Do 'Black Clouds' Follow People or Do People Just 'Need' Drama in Their Lives?

Updated on May 24, 2011
S.N. asks from Greensboro, NC
30 answers

Do you think certain people just have the misfortune of A LOT of bad luck or do you think they attract 'drama' or 'need' drama in their lives?

My husband and I were discussing this over dinner tonight and we don't have an answer. We have relatives that, as my brother put it, "it's like a Jerry Springer show over there" (meaning their house). This is our sister he was talking about and what is so odd to us is that it's not like she ever had to 'overcome' and hard obstacles in life, she was given the same opportunities/education/love and involvement as the rest of us but her life has turned into a hot mess. Trust me, she TOTALLY over-shares so if something 'big' had happened to start the ball rolling we'd all know about.

Same thing w/ a guy my husband works with.... it's just one thing after another. In both cases nothing like a major medical issue occurred to 'justify' the difficulties ... just crazy "what were they thinking" stuff that gets them buried financially and emotionally, etc.

So what do you think... is drama something that is 'attracted' to someone or do people (consciously or subconsciously) seek it out??

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks everyone, very interesting POV's from people!

Featured Answers



answers from Honolulu on

Yep, some people are just magnets for it or they seek it out.
And they lack, the comprehension, for stopping it.

Edit My Answer
4 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Yes, I do think some people have this problem. I used to think that of my younger sister, and then she just "wised up" all of a sudden, got her life together, and now she is just wonderful.

So happy for her.


Edit My Answer
4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Ive noticed that the friends i have that are drama queens seek it out almost subconsciously. The pattern is comfortable and familiar i guess.

Edit My Answer
2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Seattle on

I complain ALL the time... because I think it's funny. I just LOVE all the stupid, silly things that happen it life. They tell me I'm breathing, and life is good, and Murphy's Law is alive and kicking and handing out subpoenas. IMHO there's only 2 things in life that can't be laughed at or through.

I've had a lot of quirky things happen to me in my life. Many the physical version of 'open mouth insert foot' aka due to my own stupidity, inexperience, or naivete. Many just pure dumb luck that no one could see coming. I've yet to meet anyone who didn't have a similar life. Perhaps not the same experiences... but definitely the same combo of 'young and dumb' and older, wiser, & life happens. NO ONE can be blamed for their childhood... and some people have monster childhoods that don't prepare them to live a 'normal' life, some people have golden childhoods that don't prepare them for a 'normal' life... but the stuff later on, when we grow up...that's just life. Cest la vie. Rage against it, laugh at it, push up your sleeves, crawl back into bed. I think (humble opinion ONLY) 93.4% of life is just how you look at it. 3% is sweat (it really doesn't take that much work not to dive head first into a bad situation). And the rest is pure luck.

I know people to whom everything is tragedy, others who are angry and bitter at the world. Others who blithely laugh. Others who are the exaggerators. Others who are the understaters. Others who martyr on in stoney judgmental silence. Others who blindly or trustingly just blunder in where saints would fear to tread. Others who wear their heart on their sleeve and will follow those they love into hell. Others who protect themselves behind walls so thick the mongols would turn around. Life happens. But how we deal with it as individuals is just very very different.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

i think some people tend to make bad choices (with good intentions, many times) and then cluelessly wonder, "what happened? why me?"

i had a coworker, 23 years old with 4 kids. all under 6. one of the hardest workers i've ever had the priveledge to work with. worked her hands to the bone for us. did a GREAT job. but yes, she and husband were always broke. yes they lived in crappy apartments. yes they had terrible luck with vehicles (because they could only "afford" pieces of junk off craigslist - they went through 3 in 4 months). yes, all those kids were constantly sick, and because he took a job working out of state for weeks at a time, she was left to handle it, and lost her job because of attendance. and then she got mad because "you can't fire someone for being sick." can...when there are 2-3 occurences (late, tardy, or leaving early) every week for four months leading up to that, and she was a temp because they wouldn't hire her because of that same attendance. it wasn't dumb luck. it was a series of bad choices.

i think it starts with upbringing, the bad choices of our parents, and then it continues with our own bad choices. some people don't see the forest for the trees...but i do believe that most of this kind of "drama" is perfectly avoidable. some people just don't see it because they're so caught up in just trying to keep their heads above water. and/or that's how they were raised, so they don't know different.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I know some people who always seem to have terrible luck.
(For example, I have an acquaintance who emails her whole d-list several times a week. She needs money for car repair, one of her kids is failing English, she thinks she is going to be laid gets old and I am tempted to delete her totally.)

