When Paul Elam, in the first sentence of the first comment he’s ever made to me, referred to me as “histrionic” I had to go look it up. Not a label I’m familiar with. Looked to wikipedia initially, but tonight I have some time to delve into the label in a little more detail, out of curiosity.
Conducted a search on youtube and came up with a video from Davis M. J. Aurini (Feb. 2012) claiming to know a thing or two on the subject. Personally, I don’t take that guy as an expert on this or any other subject, but I realize plenty of others do, so I listened to his opinions on this:
Okay. My first impression is that “histrionic” or “hysterical” behavior as it is outlined here is so completely broad that it could be loosely applied to probably a quarter of the population or more. So I’ll just respond for myself on the claims he makes since this is such a hodge-podge of behaviors all smashed together to where I very much doubt but a very few people fit the description to a tee and those who do would also satisfy the label of “narcissist.”
Aurini described this kind of person as someone who’s empty inside and lacking an internal compass to where they find trolling other people the only thing worth doing to give excitement to their lives. Ookay. Well, that right there isn’t my ambition. He said it’d be someone who exaggerates what others tell them, but that made me wonder if perhaps that could be due to lackings when it comes to accurate comprehension or even a faulty memory versus stemming from malevolent intent in all cases. *shrugs* He said it’s someone who talks about how screwed up everyone else around them is but who considers him/herself as better than the rest. LOL Quite the contrary, I’m critical about all of us. He said this is basically a bored woman who isn’t about shit who fucks with people for entertainment and deliberately sows seeds of discontent between others. Hmmm… (Justicar flashed through my mind there.) While I do agree that boredom can and often enough does foster trifling behavior in both females and males, that is clearly not my intention when interacting online if anyone were to take an overall look at the videos I “like” and add to playlists as well as those I respond on. Most of it is pretty fucking far from getting up involved in some he said/she said-type of interactions, and as for sex/gender relations, I’m one of those out here urging people not to go to extremes in hating on one another categorically.
See, and that’s what’s so goofy there: Paul Elam, a man whose identity revolves around leading a men’s rights organization, yet who spends more time complaining about female nature and encouraging men to be extremely cautious in their relations with women in general (not only feminists, mind you), who in various videos assigns an assortment of psychiatric labels to women in an effort to drum up fear of women in men (who apparently aren’t also in need of psychological evaluation by Paul Elam’s estimate, that is, unless they qualify as “manginas”), and who also receives donations for such important service to the community—that guy is calling me out as using emotionality in a manipulative manner? lol For what? For saying I don’t recommend a man sign some stupid petition? For critiquing what Dean Esmay was publicly advocating? For in the past stating I’m not a fan of Paul Elam and wouldn’t follow him anywhere? That was and remains my honest assessment of Paul Elam after reading and watching plenty of his output.
Is it somehow not okay to disagree with someone or to take issue with their political tactics and social messages? People say we should focus on the issues we have a problem with, and I did. Is that divisive behavior? Well, what about when we publicly take issue with bullshit a preacher or priest says or that a popular feminist organization states—could that be construed as any less divisive in nature in so far as we’re making an appeal to those who are following folks we personally see as misguided? In short, would he feel the need to call someone like me out as “histrionic” if my message had flowed in the other direction and against someone or something he considers an “enemy”? Somehow I doubt it.
Just so weird how people jump to labeling one another all willy-nilly. Do I have big ambitions for my life right now? No, not so much. But I go to work everyday and handle my business, so what’s it to anyone? Do I place myself on some higher pedestal than all others in my life? No. In fact, a big reason I’ve been spending so much time alone in my apartment, reflecting and also listening to others online, is precisely because I am working on myself, because I recognize I have all sorts of problems and conflicts and things needing to change. Welcome to human life — what’s so wrong with admitting it?
BUT, just because I’m doing my thing doesn’t mean I can’t pipe up to let it be known that I, for one, think it’s stupid to sign any document on a U.S. government website for any reason (most especially if the petition in question is retarded) that in any way links myself or the group(s) I’m affiliated with with “terrorism” (that being a big, bad word these days). Most folks don’t want to be associated with that dangerous label, so just from a marketing angle it seems like a very stupid strategy. But, like I said in the video, people will do what they want. Figure some might like to hear varied perspectives on such matters though, and if not, then just click off. No worries. Do what you want. Grown adults have to decide for themselves. Just good, IMO, for folks to hear opinions from those outside of their echo chambers every once in a while. And what’s the harm in that?
