One of my exes called me an attention whore because I posted a photo of myself in my sports bra to show off my results from the gym. “Guys like me don’t respect girls like you.” ~ Why I stayed after that is a whole other topic for discussion…
The attention whore comment was so cutting I deleted the photo…After he broke up with me – I was so damaged from months of similar comments that I believed them, and had to quit social media altogether. I couldn’t post any picture, of myself or of anything, without experiencing an overwhelming fear that he was right about me – I’m a whore for attention and everything I post is indicative of that. I’m a bad person.
SPOILER ALERT…I recovered and rose from the ashes of my broken heart like the fiery, majestic Phoenix I am. And here’s what I learned. 1. He was such a jerk (*insert Ariana Grande Thank u, Next**), but 2. He was right – I DO love attention. AND GUESS WHAT? – THAT IS OKAY. Why do we stigmatize admitting that we like attention so much? When we say someone just wants attention it has a negative connotation, when a child acts out or behaves poorly we jump to the conclusion that the child just wants attention – it’s associated with bad behavior from a young age. But craving attention is NOT a character flaw – it is simply human. We all want to be loved, and desired to some extent.
Of course there are unhealthy ways to seek validation from others (I’m a huge proponent of achieving validity through self) – but wanting attention doesn’t automatically make you a bad person. Wanting validation, love, respect, or to be seen in a positive light is natural even for the most self assured elites among us. I’m tired of people shaming others for wanting attention. You deserve to be seen, and heard. Again, how we seek attention is likely the issue behind the stigma – but there are VERY few people who go through their lives without needing this human connection.
Why else would solitary confinement be a punishment?
When people seek attention by making long, emotional & personal posts about something bad going on in their lives – yes, they’re looking for attention – but probably because they really do feel pretty shitty about the bad stuff happening to them. Should they struggle in silence instead so as not to appear like an ‘attention seeker’?
When people want to post about their accomplishments, I.e gym progress (yup, we’re circling back) – they’re looking for attention – because it doesn’t hurt to hear words of affirmation about something you worked really hard to achieve. You look/feel good? Then show it off sis! Don’t be ashamed to be you. Revel in the love and support you receive from others and your mental health will thank you for it.
PSA: My name is Jade and I love attention. This is not an AA meeting because well, loving attention is not a problem.