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Thread: Attentio seeker

  1. #1 Attentio seeker 
    Forum Freshman shazzy's Avatar
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    Does attention seeking is one kind of mental problem? i got one friend, i did not realize at first. But, try to attract people's attention in an unmatured way. Examples, eating ice cream at let it on his face until someone realize the ice cream dirt on his face. Peoples around started to say that they always saw him talking alone, i started to observed him, and the truth is yes. Maybe some kind of monologue, but saying it out loud to himself. I never ask him whether he talking to an invisible person or not. Does he need any medical attention? what approach that i can take to threat him, i just try to act like normal. he sometimes makes me scared. He always try to find me, even asking why i didn't pick up his call. My friends and i agreed that he try to get people's attention, not really high problems of mental illness. But still, does he need any medical help? maybe he is on the first stage of mental illness?


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
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    I've seen this sort of behaviour in some people who learned to compete with siblings for attention. Once the parents grow immune to active calls for attention, the children take passive means. Like pooping your pants will get attention.


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    Does attention seeking is one kind of mental problem?
    It's more often a social problem or maybe a socialisation problem. One thing that matters quite a bit is how old this person is. Another thing is whether he has a job.

    That sort of behaviour is extremely common in adolescence while people are still unsure of themselves in social environments. (With some people adolescence can last until they're 40 or more. Or so it seems.) So they make a bit of a pest of themselves or do things that are generally unacceptable - gross table manners, bad language, silly behaviour - as a way of avoiding the problems of starting or engaging in ordinary conversation in a conventional way. Some people continue with this sort of nonsense because they're more afraid of "not being an in.div.i.du.al" than they are of becoming an adult capable of dealing with other adults on equal terms. Adults tend to regard this sort of thing more as juvenile silliness than as an expression of nonconformity - but sometimes people get locked into this persona they've concocted for themselves.

    Getting a job tends to straighten out a lot of silliness. If people learn to behave sensibly 8 hours a day in order to get a pay packet, the habit will eventually influence their behaviour generally.

    I do hope he doesn't have children of his own though.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman shazzy's Avatar
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    He is only 21 years old, and a practical student at my place
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    We had a young fellow at the work place for a time who was quite the 'performer' as well. He would emit all manner of strange sound effects while he was working night shift, to the point that I requested to be permitted to work at the far end of the store as his cries of alarm distressed me and evoked my 'emergency responder' training. He also had a fascination with the ethnic chili sauce and would cut out the brand name, 'COCK', and then leave these posted in conspicuous places.

    He eventually transferred to day shift once he had a girlfriend (also working at the store, on days) and became much more subdued as he wished to be allowed to work the same hours as her. Under direction from management, he became a very good maintenance fellow, changing lights, defrosting freezers and coolers etc. in addition to working grocery stock. He has since left us, after their relationship dissolved, to pursue his career as a chef. He was a very energetic person, dealing with a stressful past (credit card debt) and possibly slightly ADD. Once I became accustomed to his personna, I actually came to quite like the young fellow.

    As with others, I am thinking there may be some correlation between age and behavior but I do think it commendable of you to raise this concern.

    You mention that he sometimes makes you afraid. In what manner? By being too persistent and invading your personal space? A bit more detail of this concern would be helpful to explore, IMO.
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  7. #6  
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    Shazzy's character sounds "passive-aggressive", like he gets under the skin. It's creepy when someone purposely does things to affect you, on the pretense you shouldn't take it personally or hold them to account. I'm blunt with these people's impingement: "What do you want?" or "I find that annoying."
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  8. #7  
    Forum Freshman shazzy's Avatar
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    From the info i'd got, he only has three siblings, he is the only boy in the family. I think he once told me his mum was fed up with him because he always distract her mum by calling her alot. By the way, his family is quite wealthy
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  9. #8  
    Forum Freshman shazzy's Avatar
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    You mention that he sometimes makes you afraid. In what manner? By being too persistent and invading your personal space? A bit more detail of this concern would be helpful to explore, IMO.[/QUOTE] yes, he is being persistent and invading my personal space. He will ask me almost the same thing about the same tasks given to him, he tells me that he forgot the instruction. Last time he even lost the manual we gave to him to do works. Abot personal space, he interrupting when i 'm talking with my colleagues, that annoyed them so much. Using my phone and taking a lot of his own pictures, calling me when i'm out or not at my workplace. Always try to find me a lot of time in a day at my workplace asking my friends about wherr did i go. Always borrowing things from me. Then, on my facebook wall..... thinking about it make me dizzy!
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  10. #9  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    If I may...a story...which will possibly be of assistance.

