Attention seeking

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Attention seeking (also called drawing attention or garnering attention) is behaving in a way that is likely to elicit attention, usually to hearten oneself by being in the limelight or to elicit validation from others. Where such behavior is gratuitous and inappropriate, the term is often used pejoratively in regard to children's behavior in front of peers or to negative domestic interactions.

Enjoying the attention of others is socially acceptable in some situations.[1] In some instances, however, the need for attention can lead to new difficulties and may highlight underlying, preexisting ones. However, as a tactical method, it is often used in combat, theatre (upstaging) and it is fundamental to marketing. One strategy used to counter various types of attention-seeking behavior is planned ignoring.

Reasons[edit]

If as a child, the person did not receive much attention from their parents or their peers then they may grow up feeling neglected. Those feelings will then be the main drive behind the person's attention-seeking behavior. Children of abusive parents and parents who are always absent may feel overlooked, and so the child may grow up becoming an attention-seeking adult.

Sometimes adults seek attention because of jealousy. When someone finds themselves threatened by another person who takes all the attention, they may respond with attention-seeking behavior.

Lack of self-esteem can be another cause for attention-seeking behavior. Some people think that they are overlooked and so they think that the only solution to restore their balance is to bring back the lost attention. The attention they will get in this case will provide them with reassurance and will help them think that they are worthy.

Narcissists are also attention seekers. They consider this attention a good source of narcissistic supply and so they strive to get it.[2]

In different pathologies or contexts[edit]

Planned ignoring[edit]

Planned ignoring is a strategy where a person gives no outward sign of recognizing a behavior, such as no eye contact, no verbal response and no physical response to the person seeking attention. The desired consequence of attention-seeking behavior is receiving attention in some form (positive or negative) from another person; when attention-seeking behavior no longer contacts attention, it will eventually cease.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Burns, Robert B. Essential Psychology, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991; ISBN 0-7923-8957-3
  2. ^ M.Farouk Radwan, The Psychology of Attraction Explained, www.2knowmyself.com/Attention_seeker_psychology/attention_seeking_behaviour_personality
  3. ^ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth edition Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) American Psychiatric Association (2000)
  4. ^ Truth Hurts Report, Mental Health Foundation, 2006, ISBN 978-1-903645-81-9, retrieved 2008-06-11 
  5. ^ https://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/reporting-rates=September[permanent dead link] 2013

Further reading[edit]

  • Gewirtz, Jacob L Three determinants of attention-seeking in young children (1956)
  • Gewirtz, Jacob L A factor analysis of some attention-seeking behaviors of young children Child Development (1956)
  • Harvey, Eric & Mellor, Nigel Helping Parents Deal With Attention Seeking Behaviour (2009)
  • Leit, Lisa & Jacobvitz, Deborah & Hazen-Swann, Nancy Conversational Narcissism in Marriage: Narcissistic attention seeking behaviors in face-to-face interactions: Implications for marital stability and partner mental health (2008)
  • Mellor, Nigel Attention Seeking: A Practical Solution for the Classroom (1997)
  • Mellor, Nigel The Good, the Bad and the Irritating: A Practical Approach for Parents of Children who are Attention Seeking (2000)
  • Mellor, Nigel Attention Seeking: A Complete Guide for Teachers (2008)
  • Smith-Martenz, Arden Attention-seeking misbehaviors (1990)

External links[edit]