How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

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Strive4Karuna
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How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by Strive4Karuna »

I crave positive attention/acknowledgement. I have since I was a kid and now I'm 20. When I get positive attention I feel proud, conceited, vain. When I do not, I suffer. How do i get rid of this desire for positive attention/acknowledgement.

This condition may and or may not stem from the fact that as a child both parents worked 70 hours a week and I barely got any attention at home and only at school when I was causing trouble.
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Mkoll
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by Mkoll »

I think it's something we all feel. The Buddha mentions it in various discourses. It's definitely not something one gets rid of overnight: there's no quick fix.

The Buddha specifically recommends the perception of impermanence and I've found that this helps personally.
"'The perception of inconstancy, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end': Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said?

"When a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of inconstancy, his mind shrinks away from gains, offerings, & fame, bends away, pulls back, and is not drawn in, and either equanimity or loathing take a stance. Just as a cock's feather or a piece of tendon, when thrown into a fire, shrinks away, bends away, pulls back, and is not drawn in; in the same way, when a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of inconstancy, his mind shrinks away from gains, offerings, & fame, bends away, pulls back, and is not drawn in, and either equanimity or loathing take a stance. If, when a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of inconstancy, his mind inclines to gains, offerings, & fame, or if non-loathing takes a stance, then he should realize, 'I have not developed the perception of inconstancy; there is no step-by-step distinction in me; I have not arrived at the fruit of [mental] development.' In that way he is alert there. But if, when a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of inconstancy, his mind shrinks away from gains, offerings, & fame, bends away, pulls back, and is not drawn in, and either equanimity or loathing take a stance, then he should realize, 'I have developed the perception of inconstancy; there is a step-by-step distinction in me; I have arrived at the fruit of [mental] development.' In that way he is alert there.

"'The perception of inconstancy, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end': Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.
-source

:anjali:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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Sam Vara
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by Sam Vara »

Hi,

It's a really common problem - I think most people suffer from it to some extent. As such, I wouldn't turn it into "your" problem, or anything special. Just deal with it like any form of wanting. Reflect on whether the pleasure you get from it is permanent and really satisfying, or whether it just leaves you wanting more. Reflect on how much effort you have to put into gaining the attention and acknowledgement, and whether it is really worth it. Reflect on the downside of having the attention: people notice your mistakes more, and maybe you sometimes get the wrong sort of attention? And maybe you could be doing something better with your time?

And, of course, reflect on what it is that wants the attention.
Babadhari
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by Babadhari »

Strive4Karuna wrote:I crave positive attention/acknowledgement. I have since I was a kid and now I'm 20. When I get positive attention I feel proud, conceited, vain. When I do not, I suffer.
be glad that you've developed this awareness at a young age. i know many people in their forties and fifties who still are not aware of this aspect of their personalities.

if you can avoid feeling proud and conceited by remaining equanimous when your praised , suffering through desire for attention should also diminish
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
chownah
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by chownah »

Do you actually crave it.......if you don't get it do you have withdrawal symptoms?
chownah
Strive4Karuna
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by Strive4Karuna »

chownah wrote:Do you actually crave it.......if you don't get it do you have withdrawal symptoms?
chownah
Is this a serious question or.... :D

Thanks for all that replied been really helpful
chownah
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by chownah »

Strive4Karuna wrote:
chownah wrote:Do you actually crave it.......if you don't get it do you have withdrawal symptoms?
chownah
Is this a serious question or.... :D

Thanks for all that replied been really helpful
Yes, this is a serious question. You said you crave it.....so......do you crave it.......do you have cravings for it if you don't get it?
chownah
Strive4Karuna
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by Strive4Karuna »

chownah wrote:
Strive4Karuna wrote:
chownah wrote:Do you actually crave it.......if you don't get it do you have withdrawal symptoms?
chownah
Is this a serious question or.... :D

Thanks for all that replied been really helpful
Yes, this is a serious question. You said you crave it.....so......do you crave it.......do you have cravings for it if you don't get it?
chownah
Yea I would say I do however... Like someone in this thread pointed out, the more I get it the more I crave it. Sometimes, I make an effort to try and not look for attention and I feel more peaceful when I do this. The more I try to not get attention, the more I get it. When someone gives me attention when I'm trying to not get it I go back to the beginning again. Its a cycle. I feel proud and then I go back to desiring it again and either feel proud, vain, conceited when I get it or suffer when I don't.
chownah
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by chownah »

Great...it is past my bed time....I'll probably reply tomorrow.
chownah
suttametta
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by suttametta »

Strive4Karuna wrote:I crave positive attention/acknowledgement. I have since I was a kid and now I'm 20. When I get positive attention I feel proud, conceited, vain. When I do not, I suffer. How do i get rid of this desire for positive attention/acknowledgement.

