I was brought up to believe that the desire to want attention is to be kept suppressed. Our parents were raised to believe that if you say you love your child, give them attention when they are crying, hug and hold them, hear them, compliment them, that – that is spoiling the child. And we sit here wondering why so many of us have issues with self-esteem and self-loathing. Most of us don’t love ourselves and as a result, cannot love others as much as we really could if we loved ourselves. Parents teach us a lot of good things, but some things taught did not work out because look at us now. We may have a nice job, a nice house, a nice education, lots of friends, a collection of awards and plaques and lots of money, but…. do we love ourselves? Do we forgive ourselves? Do we have compassion for ourselves? Do we appreciate our mistakes and flaws? Do we love our bodies? Do we take care of ourselves?
Our parents were taught that if they acknowledge what is good about us, it would make us feel entitled. But I think the opposite happens. Those who feel entitled or that “the world owes them something” might be coming from a place of LACK — not a lack of things, but a lack of unconditional love. And as a result of not getting the love, attention, support, compassion and encouragement, some might grow up believing that they are worthless and as a means to surviving that, some of us might feel entitled to more than what we need to make up for what we didn’t have before. Narcissism also comes from that same place of emptiness and lack. Those who feel poorly about themselves might either go to the extreme of feeling superior to others or inferior to others. And we have all found our own unique way of dealing with how little we feel about ourselves. We are creative like that. And that’s how we survived.
It is a societal rule to not want attention. You can want a lot of things, but attention is not one of them if you expect to fit in. For some of us, this doctrine is so ingrained we might not even realize it was programmed into us by lecture or experience.
I don’t think humans are meant to be perfect. To be human is to be flawed. Being human means we have all been programmed, we have all been hurt and traumatized and we all do seemingly “weird” things to cope with the harsh realities of the past and the present. The child inside us never had a chance of doing the healing work, so the load of baggage from the past is carried into adulthood. And that is why we all act a little weird. ;) And also why a lot of us might have medical maladies.
Life is challenging. I am surprised we’re all not alcoholics and killing people even more than we are now. So, if someone needs attention, I will try to give it to them. I love attention, myself. I don’t write to talk to myself. I write with hopes that my work will be seen and appreciated. I enjoy being seen, heard and acknowledged. I love knowing that I might be loved or admired by someone else in spite of it making me also feel like I don’t deserve to be loved at the same time. Isn’t that weird how that works?
I am supposed to feel shame for admitting that I love attention, but I feel none. I am proud of that and enjoy being human and flawed. I don’t want to be perfect. I just want to be real. I just want to be Me. And I want to encourage others to be who they are as well….even if it means you won’t be liked anymore. If you are true to yourself, sure you might scare a lot of people off, but at the same time, you also might attract the RIGHT people into your life. And even better than that? You’ll have yourself BACK!
Some don’t like attention and that is just fine as well. The need to be seen, heard and acknowledged could be repressed as a means of surviving. But even if it’s not, if we don’t like attention, that doesn’t mean we are perfect either or better than those who enjoy attention. Maybe the child inside us doesn’t feel they deserve attention. I can appreciate both feelings. So many of us feel too small and unimportant to get attention and if we got it, we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves. The desire for or against attention doesn’t make someone better or worse. It’s who we are at that very moment in life. It could change later on.
My point is that there shouldn’t be all this worldly pressure to be perfect or to pretend we don’t need others. If you feel someone wants attention from you and you don’t feel comfortable giving it out, then don’t. But maybe wonder why it is triggering? What feelings come up when you feel someone wants attention? I was dancing so much in karaoke that my friend told me to “simmer down”. At another karaoke party, I was scolded for singing in Japanese. My friend saw someone riding their bike with no hands and wearing a Santa Hat during Christmas and got very triggered by that thinking he was seeking attention. In my case, I wasn’t trying to get attention; I just know how to rock it and have fun at parties. ;) But my friend got angry at the guy on the bike “showing off”. He didn’t like that he might have been trying to get attention. Why? Maybe the child in him saw that as a threat to his own attention? Some old feelings to compete for mother’s love? The child-mind is irrational and that is probably what’s at play here. Some have problems being around me at parties because I am just a naturally happy enthusiastic person and that is triggering someone else’s needs for the spotlight? Jealousy? Either way? Everyone’s in pain. We all pretty much see the world and each other through the filter of unresolved debris from the past and past lives.
Did you have a parent or sibling that demanded too much from you when you were a child? Did you have a sister or brother who stole your spotlight growing up time and time again? Everyone who gets triggered at someone for being human has a host of their own flaws and irrational triggers symbolic of old stale trauma. We are flawed people looking down on other flawed people. Have we ever thought just how ironic that is? When we realize we’re all humbly human and flawed and that we all hurt and are all in this together, maybe we might treat each other a little better.