Thursday, 30 January 2014

The 'attention-seeking' Rant

I think probably since I began this blog I always knew I'd end up writing a post with this subject; the phrase has played such a big part in my life and I have so many thoughts and opinions on it that I knew it would be a matter of time before I had the courage to write my rant. So here goes...

Attention seeking (also called drawing attention) is behaving in a way which is in pursuit of attention from others. Where such behaviour is excessive and inappropriate, the term is often used pejoratively in respect of childrens' behaviour in front of peers, or negative domestic interactions. Enjoying the attention of others is socially acceptable in some situations. In some instances, however, the need for attention can lead to difficulties and may highlight underlying ones.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_seeking)

So when did attention seeking become a negative term? Who decided it made the 'attention seeker' a bad person? These days it's used as an insult; people have rants on Facebook about others pictures being 'attention seeking' or even their statuses. But, if you use the correct definition of the phrase then the people ranting about 'attention seeking' are also attention seeking. They're ranting with the thought in mind that it'll cause some drama, hoping that people will 'like' it or that those the status is referring to, will realise and be embarrassed. Everyone is an attention-seeker and it's not necessarily a bad thing. . .
Girls who go out after making some sort of effort are trying to attract the attention of men or to make other girls jealous etc.

Girls who don't put any effort into their appearance - if this isn't usual behaviour then they're trying to get attention from concerned friends worrying why she hasn't got her make-up on.
Boys who put time into their appearance - the same applies.
People who dress according to the latest fashion, or even those who just put any thought into their outfit; are hoping to attract positive attention and receive compliments.
Kids who misbehave in school are hoping to get a reaction from someone...
Even this blog post is attention seeking!
Also, the phrase seems to be saved for people who can't understand or comprehend the way another is acting e.g. someone posting a personal status or making a massive effort for a night-out... Or even cutting and overdosing. People call these things attention-seeking because they don't know why someone is doing it but who's to say that the person posting that status has no one to speak to about these things and they just need to get them out to feel some relief, or that the girl with a fake-tan, extensions and high heels wasn't bullied in School for acne? And who's to say the person self-harming has no idea how else to get help, or even, that they have tried other ways and no one seems to care or bother? Having differences with people is normal and those who are different shouldn't suffer for that.
Being in mental health services, I've heard so many stories of people cutting, being labelled attention-seekers and therefore not offered help, who go on to attempt suicide either from the lack of support or to 'prove' they need help. All I'm saying is; consider things before you speak. You need to have some sort of understanding of the potential damage you could cause before speaking.

My point, isn't that I hate the phrase; it's that it shouldn't be used as a negative quality.


“after a while, it does actually become normal. You don’t think that when it starts off; you think ‘how on earth am I going to cope with this?’ But actually, after a while, it becomes your way of life”