Attention…Attention

“A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, and then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.”- Fred Allen

Cute!

It’s the truth, too.

We all want attention about different things at different points in our lives.

Some people need it ALL the time. Look at any number of ‘famous’ people. They need adoration, and acclaim from the world at large. Movie stars, sports figures, and certainly politicians.

Most creative people struggle for it and they want the attention but all too often it alludes them. Some of them, as a result of powers that be, not because they have no talent struggle forever.

As children, we often have parents that give us undivided attention and often make us feel we are VERY special. When we scribble we are thought to be Picasso, when we read we are thought to be geniuses, and when we get a good grade in school we are told we will conquer the world. Ha!

When the truth finally comes out and we discover we’re merely human and not so special to anyone else it can be a huge shock. We may then go on with the false premise that we are VERY special and that the world is wrong not to recognize it. Bad road ahead there. We truly have come to believe what we heard in childhood. Unfortunately, the world is not our doting parents giving false claims.

To come to terms with reality at any juncture is not easy. To accept who we really are with our plusses and minuses is never an easy or fast route.

Now when it comes to intimate relationships it gets a bit murky and in some cases downright ruinous.

A male or female partner that needs attention in its’ variety of forms may be impossible to live with over time.

In the beginning, we all give our loved one lots of attention. We listen to every word they say, we try to give attention with actions that please them. Their opinions matter first and foremost. Sometimes we forfeit our own needs for attention to satisfy their needs.

That’s all well and good in the beginning.

HOWEVER, after time it can be wearing, demanding, and outright unreasonable.

We can begin to resent it all and want something for ourselves. TOO LATE!!

The pattern has been set. It usually cannot change. Not always but for the most part it has been set and can’t be undone.

As you begin to NOT give the attention demanded you will be the ‘bad’ one.

Often other family members will be told ‘stories’ and they will take sides. The situation can become so toxic there is no way out. Ignoring the partner may lead them into others’ arms. If children are involved it can be a truly sad state of affairs as they are often taking one parent’s anger as the right one to protect.

Neglecting the need for attention is a dangerous slippery slope in a relationship.

The signs are there in the beginning but few heed them and that is the reason the escalation when it is no longer, ’cute’ becomes unmanageable. It can force the relationship to end, no doubt about it.

We all need attention and loving care from the people close to us and there is nothing wrong with that. At times, we need more than at other times and we can make those needs known. Communicating clearly is the key and hopefully a loving partner will rise to the occasion.

But, when the attention is needed constantly and in one direction and maybe even escalates, that is when it usually becomes intolerable.

There are instances however, and I have worked with individuals where one partner delivers and delivers and it goes on for years. Some of these people are true martyrs and like it that way.

Now I am not talking here about the need for attention when one is physically or mentally ill; that takes a different breed of caring.

In the end, attention is a necessary part of any relationship and getting the balance is the trick. Put the spotlight, if you will, where it belongs when it is needed!

Oscar Levant is said to have once asked George Gershwin, “Tell me George, if you had it to do all over, would you fall in love with yourself again?”

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