As a baby, you didn’t have to try. You were probably so damn cute that you got your share of notice. Or, you instinctively let the world know that you needed to be paid attention to. Or, at a minimum, your caretakers were around enough that you got your share because you did not die. You are here, reading these words.
But, then you grew up. You found your feet, your words and your independence. Your cries were less demanding and your cheeks less adorable.
So, the game began.
How am I going to get these people to pay attention to me?
Some of us became helpful. At least, they will need me.
Some us became bad. They will have to see me now.
Some us got loud. Who can’t not hear me?
Some of us got quiet. Maybe they will notice my absence.
Some of us starting winning and achieving. External praise flows for high performers.
Some of us went crazy. That will get their attention.
Some of us became funny. At least we can make them laugh.
Some of us became beautiful or sexual. That always works.
You get the idea.
And, I make up that whatever behavior you perfected to get those attention needs met, you still do them, even as an adult. Familiarity hard wires the brain.
However, like all our psychological baggage, we don’t throw it out before we sort and evaluate.
Is this method of garnering attention still working for you?
What cost are you paying for your one pony show?
Does it need to be modified or tweaked? What would that look like?
Is there a better, healthier way for your adult self to get his/her needs met?
Face it – we all need attention. It’s part of the operating manual of this being human thing. There is nothing you can do about that.
But you can decide how it is best for you to get it. You are no longer a powerless child. Recalculate your manner and means …
… for the rise of your life.