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14 Signs of Attention-Seeking Behavior that Masks their Insecurity

We all have moments where we seek attention, but is there one person who always must be in the spotlight and shows signs of attention-seeking behavior?

signs of attention seeking behavior

I’m not going to finger wag and say attention-seeking is bad. Let’s be honest; we’ve all had our moments when we show signs of attention-seeking behavior. Thinking back on certain moments of my past, I cringe. What was going on in my head? Did I already not get enough love and attention?

We all have those moments, and it’s completely normal. But, there’s a fine line between getting some extra eyes on you every now and then and becoming needy for the spotlight. Though you may think attention-seeking may be seen as a little annoying, there’s a real reason why someone is showing that behavior. 

Why do someone people become attention seekers?

People who are known as attention-seekers want to feel understood and be heard and seen. So, they exhibit attention-seeking behavior as a way to validate themselves.

But at the end of the day, the attention someone needs comes from within. It sounds a little cheesy, but it’s true. Why seek attention from people when you really need to give yourself the attention you need. Oooh, it’s getting hot in here with all this honesty.

[Read: Are you an attention seeker and just don’t see it?]

But I wouldn’t be telling you this if it wasn’t something that needs to be heard. If you feel you’re showing attention-seeking behavior or know someone who’s an attention-seeker, then it’s time you knew the signs. 

14 signs of attention-seeking behavior all of us need to keep an eye on

Let’s get straight to the signs of attention-seeking behavior.

#1 Man, can they tell a story. It’s probably one of the reasons why you choose to be friends with them. When they tell a story, even Disney is impressed.

Attention-seekers are the finest storytellers, they have to be or no one would pay attention to them. When they talk, you always want to know what’s going to happen next. [Read: Attention seeking behavior and why some people go looking for the drama]

#2 The feeling of loneliness. Attention-seekers are people who are often more susceptible to the feeling of loneliness. Because of this, they act in a way to draw attention to themselves and create a connection. This is why certain people are addicted to social media, and post everything they do, oversharing their lives. 

#3 Being the life of the party. Of course, you have extroverted and introverted people. Being extroverted doesn’t mean you’re an attention-seeker. But the need to always be the life of the party is a different story. There are times when someone is going to shine on a night out, but if they’re always grabbing the spotlight, they seek validation. [Read: Superficial person alert: 36 shallow traits they just can’t hide]

#4 The need for flattery. When someone’s an attention-seeker, they need to be constantly flattered. If not, they doubt their qualities, and their insecurities pop out. But, by receiving compliments from other people, their qualities are reaffirmed. This need is simply because they’re insecure and rely on their egos for self-validation. 

#5 They want to be admired. Of course, this stems from insecurities. When you’re seeking attention, obviously, you’re seeking validation and love. What could be more complimenting than having people jealous of how you live? Most attention-seekers give the impression they live luxurious lives for a reason. 

#6 They play the victim game. When people feel bad for you, your actions are justified. No one is going to call you a jerk when you’re the victim. But this is a part of being an attention seeker. They never take responsibility for their actions because playing the victim is a pretty cushy role and can last a lifetime. [Read: Why playing the victim actually makes your life much worse]

#7 Their problems are your problems. In the beginning, their problems add a little excitement and drama to your life. But after a while, you’re noticing drama is the only thing happening in their life.

Here’s the thing, they love talking about their problems; it puts them in the spotlight and makes the conversation based on them and only them. Your problems won’t get 15 seconds of their attention. [Read: 23 secret signs of narcissism most friends completely overlook]

#8 They love to complain. Okay, we all enjoy complaining from time to time, but if complaining was a job, they would have won employee of the year. Whether it’s the food at the restaurant you just ate at or the gift their partner bought them, they’ll complain about it. Nothing can satisfy them because they’re deeply unhappy with themselves. 

#9 They know everyone. Makes sense, right? They must know everyone. You can’t be an attention seeker and have no friends. Instead, it’s the complete opposite. They seem to know everyone; they have endless connections. But none of these relationships are genuine.

#10 There’s no two-way street. When someone is an attention-seeker, they’re not interested in your life. Instead, being the center of attention is their main goal. If it was a genuine relationship, you wouldn’t have a problem sharing your problems and having them listen, but that’s not how it’s done for them. [Read: Attention seeking behavior and why someone people go looking for drama]

#11 In the end, it’s about them. You could be talking about your dying dog, and somehow, somehow, the conversation would switch to them. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s effortless. No matter what they talk about, the conversation will always shift and be about them. It’s unavoidable. 

#12 They like to stir up drama. There’s a reason why they always have a dramatic story to share; it’s because they create drama. No one can live a life of drama without having some control over it.

Attention-seekers don’t usually have a peaceful life. Instead, they’d rather go through war and tragedy just for the story.

#13 You don’t feel they’re genuine. Most attention-seekers struggle to form genuine relationships. Instead, they want people who will follow them like puppets, admiring everything they do.

If you’re a friend of an attention-seeker, you may feel the relationship is one-sided. You’re probably right. If you feel they’re not there for you, it’s because they aren’t. [Read: The clear signs it’s time to cut loose your one-sided friendships]

#14 They open up quickly. You just met this person, and you already know all the nitty-gritty details about their life. What? It’s pretty rare for people to be that open on first encounters. But if you’re an attention-seeker, being open and inviting is what lures you in. Of course, they get the eyes and ears of other people paying attention to them. 

[Read: Attention whore? Why you might be an insufferable attention seeker]

So, what do you think? Do you know someone who identifies with these signs of attention-seeking behavior? Now the question is, what are you going to do about it?

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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