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  1. #21
    Senior Member TheLastMohican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    It's easy enough to talk down someone on a one-time or occasional basis: Show them you understand the problem by repeating it back to them, agree in principle that probably the problem could have been prevented with more foresight, and then maybe even sit down with them and discuss possible procedural changes for future references.

    But if the guy is just a drama queen and does it on a regular basis, then naturally you hate to put in a big effort coddling him every time he feels like throwing a fit. So then it gets to be a case of living or dealing with a drama queen. It's more or less like putting up with a bad boss.

    You could try shaming or joshing the fellow at the time of the fit; you could sit down with him later when he's calm and try to explain that he's overemoting a bit and a more proactive approach to problem-solving on his part would help things. But of course you can only do so much. If the guy's immature, then he's immature. Put up with it, ignore it, erect some barriers so that it doesn't affect you, cuss him out and become his enemy so that he knows his drama is wasted on you, etc.

    The guy is very effective at avoiding talking about subjects he doesn't like. He will begin shouting so he is not listening to you, or he will leave the room. And he will usually deny having thrown a fit (even minutes after he finished).
    Ah, drama kings.

  2. #22
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    I find tantrums fascinating - I just can't understand the overt emotioneering without at least 3 bottles of wine!

    Here in England a "wind up" is a method of getting someone in an irritated or emotional state, or pull a tantrum if you like. The theory is that they look stupid and say stupid things allowing the other party to assume the moral high ground by default. No sweat.

  3. #23
    Senior Member TheLastMohican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    I find tantrums fascinating - I just can't understand the overt emotioneering without at least 3 bottles of wine!

    Here in England a "wind up" is a method of getting someone in an irritated or emotional state, or pull a tantrum if you like. The theory is that they look stupid and say stupid things allowing the other party to assume the moral high ground by default. No sweat.
    Interesting. But it does not work that well when you are dealing with one who has no shame.

  4. #24
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    What they "feel" like is irrelevant. The aim is to make the look silly. Some people don't need much assistance. In most *civilised* venues ranting is not tolerated and laws exist to protect employees from this kind of behaviour in the workplace.

    I hope the comment didn't sound glib.

    Alternatively you could smile, raise an eyebrow and slowly walk away. The subtle approach!

    I learned years ago the last thing you should give an attention seeker is - ATTENTION.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of York View Post
    Thank you for all the replies. You brought up some good points and distinctions.

    Consider a person who is a member of the immediate family, and whose tantrums rarely have any basis in a real complaint (in other words, just a contrived tantrum for its own sake).

    An example of such a tantrum: Said person is cooking, and opens a can. He goes to toss the empty can and its sharp lid in the recycling bag, and finds that the bag is missing, having been recently removed for pick-up. But instead of reaching about two feet away and getting a new bag in which to put the can, he puts the can in the garbage can. Then, several minutes later, he reaches into the garbage can (for an unknown reason), and (big surprise) cuts his finger on the sharp lid he had put in the garbage.
    Tantrum ensues, with the person making a huge deal about the cut (low pain tolerance), and accusing the rest of the family for the cut. His reasoning? It was the fault of whoever failed to replace the recycling bag earlier, and also the fault of whoever had not emptied the garbage can, because supposedly the fact that the garbage can was "too full" caused the can lid to be within reach of his hand.

    This is not the worst example by any means, just one of those that I remember more clearly for the extremely trivial point upon which it was based. So, any other suggestions?
    If you have some power over the person in some way (inviting them to gatherings, giving them money, etc.), let the person have the tantrum, and if they ask for something from you, do not give it to them, and mention that it comes from the tantrums. If they have a tantrum because they want you to do something for them, don't do it.

    (At least that's a general suggestion which may or may not work. The idea is that if the person wants something, they will have to try a different way to get it.)

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of York View Post
    The guy is very effective at avoiding talking about subjects he doesn't like. He will begin shouting so he is not listening to you, or he will leave the room. And he will usually deny having thrown a fit (even minutes after he finished).
    Ah, drama kings.
    This was called "steam rolling" in my day. The original post re him and this one show me a person who refuses to take personal responsibility and I'm sure it shows up in other areas besides "tantrums" which are a mainstay for avoiding it. I have no doubt the main mode of operation is "the blame game" where someone else is always responsible. Difficult type to deal with but, since I've had some experience with it, I draw the line at verbal abuse... tantrum or not. The way I dealt with it was like with any child throwing a tantrum.... total withdrawal of attention. In the example you gave in the kitchen? Cooking a meal? That would mean I quit participating in making it for example. If I'm the primary cook, that means... no cooperation in a harmonious environment... no meal. Later, when tantrums decrease, I go to the personal responsibility issue. When it is not taken, again, withdrawal of attention until it is taken. Of course I'm referring to when that's blatant and not just a difference of opinion.

  7. #27
    Senior Member sriv's Avatar
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    I either sit their and wait or add fuel to the fire. ROFL. It's pretty fun actually. Emotion is a rouge beast chained to the mind. I like to say random things like that. I never give in to demands resulting from tantrums however.

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