Om Aham Mani Information Network
Attention Seeking Behaviour.
We all like some attention from others in our lives. It is nice to be acknowledged and treated once in a while. But for some people, attention seeking is the nature of their personality. At some point in their lives, the normal amount of attention required from external sources may have been deficit, or the person simple received no training regarding forming a strong relationship with themselves.
In general, it is the unhealed inner child which is at the root of this attentions seeking behaviour.
This kind of person feels lonely, ignored, depressed, and hurt if they are not receiving attention from other people.
Fig 1.1: Where is my supply of love and attention ?
This kind of person can be very destructive to the well being of themselves and others. This kind of person may feel jealous of others good fortune.
They feel that they have no source of love other than that provided by other people, so they try many different strategies to gain attention from other people.
Unless one is very strong and aware of these strategies, I would suggest that you avoid these types of people as much as possible. We can choose our friends, but we cannot choose our family and work associates. This is when problems arise and toes get stepped on.
Most attention seeking behaviour has its roots in the primary family relationships, but this type of behaviour pattern can also arise if we do not educate people concerning their relationship with existence, peace, harmony and Self Realisation.
If we do not educate people concerning their own never ending supply of love, then we can expect little else but many, many attention seeking children in adult bodies.
It is sad, but true, and quite disturbing when we consider this aspect of human behaviour on a large scale. We see its effects in the media, governments, the 'star / hero' pinups, tyrants, leaders, and idols, the saviours and mother / father substitutes, the ego-centric cultures and societies, and the lack of funding and interest in meditation and Self Enquiry amongst many of the main stream cultures.
The blind leading the blind ?
By their fruits you shall know them.
Their are many cures for attention-seeking behaviour, but first we must understand when we are doing it and more importantly - why ?
I know of a mother with a family of her own.
Her behaviour fluctuated between a child of seven and a flirtatious teenager, although her body was over 45 years old. She would not stand for any criticism of her own behaviour and thus exhibited stubborn tyrannical outbursts followed by very black silences (aloofness).
She had many problems but was unable to look to her own behaviour for the answers.
Until she does, life will continue in the same manner for her and all who come into contact with her.
This, unfortunately, is a very common occurrence. People live with almost unbearable situations, for many years before their sickness become to much to cover up and manifests in some psycho / physical abnormality.
There is also the
case of the overly worried - the neurotic - who is, in effect, a 'poor
…a husband appears to be very concerned for his wife.
"Perfectly right too!", we say.
But when this concern is not based in genuine heart-centred love, then we may find "dual motivations" and attention seeking strategies. Let us imagine that this concern actually grows, over a number of years, into full-blown worry, a worry that has no roots in reality and has no real grounds to be.
Then we may find that this "worrying about my wife" has several negative consequences.
The wife is constricted by this projected worry, and becomes a victim of circumstances. Because she is always victimised in this way, she loses her capacity to live a full life. Because he is always worrying about her, she too becomes worried and anxious - unhappy. The husband has, perhaps unwittingly, used this strategy of worry in the pattern of a tyrant.
His worry is like a black cloud, like a storm of darkness, and is all in his mind. Yet it has effected their relationship.
How is his neurosis an attention seeking strategy ?
Friends and associates may see this worry as the husband being a great "martyr" to his wife's ailments, ailments that have manifested in line with his neurosis. He gains prestige and admiration amongst work colleagues - "The things he has to put up with", they say, "poor chap. But he still soldiers on. What a character !"
This martyrdom has gained the attention of persons who may well have ignored him.
By studying cases such as these, we can see how these strategies work.
These are just some of the examples of attention seeking strategies, and how they manifest, generally over considerable periods of time, and how we all accept them as "perfectly ordinary" aspects of human behaviour.
In the neurotic husband story, we see how these things develop, and more importantly, how devastating and negative the consequences can be. We become disturbed, unhappy, and sick.
How much worse these strategies are when we apply them to people of power!
In Afghanistan, there is, amongst the hundred other repressive laws, a law preventing the playing of any music. No music, no laughter, no light. One tyrant casts a dark shadow over an entire nation.
