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How are you meeting your need to receive attention?

Today I am posing this question: “How are you meeting your need to receive attention?”

I know this may sound a bit strange.  Rather demanding to some.  Rather scary to others.  However the fact is we all have a need to feel we are special. We are here for a reason.  We are important.  Significance for all of us is a need.

The point is how do we get this need met?   Especially in a relationship when the relationship is in trouble.

So often if someone is not feeling significant in a good way he or she will resort to ways of achieving their need to feel significant – their need for attention –  in a disempowering or negative way.  They then justify their behaviour and will stick to it ‘like glue’ if challenged.  They can fail to stop and really consider how their behaviour is impacting on the one person who they want to connect with.

Most of us understand our survival needs – food, water etc and the power to meet those needs is incredibly strong.  Some individuals take this to extreme and overeat and so put on weight.  Others understand when they have met their need for food and stop eating.

The same applies to our emotional needs – however we can kid ourselves we are meeting these needs in a good way when in fact the opposite is true.

Men and women have different ways of meeting their emotional needs and different ways of expressing how their needs need to be met.  This leads to immense confusion for their partner.

Attention Seekers

We all do it!  Either overtly or subtly.  Badly or well!

I am sure you have come across someone who seems to demand more attention than others.  The incessant talker at a dinner party; the one who asks for advice but actually just wants you to listen to their story; the person who appears to get angry at the slightest thing and then rants and rages.  The ‘victim’ who spends their time feeling sorry for themselves so those around them will comfort and ‘give love’.

All these people are meeting their need for attention but not in very good ways.  After all if they have failed in the past to receive attention in positive ways they will resort to other methods.

Disapproval is still attention

To them the need for attention, in the ways they are demanding, is almost addictive and so anyone suggesting they do it differently can often be rejected wholeheartedly as not possible to do.  Or stupid.

Those that succeed in changing a limiting behaviour into an empowering one take a different approach.

For example:

How would others react to me if I behaved differently?

How would it be if I became a source of value to those around me?

What would happen if I became the listener instead of the talker?

This gives them Growth

Attention in your Relationship

In a relationship how you both meet your needs for attention is critical.  So many couples get this wrong and end up so confused they then destroy the relationship; blame the relationship; suffer for years; or walk away.  Never understanding that had they approached their problems with more knowledge they could not only have met their individual needs but created the relationship of their dreams.

Don’t let that be you.