Car breaks down, furnace needs replacing, kids running wild and getting in trouble.....but when you look at the real picture, they are people who do not pay attention to maintenance and daily responsibilities! These are people who live "in the moment" and cannot see outside their world.
Maintenance takes time and energy and some people do not have the know how or the energy or desire to take care of things. Having a good marriage and raising responsible kids takes tons of time and energy and some people don't put that in to the day to day stuff, but when something goes wrong, there is big drama!
And that's my opinion based on the drama queens I know.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

A drama queen can turn *anything* into drama, while a laid-back person can make light of some things that would make a drama queen's head spin. I think most of it is perspective and a need for attention. For example, if something "dramatic" happened to someone laid back, they might tell a few people and then let it go. But if that same thing happened to a drama queen, they'd tell anyone who would listen and exaggerate the details.

I think we can all have our drama queen moments, but there are some people that just THRIVE on the attention.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I will tell you my experience from my own life. A friend of mine when I was a young adult (early to mid 20s) always said that I was like the Munsters (or was it the Adams Family) with the little black cloud following the car everywhere they went, because it always seemed like things would happen to me that just didn't happen to other people. But, I will be honest in that I think a lot of this issue is about perspective. I used to really have a "glass half empty" mentality and had a lot of pity parties for myself over the things that had happened in my life. Then, I matured a lot and really drew closer to God and realized just how blessed I am (no matter what has happened or will happen in my life) and that I needed an attitude adjustment. I have a much better, more positive perspective on life now and thank God I realized this BEFORE I was diagnosed with cancer because I can't imagine going through what I went through last year with the crappy attitude I used to have. You see, bad things may still happen in my life, but I am so much better equipped to handle them and to appreciate that even when bad things happen, it can ALWAYS be worse.

So, I think that drama can always be created (I used to be the queen of it!). There are genuinely bad things that happen to people, but if you can have a healthy, positive outlook on these kinds of things, then you can get through them and still count your blessings. I just think it's a life lesson that takes some people longer to learn.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

If I didn't have bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all... but that's TOTALLY different than people who love drama!!

I can't stand people who over embellish, one way or the other. We know these people, if I say 'man I'm broke, I've only got a dollar', they'll say 'yeah well I'm in debt and the bank is taking my house'.... um, okay. Or if I say 'yay! I just found $20 in the laundry!', they say 'yeah well I just learned that my family is giving me 30 million from a Swiss bank account!'... uh, whatever.

Then there's the 'storm cloud' people. These are the ones that can't help but be negative. No matter what you're talking about, they'll throw in some random negative something: 'my cat's dying'... I'm very sorry to hear that, but we were talking about grocery shopping... ??

Then you've got the hypochondriacs. Something's always wrong. They sneeze and say 'it's not allergies, I think I have cancer'.... REALLY?! Or they're tired (everyone feels tired at some point), and these people want to go to the doctor to get checked for rabies. C'mon people...

The last category are the people who create drama, just because. They make up malevolent lies.... 'so and so has been checking out your husband' type stuff, just to see stuff unravel.

I can't stand any person who's like the types of people I've listed above. I don't associate with them... and no, to answer your question I honestly think they can't help it. They've gotten attention from it for so long, they can't stop, it's exciting for them. I'd rather have 2 really close friends than lot of acquaintances who act like that!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Personally? I think it's a mixture of Karma and people needing the attention (drama) in their life...

Like the parents who intentionally get their kids sick (Munchausen by proxy) to get the attention.

People who sooo desperately need people to be focused on THEM whether it's good or bad attention - it's attention. EVERY action has a consequence - good or bad - it's a consequence...if they are an adult - they need to be mature enough to THINK about their actions and the consequences...many DO think it out and realize that if they chose THIS path - it will get them the most attention....

If your sister is creating drama - instead of listening to it- say "Sis, I'm truly sorry you are going through this...I can't listen right now - I need to go take care of the kids." and hang up. DO NOT get sucked into her drama. She may be your sister, but if you STOP giving her attention, sympathy, etc. she might just start making the right decisions..


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I think that, for some people, drama seems "normal". This is relatively the same as a person who grows up being abused finding an abusive partner to feel "safe", because it's what they know.

