I Need Attention

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I Need attention: ok for some weird reason, I always want attention, it started in middle school I don’t even know what happened, I just wanted attention, and not from classmates or peers but from older people the teacher, the deans office… I hate it so much, I feel stupid even talking about it, because I know what I’m doing is wrong, yet I want people to look at me and feel sorry. How can I stop it? Please help me!

I always felt like I need to be punished physically, sometimes even think that someone would come up and hurt me and then everyone will see and I won’t do anything, yet at the same time I want to be this tough person who can beat anyone up, but I’m a loner, short and don’t talk at all, I’m like a dumb person.

I’m in college right now, and when I go to classes, I get attached emotionally to my teachers, to the point where I miss them and I think about them while I’m at home. I want my teachers to look me in the eye when they talk, and mostly do, the ones that don’t bother me, maybe its because I want attention. It’s stupid I know!

Please help me overcome these problems. I just have to say, I won’t use any medicine or anything like that.

A:Wanting attention isn’t a bad thing – it is about monitoring it so that it doesn’t consume you and create difficulties. Everybody wants attention and find ways to draw it to themselves. Becoming competent in something and feeling accomplished about this is the surest way to feeling better and more balanced about this need.

Wanting to punish yourself, however, is something that needs to be thought about with the help of a counselor. I would recommend that you talk to someone at the college counseling center about this. They can help steer you in the right direction.

Remember the words of the great psychologist William James: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Oct 2012

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2012). I Need Attention. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/10/19/i-need-attention/

Want a more immediate answer from others like you?
Use your Psych Central account in our self-help support community.

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code