This week’s HealthyPlace article is about something near and dear to my heart: the stigma of attention-seeking behavior. For so long, I saw seeking attention as the absolute worst thing I could do as a human being. Deliberately trying to get attention from others was manipulative, right? I should just…not need anything, right? Wrong. Obviously.
All human beings need attention, and it is okay to actively seek out the fulfillment of that need. But generally, we don’t teach our kids how to get that attention in a healthy, appropriate way. So as adults, we either internalize our needs and pretend they aren’t there, or we externalize them, lashing out at others and getting attention any way we know how, even if it involves self-destruction. Both of these options lead to lots of shame, especially because our society stigmatizes attention-seeking behavior. But that’s ridiculous. We all need attention, and there’s nothing wrong with having that need. I know this intellectually now, but years of stigma and shame means that I don’t quite grasp it on an emotional level yet. But I will. I am determined. Because I am allowed to have needs, and so are you. For more information on attention-seeking behavior and the stigma surrounding it, check out my HealthyPlace article: Breaking Down the Stigma of Attention-Seeking Behavior.