I also think people who grow up with big drama kind of create that because those are the 'coping skills' modeled for them. I think there are some people who literally do not know better, because it wasn't ever really shown to them. Handling conflict well, communicating in a healthy fashion, getting to a problem-solving stage without feeling poorly about one's self or blaming anyone else: I believe one has to have confidence within themselves -- and trust in others-- to be able to do that. Not everyone has that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I think it needs to be defined as a sickness - Drama Queen Syndrome - and we need to start up a foundation who's purpose is to wipe it out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think a black cloud follows the people that are looking for it. ;). There are definatly folks that need drama. Personally I hate drama. Read the secret. Folk could turn their life's around. What they are not getting is that the only one that can make the change is them. Most just play the victim. At least thats what I have seen a lot of.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Black clouds follow everyone at some point. Its the drama seekers that let everyone know about their problems. I know plenty of people who have black clouds but I've never heard them complain. I also know plenty of people who break a nail and all of a sudden its front page news.

I guess its all about how loud you want to be about your life, no?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i think the black clouds are subconsciously created. and it's usually the folks who complain the loudest about how much they hate drama who are the worst offenders! honestly, i think it's somehow related to adrenaline addiction.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Ok, I know two people in my immediate life that LIVE on the drama. They do not always know it but they are welcoming it into their lives and setting themselves up for it. One is a man who chose the wrong girlfriends to be with for a LONG time, then he married a woman (not against the marriage at all) sooner than they should have for all the wrong reasons (not for a baby). Part of his problem to begin with was his mother did not do the best job of setting him up for adulthood. Another, my sis puts herself into situations that are not always the best and just "prays" it will all work out. She also tends to fix everyone else's problems before she fixes hers own issues and puts herself at risk. So, basically I think people bring it upon themselves for the most part.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

I read just some of your answers. This is an interesting question. A couple of years ago I would have said that some people like drama and create it ( I have an aunt who really likes to stir the pot with our family -- drives me crazy! -- which is probably what she wants!). In the past year I've had a friend at work who has a lot of drama in her life, but you'd only know it if you were close to her (whereas the aunt will tell any stranger on the street what misfortunes have befallen on her).

I think some people create it, some have lives that are a little out of their control (my coworker, a single mom with two teenagers, one of whom has some big health problems and the other has some depression problems), and some just make bad choices like someone said a few answers below.

I think we all think about this because we don't want it to be us, and we think that if we can identify the factors, maybe we won't end up will all the drama!!



answers from Davenport on

Some people need drama, some people are just unlucky, and some people are just very poor decision makers....don't know enough about th esituatio to make a judgement on which type your sister is.....maybe she just made a bad decision, someone bailed her out and she got lots of attention, and just decided that was a good way to go, "I'll just do wahtever I want, if it doesn't go well, oh, well, someone will save me and I will get lots of sympathy in the mean time?"



answers from Washington DC on

Well, if you want to see Murphy's Law play itself out in full force, talk to a military wife (or other family member) after a spouse has recently deployed. It is true that EVERYTHING will break down, fall apart, get sick, etc. within a few weeks to months. Things you'd never even imagine! LOL BUT, I think the difference is, if someone likes to "share" and shares their crazy series of misfortunes with a smile and a "You wouldn't believe this if you didn't know me so well" attitude rather than a "Oh my G, poor poor me" attitude, it can actually be quite amusing! (I've been on both sides way too often! LOL)



answers from Minneapolis on

Some people are just not gifted at making sound decisions. Not to mention, people may react to the same circumstances very differently.


answers from Redding on

I think people create their own problems when its a continual thing. They arent organized and dont manage their time and are always rushed and late. They forget to set an alarm and are late to some event and come in making a scene and yelling about the traffic and the car, and everything is a major drama. They let things go, maintenence on the house and cars, and wonder why things fall apart. They dont pay their bills and make a big deal about needing to go right now to pay the bill or squawk about the lights being turned off. I think with some, life style plays a part. If you are into drinking and drugs and hang around with people who commit crimes and get involved in some shady stuff, you have a higher chance of stuff going wrong for you. If you thrive on attention you then call attention to all the drama and you have more than most people to talk about. I agree with Leslie S that some people make drama out of orndinary events. I could make an intire book of how I got the city to fix the street light outside my house,, I could just say, I called the city and complained that the street light was blinking and they came that day and fixed it. No big drama. But I bet with some embelishments I could drag it out and make it sound like it was nearly the end of the world and how my hero came to my rescue and saved us all. I know how, but choose not to. I dont care for all the drama. I dont have a black cloud over me. I choose to walk in the sunlight instead.



answers from San Diego on

Negative energy attracts negative energy and positive energy attracts positive energy, it's a simple matter of physics. In Job 2:2, there is a passage where the Lord sees Satan (And the LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” ) He is always looking and listening for ways to mess with our lives and he is the ultimate negative energy. Some people have a hard time focusing on their blessings and the more they focus on the poor me the wider they leave the door for more.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I think it can be one or the other.

