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About Everything Wiki » Relationships » What to do if you don't have enough attention

What to do if you don't have enough attention

14 Jan 2024, 00:00, parser
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Probably, everyone is pleased when they are noticed and appreciated. But it happens that a person without constant support from the outside feels abandoned and not needed by anyone. Only signs of attention and approval help him to raise his self-esteem. He waits for them daily or even demands them from a partner, friends, colleagues. Let's figure out what to do in such a situation.

Allow yourself to want more attention

Humans have several basic needs that have developed as a result of evolution. One of them is the need to have your own pack. That is, to keep in touch with people with whom you want to interact and get positive emotions from it. In this case, their attention is a sign of confirmation that you are appreciated, needed, and welcome here.

But in society, another form of behavior is often welcomed: not to stand out, not to demand any attention, to cope with all difficulties on your own. Moreover, this problem exists not only in the post-Soviet countries. Psychotherapist Charlotte Fox Weber, who runs a private practice in the UK, also writes about her in the book "More than Desire".

Some of her clients explicitly stated that they would like to become children again — because they are allowed to behave noisily and demand to be looked at, listened to, and given time.

Well, adults often use the phrases "You attract attention", "Everyone is looking at you" as a reproach. Many people believe that a well-mannered person should be as inconspicuous as possible. But that's not possible.

Charlotte Fox Webber
Quote from book "More than a wish".

We want people to notice: We exist. Who are we if no one knows what's going on in our lives? Even the most ardent adherents of privacy, who do not want to flaunt their lives on social networks, want to be noticed and recognized.

Therefore, you should not blame yourself for wanting attention. This is a natural need, and there is no need to reject it. It is important to find a balance between the two opposite poles. One of them is "I don't need anyone at all." Another is, "I need constant support, otherwise I don't exist."

Try to pay more attention to your needs

The first step to finding balance is to get to know yourself better. Find out what is really important to you, what gives you pleasure, what you value the most. It seems that it is very simple — anyone will name their favorite dish. Or he will tell you that he likes interesting movies and walks in good weather. But it often happens that a person watches only those films that are talked about in his circle. And he goes for a walk because that's what his friends do.

There is nothing terrible in such imitation either: all people learn not only from their own experience, but also from the experience of others. Evolution has taken care of this way of assimilating knowledge — there are mirror neurons in our brain for this Mirror neuron / Britannica . But it is worth checking regularly what has really turned out to be valuable from someone else's experience, and what does not suit you at all.

Think about what your choice will be if no one finds out what you eat, how you spend your free time, where you go, what you watch and read. Would you really cook scrambled eggs with spinach for breakfast? Would you go to the gym after work? Or do you prefer cheesecakes with sour cream, like grandma's, but instead of fitness you want to get on roller skates and drive around the summer city until it gets dark?

Find ways to spend time that will really please you. You can make a list of things to do, entertainments and small pleasures that will surely cheer you up. And then, for a month, try to make every point a reality.

Maybe some business will not be as attractive as you thought. This is also a useful experience: you will understand exactly what you do not want to waste time on, and calmly move on to the next point. And when you get to the end of the list, you'll know exactly what you really like. If you start doing things that make you happy more often, the need for attention from the outside will decrease.

Charlotte Fox Webber
Quote from book "More than a wish".
The desire to be noticed is an integral part of human nature. But the need for witnesses can never be satisfied if it becomes obsessive, turns into dependence. If it becomes possible to fully focus on something, be it a conversation, a book, or a project, the need for the attention of others may recede or be felt less acutely.

Learn to appreciate your achievements

It happens that a person needs others to constantly praise and approve of him. This is because he does not consider himself a valuable specialist, an interesting conversationalist, or a good friend. In addition, a person needs love confirmations from a partner, compliments and admiration all the time. Otherwise, he will doubt the relationship.

Such situations arise when a person is not sure of his value. The paradox is that the admiration of friends, colleagues or a partner also does not last long. Very quickly, self-esteem drops again, and a new stimulant is needed to raise it. A person begins to ask first, and then literally demand attention. Relationships with friends or a partner deteriorate, and self-esteem can collapse to zero.

If you are constantly faced with self-doubt, it is worth making a list of your achievements. Determine the time interval yourself. For example, write down all the successes over the past year. Or start your list with the very first victory you remember.

And then imagine that another person has achieved all this — for example, your best friend. Would you appreciate his success, would you be happy? Would you have said any good words to him? Address them to yourself. You definitely have something to be proud of.

Charlotte Fox Webber
Quote from book "More than a wish".

How do you feel about yourself? Perhaps you are downplaying your importance in one way or another? This can take years. You may be being unfair to yourself, but you are used to low self-esteem. "Look at me! Look at me!" Many people have been listening to or singing this song all their lives. What happens when we are alone, when there is no one to notice us, no one to applaud us? It all depends on whether we feel good alone with ourselves.

If nothing works out anyway and you can't praise yourself, think about visiting a psychologist.

Treat others with interest and attention

The people you communicate with also need attention. They, like you, also need to be noticed, praised, and just happy to meet them. You are exactly the person who can devote his time to them, treat them with interest. Well, for you, this is a way to feel: your participation helps the interlocutor become more confident, feel valuable and worthy.

In return, you will definitely receive gratitude and support. Maybe not from every interlocutor, but from most of them. This means that your confidence that your friends or partner need you, that they appreciate you and value your relationship, will also grow.

Charlotte Fox Webber
Quote from book "More than a wish".

The willingness to open your eyes and start observing requires courage and can be healing. Noticing what is around us, we feel that the need for attention is weakening.

The path to a sense of self-worth and importance can be a long one. But it's worth starting it at any time when you feel that you constantly lack approval and support.

How to establish relationships with others 🧐
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