We also witness this with the American World Domination Enterprise. One set of peoples casting a dark shadow of starvation, dictatorship, dollar-and-gun, and tyranny over the entire globe!
The strategies of the family are projected onto the world. Fatherlands, Big Brothers, Motherlands, Sisterhoods. The unattended and unhealed pain is projected outwards. The result ? Suffering for everybody!
For instance, the fear of death, of not having enough resources to sustain life, becomes the fight for survival. The fight for survival becomes a multi-billion dollar industry and we get the starving Africans and the obese Americans. We get cash crops and corn imports. We get, a "third world" debt, mortgages, interest rates, and unreal inflation. We get slave labour and death camps for the unwilling. We get ungrounded and unsustainable governmental policies. We get short term gain, long term pain.
These dark clouds of human ignorance spread over the world and because of the fear of a small group of powerful, yet very sick, people, we all receive a certain amount of their ailment. The water supply becomes polluted, the food chain becomes polluted, the air becomes polluted, the mind becomes polluted.
It would be a very good idea to educate everybody concerning their Higher Selves and Universal - all inclusive- consciousness. Then, everybody can rest assured that everything is after all - OK. As it has always been and will always be. And that human beings can partake of this joy of life and love of it all, if we "GET ALIGNED" correctly, and tune into existence.
The Light of Truth can be awakened in each soul and then "thy will be done".
This is the reason that people sing;
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God"
First seek out the Absolute Permanent Quality of Living and Being, that which is shared by all the manifestation. That which is the parent of All Things.
"Then all else will be added unto thee."
Meaning, that once we understand, realise, the All-Inclusive Quality of the Self, then we can come to understand everything from this Self-Centred perspective. Everything is centred in the Self! God-centred living.
Yet, humanity is in its infancy and there is much preparation and education needed.
Anybody who lacks a centre (gained through self-inspection, understanding, and meditation), and who does not have their own inner resources of love, peace, joy, happiness - positive energy - requires the attention of others to provide them with these much needed energies. When a "non-understanding" person suffers an energy loss, then they need to find somebody to feed them these positive energies, not knowing that, with a little self-inspection, study, and practice, they could have their own never ending supply.
How do we gain this knowledge ? One such integrated system is Energy Enhancement which includes many techniques from many traditions, including Yoga.
All transformational systems require genuine, steady, study and practice.
We know what's going on for the victims of the attention seeker - and victims many there are indeed - but what is happening in the being of the attention seeking person ?
Well, to start with, it's a safe bet that the attention seeking person is not a happy person. They probably feel inadequate, unhappy, confused, depressed, angry, in a nutshell - negative.
We all know how horrible it is to be in a state of negativity, but imagine that such a state had become your normal daily and nightly experience, no light at the end of the tunnel - one long nightmare. No blissful, eternal consciousness for the attention seeker, in fact, quite the opposite.
To summarise then;
What are we to do about this attention seeking behaviour in ourselves and in others?
We need to understand our own behaviour and the way in which it effects others.
We need to experience compassion for those who are unconsciously caught in behaviour patterns that create unhappiness.
We need to understand and heal ourselves first. By doing this we ensure that;
"..the sins of the fathers are…"
" ...passed on to the ninth generation."
(where ninth stands for n - 'to eternity' )
This self enquiry is a good deed and service to the One and All.
When we are caught up in a battle for energy, we can attempt to remove ourselves from it as soon as we can, if we cannot exit physically, we can carefully step to the outskirts of the situation - mentally and emotionally.
Unless people are at all aware of what it is they are doing, then it is best not to "play the hero" and get involved. We can leave literature and other "clues" for their study - if they so wish.
Wherever we find these attention seeking strategies, we will also find "The Battle for Attention and Energy" and "one up man ship tactics".
In my experience, this battle focuses around the lower chakras, and is a recurring theme in most family situations. There is an underlying fear / panic / anxiety, that there is not enough energy / love, and that the only way to feel "loved" is to gain the attention of the other - be it friends, family, partners, society.
A perfectly ordinary day may become a battlefield of attention seeking strategies.
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