    An elderly widow was very lonely and met a gentleman on-line and they both enjoyed chatting as they had a lot of similar interests. He also sent her lovely flowers several times each year, at considerable expense. By geography and circumstance, they had decided early on that they would remain 'just friends'. They spoke at length several times a week for many months and the gentlman became more demanding of her time, to the point that she began to dread answering the phone because he called too often and talked for too long.

    She confided her distress to me and asked my advice. She really liked having a friend but she was emotionally and physically exhausted.

    "Tell him that you are tired and need some rest from these phone visits," I suggested.

    "I have, but then he calls again on the second day."

    "Then set a schedule of when you will be available for chat and stick to it. Don't even answer the phone any other time. You have voice mail. Any one else who needs to reach you will leave a message. If he leaves a message, ignore him until his next scheduled appointment," was my advice.

    "He still talks too long and won't stop talking when I've told him several times that I have to go," she complained.

    "Why the devil are you telling him more than once? You tell him you have to go in 60 seconds and after one minute you say 'goodbye' and hang up and do not pick up if he tries to call back."

    "That would be rude!" She sounded shocked.

    "And it's not rude to completely ignore your requests?" I raised an eyebrow. "Just do it. Make a schedule, politely and firmly stick to it and he will soon learn that he only gets what he wants (an attentive audience) on your terms. I would be surprised if he is willing to forsake you because you are an interesting and engaging conversationalist who is always working to stay abreast of the news and well informed. He might sulk for a week or try to weasel in additional calls and fall back into his current patterns but I'll wager you that he will be happy to work within your parameters."

    I was absolutely correct and years later, they are still good friends, flowers arrive on several occasions per year and the phone calls are as frequent and of the duration that my friend's health can accommodate.

    Have you tried placing parameters on this person, first by politely and firmly explaining your concerns and then by suggesting the best times and methods (if any) to engage you. As for the borrowing, there should be very firm rules around such interaction or none at all. (No one at my workplace would think of touching any of my personal items without permission and even my work items have achieved 'hallowed status' and only the managers might avail themselves of my 'store supplies'.) As for the antics with food on his face and this talking out loud, has anyone politely asked him what he is doing or to whom he is talking to? By his responses, you should better be able to judge if he's just being a needy individual or whether he is an individual in need of intervention.

    What are the circumstances of your encounters with this person? Is it through school, work, living in the same building or area? Has this person ever behaved in a dangerous manner, thrown anything, become verbally abusive etc?

    It might be helpful for yourself and others to examine whether or not you may be enabling or encouraging the very behavior that you would like to avoid.

    Just some thoughts based on past experiences of myself and others.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman shazzy's Avatar
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    Thanks alot for the advices. Right now, i'm just pretending that i'm always busy so i can spend less time with him
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  12. #11  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shazzy View Post
    Thanks alot for the advices. Right now, i'm just pretending that i'm always busy so i can spend less time with him
    Avoidance behavior is the way that most species seek to avoid stress or conflict, given the opportunity. Hopefully, the individual in question will eventually recognize that their overt attention is not wanted and will learn to interact in a more acceptable manner. If they have not been taught proper conduct, they will still need to learn better social skills in some manner.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by shazzy View Post
    Does attention seeking is one kind of mental problem? i got one friend, i did not realize at first. But, try to attract people's attention in an unmatured way. Examples, eating ice cream at let it on his face until someone realize the ice cream dirt on his face. Peoples around started to say that they always saw him talking alone, i started to observed him, and the truth is yes. Maybe some kind of monologue, but saying it out loud to himself. I never ask him whether he talking to an invisible person or not. Does he need any medical attention? what approach that i can take to threat him, i just try to act like normal. he sometimes makes me scared. He always try to find me, even asking why i didn't pick up his call. My friends and i agreed that he try to get people's attention, not really high problems of mental illness. But still, does he need any medical help? maybe he is on the first stage of mental illness?
    He probably began acting immaturely at an early age to gain attention.