There are always people that can't see further than the end of their noses, for whom everything is like "so this cashier COUNTED out the WRONG change for me--TWICE!!!!" Like it matters. Those types THRIVE on any drama and magnify everything.

Then there seem to be people with that "Kennedy Curse" that have one thing after the other, things out of their control...

If you are in anyway referring to my neighbor's friend from my recent post...she's the 2nd type...she has had pulmonary embolisms from a botched non-prescribing of blood thinners after a procedure (her lawsuit), had her fiance die in a house fire one month before their wedding, pancreatitis, (certainly all out of her control), an abusive boyfriend, well-connected to the chief of police, living in HER home, a wacked out father that she had to evict, a brother that STOLE the deed to some property (another hearing/lawsuit)......on and on.......



answers from Rapid City on

People who have a lot of drama in their lives isn't so different then the rest who don't seem to only they like the attention announcing their problems brings on. People who can't see the good in things seems to have much harder time in life then those who concentrate on the good and work through the bad. I have always had a positive outlook and that hasn't changed even with the troubles we have had this past year including the loss of our youngest son and my husband being laid off. I have a niece that was always complaining about things in her life and I finally pointed it out that she doesn't have it so bad and why she doesn't have so bad. It pissed her off at first but I noticed that after she quit complaining, things seemed to look up a lot for her. Maybe you need to sit down with your sister and start pointing out what good things she does have. Call her on it. It will make her mad but perhaps she would see how much good she has and it outweighs the bad. If she is doing it solely for the attention, then change the subject when she starts complaining.



answers from Dallas on

I definitely believe that drama happens to those that love drama. They usually tend to cause the drama in the first place. Not only that but it seems as if they have bad luck but really they just like to share all the bad because it gives them a pity party and makes them center of attention. Good things happen to everyone only that not everyone shares the good things. People that have drama full lives usually are very negative, like to gossip, watch a lot of reality T.V., they over look things, get offended easily and can't keep secrets. (in some cases)
Unfortunately if they are relatives you just have to accept it but if they are friends or acquaintances, then you can get rid of them!



answers from Glens Falls on

Well, luck, success and drama are all different things. I do believe in "luck" (meaning some force that operates to bring you good things in life...or not). I think some people are luckier than others and likewise, some people are unluckier. But "success" for lack of a better word can happen with or without luck, as can failure. And "drama" is how people react to events in their life whether lucky, unlucky, success or failure and I know some lucky people, successful people and lucky successful people that are also drama lovers. And I guess I also know some unlucky people that are pretty successful in life and generally content. I think to some extent you might be able to attract good luck, though not reliably. And I definitely think you can control how you react to life circumstances and minimize drama in your life even in the face of bad luck and failure.



answers from New York on

99% of the time it's because they like the attention so they make huge issues out of tiny so called problems.


answers from Phoenix on

you know what they say "negative attention is still attention".



answers from Chicago on

I think you need to be careful how you treat people. I would say we have had a black cloud following over us for the last year and a half and I am ready for it to be lifted. I have some close friends that let me "vent" to get it off my chest. Without them I don't know how I would have made it through the past year and a half. I use to keep it all to myself and never talk to anyone not realizing how unhealthy that was. Some people do have more happen in their lives then others, some people are more senstive to what happens in their lives, some our not as strong as others, etc.. I have learned to let people complain if they want. They may be complaining about the little things just so they can get through the bigger things. I had friend tell me once that I seemed to be handling everything pretty well and she doesn't know how I do it. I have no choice and I have great friends who let me just "vent". I have learned that everyone has their "stuff" and to us it may seem small but to them it is not. Even the drama queens need a little support. There's a reason they are that way even if we don't understand it.
Trust me I have not been seeking out drama this past year but some how it keeps finding us. Maybe if I move it will not have my forwarding address. :)



answers from Omaha on

I have known a couple of people like this over the years and my husband and I have had this same conversation. We have decided that it seems to be a matter of really bad judgement. These people do things that just defy logic. It would be obvious to any normal person that it is just a really bad idea. The one person I worked with was not stupid at all, I'd say she was above average intelligence. And she was extremely nice. In fact she would do anything for a friend, including many things that were obviously a really bad idea to the rest of the world. I don't think she wanted attention or drama. I just think whatever gene controls judgement is messed up for her. That's my theory anyway.

Next question: Has Anyone Ever Heard of a Vudu Root Being Put on Anyone?