldest holder was moved from the far left to the far right to create the new days holder. NO order should ever reach the left hand end – if it did it was 14 days old. A simple visual system that enabled you to see instantly how many orders were outstanding and how old – it had worked flawlessly for 4 years. BUT it relied on the orders being IN the system and NOT sat on a shelf.
We found 475 orders sat on a shelf not in the system! “I meant to put them there – I just kept forgetting” was the bulshit excuse. Can you IMAGINE being an Amazon Seller with 475 customers who are NOT going to get their orders???? Well for a start your giving away all those order FREE OF CHARGE and your going to be sending them EXPRESS DELIVERY because if you get so much as 1 claim your sales figures will TANK. So thats a $20,000 write off immediately and its obviously 475 emails – there automated, sort of, for the first ones. But you cant automate the replies to the 400+ responses your going to get!!!! It essentially wiped out and entire month of my life along with the initial $20,000 plus the untold losses from the large number of negative feedback we received.
And Angel was the center of attention for an entire week – It should have been no surprise then when the same thing happened again a few months later. Id trained her that she gets lots and lots of that lovely attention, she so desperately needed, if she screws with the orders!
Problem Farming is a more general practice they adopt but is just what it says. Just like a farmer prepares the seat bed and then sown the seed and fertilizes it before finally harvesting the result – the Female Histrionic Narcissist creates a seed bed of chaos, sows her seeds and then adds the fertilizer needed – lies we call them in the real world, LIES – and watches the problem grow. This is not as full filling as she’s not the center of the resulting chaos; but its still a pleasurable pastime for them. In the same way a gardener will enjoy seeing a flower bloom and take pride – Harley will take pride in HER flowers blooming. The catastrophes in your life.
Id grown my Amazon business from zero to 2 mill revenue in 4 years – Id done it with ruthless attention to systems and procedures. No one needed to know ANYTHING – a person could start on Monday morning, be shown the manual and procedure flowchart on the wall of their station and all they had to do was FOLLOW what was in front of them. Every task had a checklist and ALL tasks were standardized as close to perfection as I could get them. This meant I could run the business with only 5 staff and NO ONE needed supervising – freeing me up for the development role. The bit Im truly good at. This worked GREAT until Angel arrived – Angel quickly turned this silicone lubricated money producing machine with systems that Toyota wold have been proud off, into a quagmire of chaos and infighting.
One day I arrived from the bank with $10,000 in cash. This was normal every day life – Bulgaria is a cash economy, some days it could be $20 or $30,000. Today it was $10,000. Naturally I was heading straight for the safe but I was intercept by 4 people who could not do their job because X was missing or we had run out of Y or Z was broken. Angel would be at the bottom of all these tiny mishaps but she wasn’t responsible for what happened next – only she was. Because it was HER that was Problem Farming. That mornings chaos was her seed bed.
I went off to attend to the issues that were going to prevent the orders leaving that day and 2 hours later I realised Id not gone to the safe “Crap! Money! Safe!” I thought and shot off to get the cash. Only NO CASH. Id had it in my hand and put it on the top of packing station № 1 when I bent down to fix the printer that was offline because Angel had borrowed the electrical extension it was plugged into. Id gone to get the electrical extension and then onto the next issue and the next and……………………….. NO $10,000.
All 5 staff were in that morning and there had been 3 deliveries – any one of the members of staff could have taken it and any one of the delivery drivers. Naturally it was another total write off.
These are big easy to spot examples from my business – Ive used them exactly because they are big, easy to spot examples. There are thousands of examples of both Problem Forestry AND Problem Farming from my personal life, but just like your personal life, mine is no where near as regulated or on such a scale as business so the examples are smaller and less well defined. BUT that does not mean the damage done to your life is any less – in fact loosing $10,000 to a 2 mill business is way less than loosing $300 to me and you!!! Loosing a friend who will no longer put up with “your shit” because you’ve let them down for the 10th time in a row when Harley took the message and never told you AGAIN – is WAY more devastating than loosing a valued employee – and yes, I lost every one of them in the end.
What is the purpose of this little monologue – well for anyone still IN a relationship with Harley be aware that in reacting to the problems and chaos they cause all your doing is REINFORCING that behaviour! For this who are POST HARLEY, well congratulations for a start, but hopefully this will help you see just WHY those arguments went on so long, why she could NEVER understand it was her fault – because she DID understand it was her fault, she knew it was her fault ALL ALLONG. It was YOU that didn’t understand!
YOU didn’t understand YOU were feeding the monster its lovely nutritious protein shake of attention!
And in doing so you ensured the next time the monster was hungry it would either go out into the woodland of your life with its axe or it would see if any of those crops were ready to harvest – half an hour later you were screaming and shouting and the monster was enjoying its meal.