    Perhaps you mean to "treat" him.

    To learn more about why he talks to himself or what he says out loud, when you hear him doing this, you can ask him, "Joe (or whatever his name is), are you talking to me?" And then, he might explain why he was talking to himself. But he might talk to himself to get other people to talk to him.

    Being the only boy in his family and being born into a wealthy family sounds like a curse for him. Seriously.

    yes, he is being persistent and invading my personal space. He will ask me almost the same thing about the same tasks given to him, he tells me that he forgot the instruction. Last time he even lost the manual we gave to him to do works. Abot personal space, he interrupting when i 'm talking with my colleagues, that annoyed them so much. Using my phone and taking a lot of his own pictures, calling me when i'm out or not at my workplace. Always try to find me a lot of time in a day at my workplace asking my friends about wherr did i go. Always borrowing things from me. Then, on my facebook wall..... thinking about it make me dizzy!
    Again, he sounds immature ... and lonely.

    One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is don't enable him. The nicer you are to him, the more he will use you, and he will simply drain you of energy, and when you break your friendship with him, he will simply find someone else to drain of their energy. He is a "vampire". Don't help him, if it's possible. He "forgot" the instructions and "lost" his manual on purpose so he could interact with others. Tell him to talk to his boss instead of you. You're too busy, or it's not your job. He might even like it when you scold him because you're interacting with him. Being sloppy like this may be a bad habit he developed during childhood to get attention, so it may be a difficult habit for him to break.

    I knew a middle-aged man (similar to the man you know) who I finally realized would act badly on purpose just to get me to scold him. Everybody scolded him, and he enjoyed it all. I also discovered that his twin brother had serious medical problems from birth and throughout his life, so I figured that the man I knew learned to get attention from birth with the only thing that worked — by acting badly.

    If you want to be an acquaintance or a friend to him (or if you must work with him), then I suggest that you make strict boundaries in your life. Your work time is for you to work. Your sleep time is for you to sleep. Your personal time is for you to do your personal activities. Reward him when he does something right; reward him with some personal interaction over the phone or some "face time". Try training or conditioning him. When he does something right, you reward him. When he does something wrong, don't reward him — not even to scold him — just ignore him. He will learn that being needy doesn't work with you, but being successful does.

    Instead of him calling you, ask him to text you because you can't talk while working, sleeping, driving etc. This allows you to respond when you want. You can always say that you were too busy or too tired, or that you simply forgot. It might also discourage him because texting you isn't really interacting with you the way a phone call is.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Ph.D. stander-j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shazzy View Post
    Does attention seeking is one kind of mental problem? i got one friend, i did not realize at first. But, try to attract people's attention in an unmatured way. Examples, eating ice cream at let it on his face until someone realize the ice cream dirt on his face. Peoples around started to say that they always saw him talking alone, i started to observed him, and the truth is yes. Maybe some kind of monologue, but saying it out loud to himself. I never ask him whether he talking to an invisible person or not. Does he need any medical attention? what approach that i can take to threat him, i just try to act like normal. he sometimes makes me scared. He always try to find me, even asking why i didn't pick up his call. My friends and i agreed that he try to get people's attention, not really high problems of mental illness. But still, does he need any medical help? maybe he is on the first stage of mental illness?
    Yes, there is a personality disorder associated with attention-seeking. It is known as a Histrionic Personality Disorder. Where the person in question needs constant reassurance, approval, and exhibits attention-seeking behaviour - among other things as well. This may be something to look into, but I would also like to say that sometimes people act in attention seeking ways because they just don't get enough of it in their personal lives - so that's something you should mull over as well.
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