We can all spot an attention seeker from a mile way, can’t we? But are you able to recognize if maybe YOU are one too? Here are the signs you are.
Back in the day *and by “back in the day” I mean before social media*, there were attention seekers, but they weren’t quite so obvious about it as they are these days. Social media has added a whole new dimension to the term attention seeker.
Why do people need to seek attention? Well, the short and easy answer is because it makes them feel good. Attention seekers are usually people who don’t have particularly high self-esteem, so instead of giving themselves good messages about who they are, they rely on other people to do it for them.
And you guessed it… that comes in the form of seeking attention.
Signs that you might be an attention seeker
We all can usually see other people for who they are, but we might not be so good at looking within ourselves to see who we really are. That requires self-reflection, and a lot of people aren’t capable of it. Or if they are, they simply are afraid of what they might see if they look at themselves too deeply.
So, let’s take a look at the characteristics of an attention seeker to see if maybe, just maybe, you might be one.
#1 You are addicted to selfies. The word “selfie” didn’t even exist until social media. But by 2013, the word was just common knowledge. Let’s think for a second about what a selfie is. Well, it’s a picture of yourself taken BY yourself, right? Hmmm.
#2 You’re also addicted to social media. Okay, let’s de-construct the term social media. The first word is most important… social. Social media is all about sharing photos, status updates, following people, commenting on photos, and bantering with people.
If you’re addicted to social media, then you just might be addicted to the attention it gives you. You might even have withdrawals if you aren’t on it for an hour or more. It bugs you. You just NEED to talk to people. Or so you think. What you really need is their attention. [Read: Am I a narcissist? 10 simple questions to know the truth]
#3 Count the number of likes you get *or don’t*. If you’re the kind of person who is always checking up on the number of likes you get on a photo or posting on social media, then you are really checking up to see how much attention you are getting.
Let’s take this a step further. If you feel depressed or bad about yourself when you don’t get “enough” likes, then you have a problem. And if you even THINK about taking down the photo because it’s “embarrassing” that not enough people paid attention to you, then you are definitely an attention seeker.
#4 Say something negative about yourself. Okay, so have you ever posted a status update like this, “I feel so fat today! Ughhh. Sometimes I just hate myself.” Well… have you? I bet you have. And do you know why you do it? I do! It’s because you want people to comment, “Oh no!! You’re skinny, beautiful, and you should love yourself!!!”
#5 You like to act wild and crazy. Have you ever been out partying on the weekend and suddenly jumped up on the bar and started to dance? Or maybe you jumped up on the stage at a concert? These wild and crazy acts are signs that you are an attention seeker.
#6 You don’t like when people “ignore” you. So, you text someone, and if you don’t hear from them immediately, then you start to get pissed. How could they ignore you?! How rude!!! Well, have you ever thought that not everyone’s lives revolve around you? Hey, people have jobs and stuff. Chill out. Not everyone’s actions are about you. [Read: The science behind craving them more when they ignore you]
#7 You love taking selfies at the gym. It’s really great that you work out. Seriously, it is. But if you’re the kind of person who feels the need to take a selfie every time you’re at the gym and post it on social media, well, you’re just looking for people to compliment you, your body, or your commitment to working out. Either way, you’re an attention seeker.
#8 You exhaust your friends with constant photos. I know someone who cannot – and I mean CANNOT – not take pictures everywhere she goes. And of course, they go immediately on Facebook.
#9 You can’t leave your phone unattended – ever. If you feel like you might literally die if you lost your phone, it broke, or God forbid someone takes it away from you… well, you might be an attention seeker. Your need for attention creates a strong need to be connected to everyone and anyone at all times.
#10 You post on social media all day, every day. Do you document your life on social media? You know what I’m talking about.
The minute you get up, you take a picture of your breakfast and say good morning to your peeps. Then it’s work postings, then what’s for dinner, then going to the gym, then good night. You get my point. If your every waking thought is what you’re going to post on social media, then you are an attention seeker. [Read: The different social media users that make you wanna scream]
#11 You love to tease people with your social media status updates. Have you ever posted something like this, “I am so excited!! Really! Thank you, God!!!” If so, you’re just begging people to ask you what it’s about. You purposely leave them wondering about what made you so excited. Yep. That’s an attention seeker.
#12 You dress provocatively. Being an attention seeker isn’t limited to social media. If you find yourself dressing in a way that there are a lot of your body parts showing, well, you might be wanting to get a lot of attention from the opposite sex. I mean, why else would you dress that way, right? [Read: Dangers of social media – Why it makes you feel so insecure]
Before I close this feature out, I want to say that if you are an attention seeker, I am not judging you. Hey, it’s okay. Really it is. But you might want to think about WHY you are one. What need is it fulfilling? And how can you fill that need in other, more productive ways?
Believe it or not, we’re are all an attention seeker in one way or another. So, don’t worry – you’re not alone. But maybe we should start focusing on other people more than we do ourselves. Don’t you think?
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Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...