Many people want to be the center of attention, which in itself does not mean anything bad. In fact, most of us want to stand out on more than one occasion, to feel admired and valued by others. Everyone wants to have their five minutes of fame.
However, there are people whose desire for prominence reaches exorbitant, almost pathological levels. Anxious to be talked about, these people are able to attract attention and monopolize conversations when they are not playing, such as at a friend’s wedding or an acquaintance’s funeral.
The desire for prominence is too detrimental a traitsomething we’ll find out below.
What is the desire for notoriety?
Everyone knows someone who likes to be the center of attention. It can be a friend, a family member, a colleague or even ourselves. Most of us like to stand out from others at some point, to have our merits appreciated and admired. It’s something that, in itself, is a normal, healthy, and uncomfortable personality trait. Being an outgoing person is highly valued in most settings, but sometimes your excess can become a problem..
There are situations in which showing a desire for prominence is not appropriate. While the social context determines when it is appropriate to be the soul of the party and when it is not, there are people who ignore social conventions and show an inordinate interest because everyone is paying attention.
It’s one thing to want to be the protagonists of our own story, something completely normal and recommended, and it’s another. always wanting to impose on othersgoing beyond their will and underestimating their wants, needs and emotions.
The importance of controlling it from childhood
The desire for prominence appears already in childhood, manifesting itself in the appeal of children’s attention to their parents. This makes evolutionary sense because, to survive the first years of life, it is necessary for our caregivers to be attentive to us, to meet our needs. It is completely normal and adaptive for children to seek prominence in the early stages of life..
However, as children grow and become more independent, staying in shape can become a sign that something is wrong. Personality can be greatly influenced by upbringing and other variables outside of the genetic code.
The environment exerts a great influence on our personality and, combined with what we inherit from our parents, they make us who we are. That said, we can understand that children’s desire for prominence can be controlled by properly educating the little ones.
Children need attention, but paying attention to them at all times will harm their social independence, becoming too self-centered, eager to play a leading role at all times, even when the situation is not right for them. Failure to control the desire for notoriety at an early age will lead us, as adults, to have an individual capable of wanting to be the center of attention in situations such as a friend’s wedding, a birthday of a family member, the funeral of an acquaintance…
Ironically, The desire for prominence in adulthood can also be caused by a lack of care and attention when you were a child.. When parents don’t pay attention to their children or respond quickly to their needs, little ones may have to work hard to get their parents’ attention. These children grow up with the idea that if they really want to be heard and taken into account, they have to work hard, that if they don’t attract attention, they will be completely ignored.
The best remedy to prevent children from developing a pathological urge to play a leading role is to teach them from an early age that they are not the center of the world, but also to let them know that when they have need something, they have to say it. . They need to be patient, wait their turn to speak or play, and understand that there are other boys and girls like them, with their own needs and wants who also want to be heard.
In addition, we must also teach them that being competitive is not always good and recognize in others their talents and their achievements, not just want to compare them to theirs. Also, teaching them not to feel an unhealthy craving for everything others may have, or to feel too proud to have more than others, can become a strategy to prevent them from reaching adolescence and life. adulthood always pretending to be the center of attention. .
And also, to keep them from growing up feeling like they have to work hard to get their caregivers to meet their needs, It is essential to give the little ones affection, attention and care.
Desire for notoriety and histrionic personality disorder
First, we emphasize that exhibiting an excessive desire to be noticed cannot necessarily be attributed to a mental disorder. However, it is important to understand that this trait in adulthood is usually caused by dysfunctional dynamics during childhood with the relationship with their parents, both for excessive attention and for being completely ignored. In more severe cases, this trait becomes pathological and manifests as histrionic personality disorder.
This disorder usually begins to manifest itself in the first years of life. Ways to get the attention of people with histrionic personality disorder focus on aspects such as gestures, clothing, exaggeration, drama, exaggeration… All accompanied by sudden mood swings and overflowing expression of emotional instability. Other notable symptoms of the disorder are:
- Acting and looking overly attractive.
- Easily be influenced by others.
- Be too preoccupied with your physical appearance.
- Be overly sensitive to criticism or disapproval.
- Believing that personal relationships are more intimate than they really are.
- Blame others for your personal failures.
- Constantly seek trust or approval.
- Have a low frustration tolerance.
- You want immediate gratification.
- Need to be the center of attention.
People with this disorder have a pathological need to be accepted, approved, validated and recognized. They are people who have ideal social skills to capture the interest of others, which makes them perceive, at least on first impression, as attractive and fun people. In fact, their first impression can be pleasant, giving the impression that they are very enthusiastic and motivated.
However, when the focus is on another person or something, they often express a lot of discomfort and feel uneasy. You have to pay attention to them, they have to satisfy their desire for prominence. Automatically, they do their best to follow conversations and redirect them to the topics they want to talk about. Their self-esteem depends a lot on what they talk about, which causes them to end up being seen as selfish and vain people. They feel like they’re going to die if you don’t talk to them.
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- Aparicio Barba, V., & Osma López, JJ Histrionic personality disorder: a review.
- Millon, Theodore & Davis, Roger D. (1998). Personality disorders. Beyond DSM-IV. Barcelona: Editorial Masson.
- Smelser, NJ, & Baltes, PB (2001). Personality disorders. International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences.