Strategies to Deal with Attention-Seeker Behavior

Strategies to Deal with Attention-Seeker Behavior


The goal of attention-seeking actions is to draw attention to oneself. This activity is typically driven by ego, where the attention provides some sort of affirmation. Everyone occasionally craves attention, but going out of your way to using these attention-seeking tactics in order to be noticed by others is problematic and may be a sign of more serious issues.

Extreme and theatrical conduct used to attract attention is normally very unhealthy, and the methods used are often a sign of additional mental health problems. Even if the individual seeking attention is unaware that they are acting in this way, long-term attention-seeking activities can disrupt friendships and relationships because others may begin to feel misled. 

There is a difference between attention-seeking conduct and the desire for typical attention levels. When someone pays us attention, we feel validated for what is being done, cherished, and even understood. However, attention-seeking actions put other people in awkward circumstances because they could feel compelled to pay attention instead of genuinely desiring to do so without being asked.

Adult attention-seeking behavior differs from a normal, healthy urge for connection. It may resemble:

  • Panicking people in a meeting or even at the supermarket,
  • Looking for disagreement in a group,
  • Posting opulent holiday images to social media to gauge the number of "likes" they look for support
  • Posting a picture of a nice attire with the intention of receiving compliments

According to Dr. (Prof) R K Suri, Best Clinical Psychologist in India, “Children's attention-seeking behavior is susceptible to interpretation. A young child who wants attention could ask for assistance with a skill they have shown they possess in the past”. Or perhaps a kid who knows their parent is on the phone but keeps interrupting them anyhow. By providing structure and setting expectations for when children will have their parent's undivided attention, it is feasible to work to address these behaviors in children and guarantee that they may develop better coping mechanisms.

Diverse tactics might be used to compete for attention. While some people could like inciting conflict to draw attention back to themselves, others might be looking for positive attention wherever they can get it.

Here are nine instances of attention-seeking behavior:

Fishing for compliments: When someone seeks praise rather than receiving it naturally, it's a sign that they're trying to get attention.

Making a story up Another indication is overdramatizing what actually occurred and embellishing a story.

Argumentative behavior with the intent to create a spectacle: This is classic attention-seeking behavior because creating a large scene will put the person in the spotlight among the group.

Seeking sympathy: It's not always bad to receive sympathy from others. When a loved one passes away, we frequently receive sympathy from others. Sympathy seeking for attention seekers is doing things on purpose or making up stories to appear as a victim. Attention seekers frequently complain about both big and small issues in the hopes that one of them would elicit sympathy from other people.

Pretending to be unable to perform anything in order to receive assistance: People who want someone around to merely offer them undivided attention may claim to have more wants than they actually do.

Pretending to possess a skill that no one else possesses: Some people would desire others to notice their abilities and to compliment them.

The compulsion to take images solely for social media posting: If someone goes out of their way significantly to take the photo and if they do this frequently, posting with the intention of others viewing and praising it is a warning signal of attention-seeking behavior.

Take control of the conversation at all times: Interrupting a story to talk about oneself is a blatant example of attention-seeking behavior.

Pursuing an opportunity at another person's expense or disadvantage: Being opportunistic diverts attention away from you for something that is unrelated to you so that the spotlight may stay on you, much like asking for pity or dominating a conversation.

When one person is taking up all the attention, it can be challenging to know how to act. It can be beneficial to express limits in a clear manner and to ensure that you are giving someone your whole attention when it is acceptable, especially if they look to be a youngster acting out. This depends on the situation and how well you know the individual.

Mental health Conditions associated with this behavior:

A person with persistent, extreme attention-seeking behavior may be experiencing mental health conditions or personality disorders. Like, Histrionic personality disorder or “dramatic personality disorders”, borderline personality disorderbipolar disorderNarcissistic personality disorderADHD, Oppositional defiant disorder, and intermittent explosive disorder.

Management Strategies:

The following are seven methods for reducing attention-seeking behavior:

Changing the focus from attention-seeking to connection-seeking: You may be less irritated by the behavior and more sympathetic toward the person acting out if you keep in mind that most people need stability and comfort.

Refrain from rewarding bad behavior: If someone is acting out, resist the want to reward it.

Encourage them to go to treatment: by explaining how it can help them address the underlying problems that are causing this behavior.

Provide open dialogue without embarrassment or condemnation: Share in a compassionate manner how the attention-seeking behavior is affecting your relationship and you.

Teach them how to control their thoughts by bringing them to yoga with you or leading them in a guided meditation to better comprehend what is happening.

Set guidelines and expectations: Set boundaries and expectations for your time and availability, and be firm about them.

Make sure you have enough time for focused attention so that behavior aimed at gaining attention will not feel justified.

Our Take

You may consult an Online Counsellor or the best “Clinical Psychologist near me”, who will have a fresh perspective on how to handle this problem, whether you suffer from requiring attention yourself or you're not sure how to help someone else. 

Everyone needs attention occasionally, but going out of your way to acquiring it and putting your family, friends, or coworkers in awkward situations for your own gain is a warning sign. The next time you engage in or observe attention-seeking conduct, keep in mind that it may be an indication of a more serious disorder.

When Attention seeking behavior is harming you or other in some way, it’s not something you need to put up with and it needs immediate intervention by Best Mental Health Professional, your mental health is vital to us. 

In the event you or a person in your life is showing any signs of self-harm, harming others or suicidal ideation—even if it seems to be part of a need for extra attention—you should always take this seriously, and consult immediately with the Best Psychiatrist near me