Getting Enough Attention
"HE'S ONLY DOING IT FOR THE ATTENTION"
What a ridiculous statement!
Getting attention is vital for all of us.
As infants we would actually die if we didn't get enough
and as adults we are miserable and can actually go crazy if we are ignored
for too long.
When someone says "He's only doing it for the attention"
they might as well be saying: "He's only doing for the food
and the air!"
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ATTENTION WE GET
We all automatically work hard to get attention, whether
we call it that or not.
Unfortunately, however, our thinking about getting attention tends to
be pretty passive.
We Say Things Like:
"He doesn't give me enough attention"
"Why don't my friends call me more often?"
"If she cared about me she'd ask me about my day."
What other people do to give you attention
is far less important
than what you do to get it.
FOUR KINDS OF ATTENTION
POSITIVE Attention for What We DO
"I like how you did that?"
"You look pretty!"
"That was brilliant!"
NEGATIVE Attention for What We DO
"I don't like how you did that?"
"You look bad today!"
"That was dumb!"
POSITIVE Attention Just For BEING
"You are special to me!"
"I love you!"
NEGATIVE Attention Just For BEING
"You are worthless!"
"I hate you!"
Get and use the first three kinds of attention!
Always throw away that last kind of attention!
HOW TO GET AND USE POSITIVE ATTENTION FOR WHAT WE DO
Most of us are pretty good at getting this kind of attention.
We simply notice what other people want and try to give it to them.
But many of us don't use this kind of attention well.
Instead of taking a few seconds
to absorb and feel good about the attention we get,
we just forge ahead doing more and more
as if we are in some kind of a race.
The attention you get today will be gone tomorrow!
Don't "gather" it!
Take the time to enjoy it immediately!
HOW TO GET AND USE NEGATIVE ATTENTION FOR WHAT WE DO
Since we all make mistakes and need to learn from our mistakes,
we need to get enough negative attention for what we do.
Being told about a mistake
feels at least a little bad at the moment.
But the key word is "moment."
If you have plenty of sources for positive attention in
having a mistake pointed out to you
doesn't feel very bad for very long.
(So, if you feel terrible when someone points out a mistake,
ask yourself if you get and absorb
enough positive attention in your life from all sources.)
Use negative attention to learn how you can improve your
HOW TO GET AND USE POSITIVE ATTENTION JUST FOR BEING
- Choose Friends Who Are Good At Giving It.
- Know You Want It.
- Go For It.
- Take The Time To Absorb It.
"I keep doing everything I'm supposed to do for him
but I still don't think he loves me."
A person who says this doesn't do any of the last three
things listed above.
She doesn't know that she wants attention "just for being"
(she tries to get it for what she does instead).
She thinks she is "going for it" by doing
(but she's actually running from it while working so hard).
And she doesn't take the time to absorb
any love that he does have for her.
ABOUT THROWING AWAY NEGATIVE ATTENTION JUST FOR BEING
If you have people in your life who treat you in these
get away from them!
And know that they are always wrong!
Anyone who has ever said or implied
that you are not valuable
is simply wrong!
Please Tell Your Friends About
Enjoy Your Changes!
Everything here is designed to help you do just that!
Write To Me, I Want To Hear From You!
Tony Schirtzinger, Therapist (Milwaukee)
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