For good measure, let’s take a gander at Wikipedia’s entry on “Histrionic Personality Disorder“:
[…] defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive emotions and attention-seeking, including inappropriately seductive behavior and an excessive need for approval, usually beginning in early adulthood. People affected by HPD are lively, dramatic, vivacious, enthusiastic, and flirtatious. HPD affects four times as many women as men. It has a prevalence of 2–3% in the general population and 10–15% in inpatient and outpatient mental health institutions.
HPD lies in the dramatic cluster of personality disorders. People with HPD have a high need for attention, make loud and inappropriate appearances, exaggerate their behaviors and emotions, and crave stimulation. They may exhibit sexually provocative behavior, express strong emotions with an impressionistic style, and can be easily influenced by others. Associated features include egocentrism, self-indulgence, continuous longing for appreciation, and persistent manipulative behavior to achieve their own needs.
Further down the page it lists these common characteristics:
- Exhibitionist behavior
- Constant seeking of reassurance or approval
- Excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval
- Pride of own personality and unwillingness to change, viewing any change as a threat
- Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior of a sexual nature
- Using somatic symptoms (of physical illness) to garner attention
- A need to be the center of attention
- Low tolerance for frustration or delayed gratification
- Rapidly shifting emotional states that may appear superficial or exaggerated to others
- Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are
- Making rash decisions
- Blaming personal failures or disappointments on others
- Being easily influenced by others, especially those who treat them approvingly
- Being overly dramatic and emotional
When have I shown myself as a seductive exhibitionist through all of my time on youtube?
Lots of people are sensitive to criticism, the extent depending on the source, but I don’t believe my behaviors online have demonstrated my willingness to submit to others who simply show approval toward me. Rather, I’m more often generally described as a contrarian who can quibble over details on all sides in any debate.
A need to be the center of attention? Ha! If that were the case I’d work a lot harder at making attention-grabbing video content, show some cleavage, and get my face and hair all dolled up for the camera. Not as if I don’t own a shit-ton of makeup and hair-styling accessories.
I stay low-level frustrated much of the time, so yeah, my tolerance is tested routinely. Whatever meltdowns I do experience are the result of real-life events and thus are handled in my offline real life. Might blog about my thoughts and feelings from time to time and share stories (keeping offline individuals anonymous), some of which I later make private since the words are mostly for myself, and also sometimes I later realize my venting was being a bit unfair or one-sided. But I am able to admit that, so what’s the problem? Probably plenty of folks out there whom I’ve known in the past include me in their bitching sessions as well. Pretty common behavior among people. (Why does Stefan Molyneux immediately spring to mind when considering this point?)
Blaming personal failures or disappointments on others… hmmm. Some of our disappointments do directly relate to others. But I blame plenty on myself. Not a saint, wouldn’t ever pretend to be one. I’ve hurt people too. Such is life. No human is an island, and we are social creatures who can’t help but depend on and impact one another, plus we are living in crazy times, so… It is what it is. We live and learn through honest introspection and reflection.
Unwillingness to change… That one is particularly inaccurate since I change all the time in light of compelling information and ideas. Changed quite a lot over the last decade and don’t regret doing so at all. Was and is totally necessary. Just as I expect to change a great deal over the next decade. Comes with trying to keep an open mind to what’s out there in the world, including other people’s perspectives. Not all perspectives are created equal though, as we know.
Tendency to believe relationships are more intimate than they are… No clue how that one relates to me. Pretty big on sticking with my closest people where long-term bonds are already established. Don’t feel intimately connected with anyone known to me only online.
Haven’t pretended to be physically unwell to garner attention.
Who doesn’t make rash decisions? I can be impulsive in some situations.
Overly dramatic and emotional… Who determines what is excessive there? A bunch of stuffed suits with vested financial interest sitting around voting on the matter? Gimme a break. I am a sensitive, emotional person, and that’s just the way it goes. Nothing necessarily wrong or unnatural about that, though it can make life a bit harder since we humans can be so damned calloused to one another. Depression happens. All too common these days. Makes people want to reach out and interact from the comfort and convenience of our own homes where communications can be exchanged from a physical and emotional distance.
Okay, so that’s the basic rundown. Looks like a piss-poor attempt at playing armchair psychoanalyst, from where I sit, but ah well. Some folks can’t handle criticism, so it’s been said.