A personality trait disturbance characterized by immature, self-centered behavior with frequent emotional outbursts and histrionic display.Most hysterical personalities are women. Studies indicate that they have usually been overprotected and spoiled in childhood, and their dramatic behavior is more or less consciously adopted to attract attention or get their way. When faced with frustration, they are likely to throw a temper tantrum or put on a violent scene. And when others ignore or outdo them, they regain the center of stage by having a fainting spell or making a scene in some other way.Many of these women are provocative and exhibitionistic with men, but their purpose is to make a conquest rather than to establish a deeper (or even a sexual) relationship with them. In some cases they capriciously flit from one superficial affair to another as a means of concealing sexual fears or frigidity. Similar characteristics are found in their male counterpart, the Don Juan, who also seeks to deny or hide his inadequacies by making one conquest after another. These relationships are never fully gratifying; but in the process of making them he derives secondary satisfaction from setting up dramatic situations, outwitting his rivals, and overcoming the lady’s hesitations.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "HYSTERICAL PERSONALITY," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/hysterical-personality/ (accessed October 4, 2022).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here