As little kids we all figure out how to get attention, especially to get our wants and needs met. For some, the adulation about how cute, funny, clever, adorable, crafty, and smart, starts to fill us even better than food. We keep wanting more and more of the applause and the spotlight becomes a life line. The show-offs and drama kings and queens, the clowns and rescuers all have a similar sound, it goes like "Ta-dah, woo-hoo, and hooray."
The beliefs of the show-off personality types are:
- Just watch me, I can make things happen.
- I am so strong and right. I will lead the way.
- Nothing I do is inappropriate, I'm always perfect.
- Everyone loves how much joy and fun I bring into situations.
The styles of the show- off personality types are:
- Humor and drama trump boring and says "I am quick and clever so pay attention."
- Being first matters and says "I know I can get the point across best."
- Demands the spotlight and says "I will protect all of you and lead the way."
- Stirs up emotions and says "This is the only way to get beyond the obvious."
Did you ever attempt to stop the drama in mid-stream? It is virtually impossible. Once the hand wringing, yelling, laughter or tears are set in motion, the show-off will stop at nothing until they decide when the final curtain will go down.
Often the show-off energy started when, as a child, there was conflict or sadness and they were able to divert the attention to something less difficult or unpleasant. Learning this technique of diversion got lots of approval back then and the need is for him/her/you to always attempt to alleviate stressful situations no matter what.
Most likely they/you sensed sadness, depression and fear at the core of the family dynamics. The show-off filled the void with lots of noise, either with humor or drama.
Power comes from adrenaline rushes that keep everything going at high speed.
Characteristics of the show-off communicator includes the need to be the center of attention, need for constant acknowledgement, feeling over-entitled, being a poor listener. This shows up in behavior that is long-winded, splashy, pushy, energy sucking.
Verbal language of the show-off type:
- "Wait till you hear this..."
- "I know more than you can imagine, how sad this is..."
- "I have this epic story that will make everything clear..."
- "No one ever had it this bad..."
- "You will never believe what I am about to say..."
- "Let me show you the way ..."
Non-verbal mannerisms of the show-off include:
- Talks loud and fast
- Interrupts constantly
- Unable to sit still
- Needs to be at the front of the group
- Nudges people to make a point
- Smirks at others if they cannot keep talking
The end results of this type of show-off behavior includes wasting precious, productive time, diverts attention from what is important, makes people cross the street or go around the building so as not to encounter them, or becomes the butt of jokes and is mimicked around the office.
If you know or are a show-off communicator, you will become yesterday's news sooner than you expect. The joking gets stale and the drama becomes tedious.
If you can feel yourself squirm as you read this, know that help is on the way.
The clown can become a humorist who can still lighten up a situation albeit with excellent timing. The drama king or queen can become a great story-teller so that the adrenaline still flows, yet has real purpose and direction. And the rescuer learns to be a mentor and asks questions in a reserved and helpful manner instead of jumping in to save and become the hero.
If this is not your style, pass this information along to those who have the tendency to show-off so they can grow to their best level of healthy communication development.