The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association lists the defining features of the "histrionic personality disorder." The seductress described in Phil's story met many of these criteria. Not every woman who demonstrates these traits is a threat. Many have matured to a point of forming stable, committed relationships. Still, pastors should be aware of these patterns of behavior.
Histrionic personality disorder: A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
- Is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention.
- Interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior.
- Displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions.
- Consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self.
- Has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail.