Positive and negative attention

Everybody likes attention because everyone feels like he has something valuable to share. Even shy and introverted people enjoy attention in their own way. One can attract negative attention or positive attention.

Positive attention is much more difficult because it requires patience, as it’s a product of a long-term effort that goes along with building one’s character. To accrue positive attention, first of all, you have to do nothing to attract attention. Especially when you see an opening to do something but that little voice tells you that this isn’t the right moment to get attention because it’d be negative attention. So you do and say nothing for much of the time except at the right time when you do or say the exact right thing. Comes with practice.

Some people weren’t told at age ten that no-attention is better than negative attention. So as boys, they saw that it’s easy to get attention by doing things that make a moment uncomfortable, make people stop and wonder if there is something wrong with you, but it’s still attention. So they develop a lifelong habit of drawing negative attention to themselves. The result over decades is that other people avoid them.

7 thoughts on “Positive and negative attention

  1. “Some people weren’t told at age ten that no-attention is better than negative attention.”

    The only one to find this out for themself at that age, rather than being informed, remains Ignatius of Loyola’s semi-sourly stoic chauffeur.

  2. “So you do and say nothing for much of the time except at the right time when you do or say the exact right thing.”

    This is the cure for Gamma.

  3. Everyone wants to be loved and have a place that’s appropriate to their stature.

    Attention is NOT the same thing as being recognized and acknowledged, and accorded commensurate respect.

    For women though, attention correlates more closely, with status and respect. It correlates for men too though, but not as much.

  4. Dunno bout you guys, but I grew up with “So-and-So needs attention” as one of the worst conclusions ever, reserved for the most cringey spazzes in the group.

  5. “Great lesson, dad.”

    The idea for the post came a little while back in response to a commenter [not you guys; you know it so that’s just for the record] who likes to press buttons.

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