This condition may and or may not stem from the fact that as a child both parents worked 70 hours a week and I barely got any attention at home and only at school when I was causing trouble.
Well you see its a problem. That's a start. See why.
SarathW
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by SarathW »

I think all human suffer from this condition except Arahants.
This is caused due to Mana (conceit) one of the ten fetters.
Not understanding Anatta, the thought I, me and myself is the main cause of this problem.
You can subdue this by following the Noble Eight Fold Path.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Mkoll
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by Mkoll »

SarathW wrote:I think all human suffer from this condition except Arahants.
This is caused due to Mana (conceit) one of the ten fetters.
Yes, I think so too. It's all to varying degrees and degrees of expression in people. And as kitztack and suttametta mentioned, it's a great start to even recognize its presence and be honest about it.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
binocular
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by binocular »

Strive4Karuna wrote:I crave positive attention/acknowledgement. I have since I was a kid and now I'm 20. When I get positive attention I feel proud, conceited, vain. When I do not, I suffer. How do i get rid of this desire for positive attention/acknowledgement.
In psychology there is the concept of the locus of control. You could read up on this a bit, as it might ring some bells and serve as an overview of the issue.

I think that craving attention and approval from others tends to go hand in hand with the conviction that one is helpless (and worthless) and others are very powerful.
And there is some good insight in this: if one doesn't have the knowledge and the skills for how to take care of oneself, then one will eventually feel helpless (and worthless), and will be overly depending on others. (In being that way, one also tends to become a burden to others, which is an outcome that is negative for all involved.)

So a solution could be to develop life skills in general, and Dhamma skills in particular. To become more self-sufficient, to become better able to rely on oneself. This in terms of earning money to support oneself, as well as in developing a strong internal motivation for work and life in general.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
barcsimalsi
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by barcsimalsi »

Strive4Karuna wrote:I crave positive attention/acknowledgement. I have since I was a kid and now I'm 20. When I get positive attention I feel proud, conceited, vain. When I do not, I suffer. How do i get rid of this desire for positive attention/acknowledgement.

This condition may and or may not stem from the fact that as a child both parents worked 70 hours a week and I barely got any attention at home and only at school when I was causing trouble.
It is connected to the type of character that one admires and exalts.
For example(in the context of pride and conceit):
Call a moderate person evil or monster, his mind will react negatively because his satisfaction of holding to a humble self-reputation had been screwed.
Call a gangster with those same words, he will enjoy it because that’s the satisfaction he holds.

The manifested habit of conceit not only establishes a potential cause for additional stress but also strengthen the illusion of self-view.
In order to minimize it, i will suggest being mindful to watch out for any character within you that you find admirable and reflect like sam vara says.
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Anagarika
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Re: How do I stop wanting attention & acknowledgment?

Post by Anagarika »

Strive4Karuna wrote:I crave positive attention/acknowledgement. I have since I was a kid and now I'm 20. When I get positive attention I feel proud, conceited, vain. When I do not, I suffer. How do i get rid of this desire for positive attention/acknowledgement.

This condition may and or may not stem from the fact that as a child both parents worked 70 hours a week and I barely got any attention at home and only at school when I was causing trouble.
One way to mitigate these kinds of unskillful feelings might be to direct your focus toward helping others. If there is a food pantry or food redistribution center near your home, donate some of your time each week, with the focus on bringing attention to helping others. Your sense of self (or ego) can be redirected away from the internal pride/suffering roller coaster, into a stable sense of being connected with and being of benefit to others. Perhaps this can help you build equanimity, and take the focus of your energy off of self. Perhaps as well, use meditation to calm your mind, and develop insight into this unskillful roller coaster of feelings that the ego centered self creates, that brings about suffering. There are strategies you can employ to defuse this roller coaster of feelings in the mind, and develop the middle way of seeing how positive attention/negative attention are just two sides of the same samsara coin, and can be responded to with emotional balance.

Having said the above, we are all vulnerable to these feelings. I need as well to practice what I 'preach.'
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