One of the most often questions I was asked is – „How to make him / her pay more attention to me?“

Have you ever asked yourself why people feel such a great need of attention? Why all of us need to have more attention and feel appreciated by someone who cares for us and we are important to him / her?

Scientists define the need of attention and recognition as one of the basics human needs.

Nobody loves to be ignored or neglected. Most probably you notice that some people feel stronger and painful need of having attention all the time. They seek for proofs of their own importance.

Very often other people do not have time for those ones and do not pay them attention at all at the moment. So those people take this ignorant attitude too personally and suffer inside. They can not live without being paid special attention and feel unhappy, isolated, lonely, unmotivated, meaningless...

That kind of strong need of attention makes people extremely vulnerable and dependent on other people.
As if wings grow on their back when they get more special attention. They start to feel significant and start to see meaning in life and get filled with energy. That is why they stick to their „well-doer“and they want more and more attention while manipulating him in order to get their „dose of attention“. The painful need of attention is like a black hole that can never be filled in...

Sometimes, the man who gives them special feeling of significance may lose his interest and withdraw, they feel depressed and start to feel sorry about themselves, while desperately searching for a way to get his attention back.
Concerning the need of attention, I have analyzed some situations of my life. I have also observed similar cases in life of other people which made me ponder upon them and look for answers. Scenario in those cases is almost the following:
Imagine that a man is in love with a woman and starts to court and flirt with her and does anything for her but she does not love him repulses herself and refuses to accept his love. In the same time she enjoys the feeling that the man brings her, she feels loved, appreciated, more special than the rest of the women and she feels the most... the most...

Whenever the man gets tired of giving out the best of him without achieving any positive results, he may decide to stop his special behavior. Suddenly the woman starts to miss the man, she even thinks that she is probably in love with him after feeling the need of him. She asks herself -„Why I miss this man when I do not love him. Is this love and may be I am in love with him?“.
Infact she misses what the man brought into her life – a feeling of significance, acknowledgment and special attitude and attention.

Of course every person is pleased to know that somebody else likes him very much, even though he may not feel the same. The people who suffer from strong need of attention start to look for the attention of the person whom they had repulsed and to play with his feelings.

Even to them it is hard to understand why they do that. They get lost in the labyrint of their contradictory thoughts and feelings that overwhelm them. They try to clarify what exactly they want.

They can not realize that their strong need of attention is the only thing that attracts them to the other person.
I discovered that the great need of attention is one of the main reasons for making one person dependent - on another person.
Where the strong need of attention comes from?
• The lack of attention or too much attention in childhood.

The attention is extremely necessary for every small child. Children need attention of both psychological and physiological character. Scientific researches prove that if a child has no strong relation with his mother and if it is not surrounded by care and attention it may have health problems.

If parents do not pay enough attention to their child and neglect its feelings and experiences, the child starts to feel internal emptiness, loneliness and strong need of attention. When the child grows up and becomes an adult, every neglecting by other people will bring him deep suffering and feeling that he is „not worthy“ and not accepted.

The adult will start to be obsessed by the idea to look for a person who will give him all the attention to him as if he is the center of the world. Of course, this will make him happy. If you want to be happy, then just let it be! – Lev Tolstoy

In case the child is the only one in a family, it is not good also to get too much of attention. That will not allow it to become self-dependent. When such a child grows up it will always search for the same attention and will require that somebody permanently takes care of him.
Past experiences.
If you were ignored or neglected in the past, you start to suffer and subcnsciously look for a „saviour“ who will return your high self-esteem and make you feel happy. You get attached to everyone who express his attention to you and you feel afraid not to lose him.

•Low self-esteem and inconfidence in yourself.
If you suffer from low self-esteem and do not believe in yourself, you feel scared, inconfident and insecure all the time. You need more attention and acknowledgement from other people in order to keep on moving forward.
That is why the main goal in your life is to look for more proofs issuing from the attitude of the other people to you. Criteria for your positive self-esteem is whether somebody pays attention to you or not.
Of course reasons are various and unique to every person. No matter what are the reasons for feeling such strong need of attention, those people become extremelyvulnerable and experience pain every time somebody refuses to pay them attention at the right moment.
According to me, the need of attention is differentiated in two types: passive and active need of attention.

