Howdy! I have said that the only difference between me and someone else when it comes to wanting attention is that I demand it and am not ashamed that I want the floor and your undivided attention. Other people act like they don't want attention and instead they manipulate and usurp the spotlight on a regular basis. When you admit that you want attention you are better able to give it to others. You don't feel cheated out of it, you don't feel resentment towards those you give to and get nothing or close to nothing in return. When you own your needs, they are more likely to get met.
When you let someone know that you are upset with them and they immediately get upset what do you do? It seems like a normal response to a conflict, right? Well, on better examination the person that was originally upset is now faced with be upset and alone (because their partner/friend was not able to hold space and comfort them, even just listen) or they can comfort the partner that they were upset with originally. Crying, getting hurt, being angry and openly displeased when someone you love tells you that they aren't happy with something that involves you puts the focus on you and your feelings instead of the partner that was upset originally. Most people aren't doing this on purpose. Most people who don't hold space don't realize that they don't hold space…and they believe that they have the right to be upset whenever they are upset. I agree, but there is a time and a place for everything and, depending on what they are going for, manipulating a situation isn't they kind of attention that serves either person.
When you admit that you want attention you are able to ask for it in a way that allows you to receive it. You can ask your friend/partner to listen and to hold space. You can ask to be focused on directly instead of indirectly diverting attention to yourself. You can give attention and shut off your need because it is being acknowledged as existing and is now out of the shadows. Acknowledging what you need, who you are, what is happening for you is the only way to begin to keep, change, or let go of what you want to. Once you have come to understand that you too need to be focused on, you can relate to others in that way. We all need to be the center of attention sometimes. When we allow ourselves to get the attention we need without stealing the spotlight from someone else we are better able to allow others to do the same. If you have trouble holding space or are someone who claims to not need attention, check to see where you are getting it without asking for it… and possibly what relationship is suffering because of that denial.
Thank you for your attention.