It’s not hard to spot a person who constantly craves attention. They usually make it obvious. However, it could be a bit harder to see through the feelings you have for that person when you’re dating someone.
If you suspect that your partner may have these issues, you may have come here for some answers. This article will tell you everything you need to know about why your partner may be craving attention and point out twenty red flags that let you know you’re dating an attention-seeker.
Why a Person Craves Attention
A person who displays this behavior usually craves attention. Do you have the time and energy to be in a relationship with this person?
Jealousy often gets a bad rap. However, according to an article published in Frontiers in Psychology in 2017, jealousy is the best way to find out what you value in life. Based on this idea, it’s plausible to think that jealousy is a healthy emotion that provides valuable insight into a person’s true desires.
With this being said, a person who seeks out attention due to jealousy simply may be using attention as a coping mechanism. It’s possible that they have these values that they aren’t even aware of and, even worse, don’t know how to get or achieve them. All that extra attention stimulates their reward center to make them feel better about what they can’t or don’t have.
Some people with low self-esteem clam up into a shell. Others seek to heighten their self-esteem through attention. Much like trying to solve loneliness with attention, trying to fix self-esteem issues doesn’t work. Indeed, it could make it worse if they get the wrong kind of attention.
Histrionic Personality Disorder
This disorder is a condition in which the person has a seriously distorted self-image. These people have little to no self-worth, and their esteem depends solely on other people’s approval.
A person with this disorder won’t just crave attention – they’ll thrive on it. It’s as if they have an overwhelming desire to be noticed. Many people with the disorder lead what looks to be perfect everyday social lives, but they can be highly manipulative in their attention-seeking behaviors.
If the person becomes aware of their disorder or becomes depressed, they can seek treatment through psychotherapy. In extreme cases, medication may be prescribed.
20 Signs That The Person You’re Dating Craves Attention
The reasons for attention-seeking in the previous section can give you a soft spot for a person dealing with this problem. It’s only natural that if you care about the person, you’ll want to help them. However, it can be very taxing on you to continue to date someone with this problem, especially if they refuse to get help. That’s why you need to recognize the signs before they drag you down. Here are 20 signs of someone who craves attention.
1. They’ll settle for any attention – whether it’s good or bad.
You may notice that your partner is okay with bad attention. In fact, if they see an opportunity for negative attention, they’ll take steps to take it rather than avoid it actively. To your partner, the only bad attention is no attention.
2. They fish for compliments.
Fishing for compliments seems harmless – until it becomes evident that the person is doing it on purpose. With someone who craves attention, they often fish, so it becomes obvious. They have no shame, unfortunately.
3. They dress inappropriately or in a provocative manner.
This stems from the person being okay with negative attention. Society places so much value on how a person dresses that one of the easiest ways to get attention is through clothing (or lack thereof).
4. They constantly seek approval or reassurance.
This is a big indicator and is the main symptom of histrionic personality disorder. Your partner may seem as if they cannot be comfortable or happy with their own opinions. In fact, they may go as far as doing things they dislike to get approval.
5. They rarely show concern for other people.
You may notice that your partner seems to be in their own sad, disapproving world. They are only concerned about their feelings, their problems, and gaining approval and acceptance. In their minds, they are the only ones with issues.
6. They provoke reactions.
For a person who craves attention desperately and will take any kind, the opportunity for a reaction for someone seems like free attention. They don’t consider the consequences of their actions which can often land them in hot water.
7. They instigate problems between others.
Just as they’ll provoke reactions concerning themselves, they’ll do the same to others. Please leave it to a person who craves attention to pour fuel on the fire. Unfortunately, they will feel no guilt afterward.
8. Their emotions may shift rapidly.
An attention-seeker is often not in control of their emotions. That is a part of what leads to their attention-seeking behavior in the first place. You may notice that they go through severe mood swings often.
9. They may seem fake when dealing with people.
As stated before, people who crave attention have no shame. Therefore, they don’t always care about appearing genuine in their quest for attention. All that matters to them is the result, not how they got there.
10. They can seem overly sensitive to criticism.
Just as compliments and attention can give them a boost, criticism completely crushes their world. It can be the slightest criticism, and they may completely overreact to it. They may also go out of their way to prove the person who gave the criticism wrong or get their approval.
11. They are vampires.
People who crave attention inadvertently drain people’s energy. They are constantly doing everything they can to be noticed, which can mean jumping in front of any attention coming your way. If you date a person like this, you’ll constantly be upstaged for everything in the relationship.
12. They exaggerate stories.
If a person is craving attention, they can’t just settle for an average story. The story must be the most interesting there ever was. They crave the awe that people have from hearing their tall tales. Even if others around them know they are exaggerating, they may still do it anyway.
13. They are always the victim no matter what.
This may seem narcissistic, but a person who is simply craving attention seeks out the sympathy that comes with being a victim rather than avoiding the blame like a narcissist. It may not even be their situation, but somehow they make themselves the victim.
14. They put their problems on everyone else.
Since an attention-seeker seems not to be aware that others have problems, it makes sense that they think it’s okay to put their problems on other people all the time. After all, getting help with problems is a form of attention.
15. They spin their lives as overly glamorous.
This advice goes along with them exaggerating stories. No one gives attention to average, so they’ll “glamorize” their lifestyle to get a reaction from people. They may be a name-dropper or talk about fabulous trips they’ve never taken.
16. They pretend they need help when they don’t.
An attention-seeker will pretend to be unskilled at something. They may pretend that they need help lifting something that they can lift easily. They’ll request tutoring for a subject that they’re excellent in. Unfortunately, they’ll downplay any of their skills for attention.
17. They are overly active on social media and doing anything for likes.
Social media makes it very easy to get approval. A person who craves attention thrives on social media. They do any and everything they can to get strangers to “like” them. They may keep up with their likes and social media status as if their life depended on it.
18. They tend to put others down often.
It’s not that the attention-seeker is trying to be a bully. This behavior stems from the attention-seeker thinking that they’ll make themselves look good if the other person looks terrible. For example, their outfit may be average. But if they make you think someone else’s outfit is worse, you’ll suddenly think the attention-seeker’s outfit is impressive compared to the other.
19. They are often loud for no reason.
One of the quickest ways to get attention is to be loud. People instantly snap their heads in the direction of the noise. People who seek attention may have an overly loud laugh, or they may raise their voices to make a point for no reason at all. They may also get loud to talk over people.
20. They may threaten suicide or self-harm for attention.
When someone threatens suicide, loved ones come running to their aide. Unfortunately, someone who craves attention will use this to their advantage. It’s a horrible thing to do, but they have no shame, as we’ve already established. Note: A suicide threat should NEVER be taken lightly, get this person help asap.
Final Thoughts on Identifying People Who Crave Attention
People who crave attention aren’t necessarily bad. There could be many reasons that they are the way they are – mental health issues, early childhood problems, low self-esteem, or more. In fact, it can be a combination of problems.
Even though they can be good people, being around a person who craves attention all the time can be draining. If it gets to the point that it creates a toxic relationship between the two of you, it may be time to go separate ways. Hopefully, you can help the person see the error of their ways and save your relationship before it gets to that point.