•When one suffers from lack of attention and feels active need of attention, he is agressive towards other people, blaims the whole world for not giving him what is „due“ to him and he can do a crime just to get some attention. Usually, those people did not get enough attention from their family when they were children. They got attention only when they did some mischief and that is the so called negative attention. They learnt that it was the right way for getting the special attention they need.
On the other hand, there are other people who always want to be „under the rays of light“„под прожекторите“. They get angry and cause conflicts if somebody else try to deprive them of their own place. That is a hidden and subversive need of attention when one is obviously too self-confident but that is only a mask. Deep inside he feels insecure, weak and scared.

When one goes through „softer“ forms of active need of attention, people subconsciously manipulate others in order to make them pay them more attention. They impose on other people a feeling of guilt while getting angry, upset and they may even threaten them and get hysteria.

•When one feels passive need of attention, he usually does not admit his need. He often feels neglected but does not reveal his feelings, he is not insolent, nor requires to pay him attention, does not speak about that but deeply suffers, feels depressed and loses his motivation. Only his hopes remains. He awaits for meeting someone who will appreciate him.

You should know that the need of attention of every person depends on the specific individuality and character. I am not able to analyze all possible cases. In conlusion, all people are interested in just one thing:
How to cure the strong need of attention and what measures to take?

Give yourself whatever you need. Have you ever said to yourself - „if only there was somebody who is interested in me and who would do anything for me, if only there was only one person who would like to please me... and...“. You think that when you find that person your life will become more meaningful and you will be truly happy. Infact that is a delusion.
Every time I went through hard moments of my life in the past I used to ask myself when I was going to find such a person. Finally, I realized that I am the only person who may always make myself happy and pay attention to myself.
The only person who will always pay attention to you at anytime could only be YOURSELF.

You should be at your own disposal and give all the attention that you need. Treat yourself in the same way as you want to be treated by other people.

If you try to attract the attention of the other people by doing something, you may think that you do it because of yourself. Infact you do neglect yourself in this way.
You should pay attention to yourself and spend the time that you need for yourself instead of losing time and energy to make other people notice you and pay attention to you.

Most probably you consider that you spend time on yourself just because you take care of your nice look, gestures, speech etc. That is not what I mean.
You have to spend time on your priorities in life, devote yourself to realize what happens in your inner world, soul and heart and try to clean out the „trash“. Try to sit down and solve your own problems. You only have to completely support yourself in the same way as you would expect others to do for you.

If you make the first step and start to pay attention to yourself and love yourself, so then the others will also do that.
•Do not take anything personal.
„Nothing is personal“ – that is one of the four agreements of the toltecs, which I often love to repeat. That is one of the key rules that you should follow in order to avoid excessive suffering and pain.

If somebody else can not pay attention to you right at that moment, if he is not interested in what you have done or he does not share your enthusiasm of a special experience, you should not take it personal. If you felt pain and feel neglected you should realize that it ensues from your strong need of attention.

You have to remember that the attention you get by other people is not criteria for your own significance and importance.

If you permanently suffer from lack of attention that means that you do not give the attention that you need yourself.

•You should fall apart from people whom you are dependent upon. Тhat may sound cruel but this will help you become independent infact. Of course I do not mean that you have to break off with those people forever. You only have to stop counting on them to pay you attention all the time. Try to build and develop your own self-confidence and private life as well as support yourself and appreciate every small success that you achieve.

As it usually happens, you get the attention of the others exaclty when you do not rely on that. You become much more attractive to other people whenever you are self-confident and secure, not when you stick yourself to them and need their attention all the time.

Author's Bio: 

The author of the article is Rositza Vakavchieva.
She is the owner of the website This site is in Bulgarian and in translation means: “self-knowledge”. You can read translations of its content and all articles in English on: