“I need attention”- How To Stop Attention-Seeking Behavior?

Last Update on June 30, 2023 : Published on July 2, 2023
Attention-Seeking Behavior

Almost all of us have witnessed attention-seeking behavior in our life… but have you ever found yourself seeking constant validation or attention from others? Are you saying no… well let me give you an example…you might relate the scenario to your situation.

Do you spend too much time thinking about what to post on social media because you endlessly need personal validation or have you ever asked your friend constant questions about your physical appearance? Well, these situations can never be a no because at some point in life, we all need personal validation but what happens when such an attention-seeking becomes excessive?

Such behaviors can be exhausting, irritating, embarrassing, and of course uncomfortable for all. In this blog, let us explore when attention-seeking behavior becomes excessive and how to stop being an attention-seeker. So, let’s get started!

I Need Attention- What Does This Mean?

We all are humans and we all want to be loved, taken seriously, and of course noticed. Hence, attention-seeking can be an understandable thing from a positive perspective. However, attention-seeking can be problematic when questions, approvals, or validations are involved with jealousy, loneliness, or low self-esteem.

Research shows that constant attention-seeking or need for validation can be a cause of underlying mental health conditions as well such as histrionic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and more.

Moreover, attention-seeking can be very severe, aggressive, and manipulative, and indirectly it can put a lot of strain on personal and professional life. When attention-seeking is caused by an underlying mental health issue, it can directly impact the overall quality of life.

What Does Attention-Seeking Behavior Look Like?

Well, there’s no list of attention-seeking behavior but there can be different ways or examples that present attention-seeking behavior. For example, some might behave like an overt while some can make a confrontational comment.

The most common example of attention-seeking behavior I can give is someone who’s excessively posting on social media to get comments, shares, or like as much as possible.

Someone who always wants to be in the light or the center. Someone who keeps on making self-deprecating comments so that they can seek personal validation.

Or someone who is excessively dramatic in front of everyone to get the right amount of attention. Below-mentioned can be some of the common signs of attention-seeking behavior:

  • Causing conflict
  • Faking helplessness
  • Need of attention or compliments from others
  • Seeking sympathy

Causes of Attention-Seeking Behavior

As mentioned above, causes of attention seeking-behavior can revolve around low self-esteem, loneliness, jealousy, or the presence of mental health conditions. For example, a person feeling lonely might get excessively active on social media to seek validation or the attention they want personally.

The fact is we are all somewhere wired to attention-seeking but that’s understandable. But when this behavior becomes constant and excessive, it starts testing boundaries which can be manipulative and unhealthy.

As mentioned above, constant attention-seeking can also be related to underlying mental health conditions, research shows that it is mostly related to personality disorders such as:

Ways to Stop Attention-Seeking Behavior

If you think you or your loved one might be involved in attention-seeking behavior, avoiding such behavior is the only way to live life more optimistically and healthily. Since feelings of “I need attention” is related to low self-esteem, you can help yourself or your loved one with the help of the below-mentioned ways:

1. Learn some effective ways to build self-esteem: Low self-esteem is one of the major causes behind attention-seeking behaviors. Start your journey with some positive affirmations and surround yourself with positive people.

2. Set boundaries for yourself: When personal validation or constant attention-seeking goes out of control, you can set personal boundaries so that you can learn to live on your own terms.

3. Express your feelings in a healthy way: Try to avoid unauthentic ways to express your feeling, and learn to express your feeling in healthy ways with the help of writing your thoughts, painting, or singing.

4. Use social media mindfully: 80% of validation-seeking behavior comes from social media, therefore, use your social media constructively and try to live mindfully in your own company.

5. Bring positive changes in yourself: I know it feels really bad to be at a point when you are alone and need attention, however, you can bring some positive changes that can put you on the road to self-forgiveness and build healthy habits within.  

6. Seek professional help: Taking the help of a professional can be a great place to start with positive behaviors and build self-esteem. To connect with a mental health professional, click below:


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I hope this blog helps you understand what attention-seeking means and how to stop being an attention-seeker. Comment down and share your viewpoints on “Mental health impacts of attention-seeking behavior on mental health.”

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Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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