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Personal Development: Attention Seeking Behaviour

Personal Development: Attention Seeking Behaviour

Attention Seeking Behaviour

People act the way they do, in order to achieve what they perceive, is 'good' for them.

The difficulty in that definition is that, everyone has a radically different perception of what constitutes 'Good'.

For example: Are cream cakes good to eat?

It depends on how you define the word good. If you mean pleasurable, then cream cakes are good. If you mean nutritious, then cream cakes are not good.

What you think is good or bad, will determine how you feel about a certain thing, and what you do about it.

Today, I want to show you two sets of ideas (red and green below) that will explain why some people seem to behave badly, or why they don't do the right things.

The idea I want to suggest to you is that some people pursue things that, in reality, are NOT good. And they also fear things that, in reality, should not be feared.

Look at the following diagram:

Personal Development : Personal Development: Attention Seeking Behaviour

Six Mistakes

It is often a mistake to fear:

  1. Rejection.
  2. Criticism.
  3. Reprimands.
  4. It is a mistake to act to gain attention.
  5. It is a mistake to do things simply to garner praise.
  6. It is a common mistake to do anything just to be accepted by the group.

Let us look at these one at a time.

1. It is often a mistake to fear rejection.

Life is full of rejection. Every time you enter a contest, you may lose. Every time you apply for a position, you may be rejected. Every time a boy asks a girl to dance, he faces the risk of rejection. Every time a saleswoman asks for the sale, she risks rejection.

The fact is; Life is full of rejection.

Therefore, it is a mistake to fear rejection. If you do, then you will tend to move away from putting yourself into situations that may result in a rejection. You won't enter the contest, you want to apply for the job, you won't ask, and you won't even try, all due to the fear of rejection.

Reverse this trend. Don't fear rejection. Say to yourself: "Rejection is inevitable; I won't let rejection bother me too much".

2. It is often a mistake to fear criticism.

A similar situation exists in relation to the fear of criticism.

  • Nobody enjoys criticism.
  • But you should not fear it.

Criticism may be information that tells you where your current actions are not working. Criticism can be valuable information. Therefore, you should not fear criticism. If you fear criticism too much, then you will tend to avoid circumstances that may result in criticism. So again, you won't even try. This time, for fear of drawing criticism.

Reverse this trend. Don't fear criticism. Instead. Welcome it!

You may even ask for constructive criticism of your performance, or your work, in order that you may improve upon it.

3. It is often a mistake to fear reprimands.

The same thing goes for fear of reprimands. This is a childlike fear that people carry into adulthood. It is a morbid fear of "getting told off".

Children fear getting told off by the teacher.

Most people grow out of being afraid of being told off. But sadly, some people never grow out of this fear. So, if anyone "tells them off", they get very upset.

Reverse that trend. Don't worry if you get "told off", by someone you don't really know and don't even like.

Instead, tell yourself: "I don't really care what this person thinks".

4. It is a mistake to act simply to gain attention.

Many people like to have the spotlight of the group's attention shining on them. They will do anything to be the centre of attention.

They engage in "attention seeking behaviour".

You will see people acting loudly, or claiming they are the victim of some injustice or disease, or illness, simply to gain attention.

Attention for its own sake. This is a mistake. You need to reverse this trend.

Tell yourself: "I don't need to be the centre of attention all the time. Attention seeking for its own sake is childish. I no longer need to engage in attention seeking behaviours".

5. It is a mistake to do things simply to garner praise.

In a similar way, some people do things to gain praise. This stems from childhood, where children work hard to gain parental praise.

You would do a cartwheel or a handstand and say, "Mummy, Daddy, look at me!".

Many people are affected by the lack of parental approval and they spend the rest of their lives trying to make up for it by seeking approval from other people.

It is a sad sight to see a grown person still saying, "Mummy, Daddy, look at me!".

Reverse this trend and tell yourself:

"I don't do things for praise. I do things because they are good in themselves. I would do these things even if I got no praise, from anyone. I do them because they are right. Not because they draw praise".

6. It is a common mistake to do something, just to be accepted by the group.

In a similar way, people act in order to gain acceptance from a social group. This is group, or gang-behaviour. The first group you belong to is your family.

But within the first 15 years of your life, you get involved with other groups or gangs.

It could be the scouts or girl guides, it could be bikers, or the dance troop. Your social gang. The Boys. The Girls!

Young men and women will do anything to be accepted into the gang. It is the cause of much bad behaviour.

We all know the sad story about the good boy who fell in with the wrong crowd.

It is a gloomy fact that people will do things in gangs, that they would never countenance as individuals.

Psychologists call it "crowd behaviour" or "group think". Other people call it MOB mentality.

Reverse this trend. Tell yourself: "I don't follow any crowd. I am a leader, not a follower. I would rather think for myself than mindlessly follow a crowd."

The correct attitude might be summarised as follows

1. I don't fear rejection. It is a necessary part of life.

2. I don't fear criticism. Constructive criticism is vital to learning, therefore I will ask for constructive criticism.

3. I don't fear being told off by people I don't really know, nor like. Their opinion is of no consequence to me.

4. I don't do things simply to gain attention. I do things because they are the right, or the necessary thing.

5. I don't do things in order to garner praise. I do things that are right and necessary. Doing the right and necessary things is reason enough, whether that brings praise or reprimands.

6. I don't follow crowds, or gangs. I don't abandon reason in favour of social acceptance. I am a leader. Not a follower.

7. I am led only by my own understanding of what is Good, Right and Necessary.

8. I do only those things that are Right, Intelligent Necessary and Good (RING).

Memorise these points and repeat them to yourself every day.

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About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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