Mental Health · Writing

The Struggle For Attention (Recognition)

I wonder how much of our daily activities and interactions are tied to our desire for attention—the yearning to be seen and heard.

Before we continue, let’s first define attention-seekingAttention-seeking behavior is to act in a way that is likely to elicit notice, usually to win validation from others.

Does posting daily on social media fall into the attention-seeking category—you know, the type of attention intended to gain admiration, social approval, and likes? Or is there something else going on? Is there a difference between the way males seek attention versus females?

I read an article, which maintains that attention-seeking behavior may be driven by jealously, low self-esteem, loneliness, or as a result of a personality disorder. And if left unchecked, attention-seeking behavior can often become manipulative or otherwise harmful.

Psychologist Geoff MacDonald argued that “Attention-seeking is one of the most valuable resources in existence for social animals, and if there were ever humans who didn’t need it, they are now extinct.”

Should we then conclude that attention-seeking is essential for one’s mental and physical well-being? If yes, then does that force us to admit that the converse is also true, meaning, in some situations, attention-seeking can have a detrimental effect on one’s physiological well-being?

What are your thoughts?

2 thoughts on “The Struggle For Attention (Recognition)

    1. Rochelle, you are spot on in your analysis. As you alluded to, the over reliance on others to provide us with the reassurance that we’re good enough can leave the seeker feeling empty and abandoned, which keeps the cycle of emotional dependency on repeat.

      Liked by 1 person

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