Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

If you need and want attention and support and/or love (not romantic love), how do you get it?

Asked by wundayatta (58727points) April 13th, 2010
32 responses
“Great Question” (6points)

When I was sick, I learned that if I said bad things about myself and the stuff I do, people would often jump in to provide support and friendship and love. It was a trap though. I desperately wanted those things, but since I had manipulated people, I didn’t know if it was real, so I had to turn it away.

Since I found myself doing that, I’ve been working to stop doing it. I have been trying not to say bad things about myself because they, too, are lies. Although I didn’t know that when I first got sick. People have shown me that I do have my good points.

The other thing I hate, though, is just coming right out and asking, please, I need support and love, will you give it to me? Once again I don’t trust it is real, because I asked for it.

The only love I trust is that which is unsolicited and unmanipulated. But people rarely offer that, although they probably do so more than I am willing to recognize or admit.

Anyway, I feel like I’ve placed myself in a trap. I was wondering how other people deal with this. When you, personally, need support and love, how do you seek it out? Please, no advice. I’m interested in your stories. They teach me more than any advice ever could.

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DarkScribe's avatar

You can only get support and love from those who love you. If you are not getting it, perhaps it is because they don’t realise how much you need it. Find a way to let those close to you know.

Sophief's avatar

I guess it depends where I am wanting it from. If I want it from my s/o, he usuallu knows before I do and offers it, if not I will just say how I am feeling. If I want it from my parents then I have no chance, my dad doesn’t like me and mum thinks I shouldn’t have any problems and when I even attemp to tell her, all I get is “don’t be stupid there is nothing wrong with you” or “are you having a bad day, get over it”.
If I want it professionally, I can ask for it, but in only small detail.

wundayatta's avatar

@DarkScribe Maybe you didn’t read the details. In the details I stated that I don’t want advice. I want to hear your story. Please.

gemiwing's avatar

You know, for so long I thought that love was sex and abuse was attention that it took a long time to realize that what I thought about attention, love and affection (romantic or not) was dead wrong.

Once I learned the amazing feeling of being given healthy attention- I had no problem asking for it. I mean, asking for attention by someone who likes to tell you you’re worthless- who would want to ask?

I feel that attention that I ask for tends to be sweet and just as genuine as the ‘surprise attention’ because most people want to show love, affection and caring- they are just so involved in their own existence that they forget to show others how they care for them. Reminding people to show care doesn’t change the heart it comes from.

slick44's avatar

Dont mean to advise, but you have to give to receive. I find the more love and understanding you put out. the more you get in return.

DarkScribe's avatar

@wundayatta Maybe you didn’t read the details. In the details I stated that I don’t want advice. I want to hear your story.

Effectively that was a précis of my “story”. I didn’t used to let anyone know what was happening with me and at times felt somewhat abandoned. When I first was diagnosed with cancer I didn’t tell anyone that I had a serious illness. When the word went around – I not sure who was responsible – the whole picture changed. I had nothing but encouragement and support.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’ve always confused myself in that area. By nature, I’m a loner and am most comfortable when alone with my own thoughts. There is, however, some contray part of my nature that seeks attention, which usually manifests in some negative way. Someone explained to me that this damnable attention seeking is an “inner child”. This doesn’t make sense to me, as a child I was even more of a loner than I am now. This “inner brat” is just a nuisance to me and creates attention that I would rather do without. My dominant, rational side seeks niether affection, kudos or sympathy. Life would be much easier if the “brat” would just shrivel up and go away.

wundayatta's avatar

@DarkScribe Ahhh. That makes so much more sense now that I see where it is coming from. Thank you and GA!

Trillian's avatar

I’ve come to believe that we have different methods of obtaining energy from others. The “poor me” gets people to feel guilty, that they are not doing enough, or doing the right thing for the person, The encounter drains the person of energy because they are expending it trying to convince the person that they do indeed love him/her nad end up jumping through hoops to prove it. Eventually, feelings of resentment and hopelessness take over, because it’s never enough. The person on question does well to be able to recognize this dynamic and attempt to overcome it.
To get, you need to give. Please, if you can, read The Celestine Prophecy. I know it sounds “new Age” but the points brought out are valid and relevant. I believe it may help you. Also, this on “giving”.
I read The Prophet years ago and keep it for reference and re read it often. I also gaind so much from The Celestine Prophecy that I cannot tell you all the ways it has impacted my life. I’m an “aloof” and now recognize and counteract my own unhealthy ways of taking energy. I strongly recommend this reading, along with the rest of the series to anyone with issues like yours and mine. We all struggle with the need to feel loved and accepted, and those of us who question our own worthiness to be loved can learn from this series.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

That’s why I’m here.

Dude, you live way too deep in your head. I’m just sayin’ here. It’s spring; go outside and take a nice walk and stop thinking about anything that’s not in front of you.

beautifulbobby193's avatar

By non romantic love and attention, do you mean sex? It’s not too difficult to seek it out, particularly if you are female.

If you are not talking about this in a physical sense then the best way of getting live and support is by surrounding youself with people that love and support you. If you love and support others you will most often find they will do same for you in your time of need.

JeffVader's avatar

Im not really sure….. the only time I ever asked for help was from my mum, & she then refused to answer the phone for about 4mnths, & when she did eventually, she pretended everything was just fine.

Coloma's avatar

While I do have friends that I can go to for support if needed, I do not ‘need’ it.

I have learned that I am my own best friend, I have all the answers I ‘need’ contained within, and that goes for self love and self support as well.

The root of all suffering is in believing one ‘needs’ something to be whole, okay, complete, from without instead of from within.

I also believe that aside from occasional moments, if one has chronic emotional issues and needs constant support & validation, that this is where one finds a good therapist and does not burden friends and family with the same recycled miseries that cannot be resolved.

While life is unpredictable and we all experience times of loss or pain, in general it is important to remember that it is our responsibility to BE the kind of person others WANT to give and lend support to.

Maybe stop being needy for more love, support, attention, and give back what you have already recieved 3 fold.

Throw a party and make all your supporters the guests of honor!

Thats one way to shore up your supply of support people.

Recognize and celebrate them and take the focus off of the needy little me.

Do not do this if your intention is manipulative and not born of a genuine appriciation.

DO, do this as an exercise in humility.

For one day put the focus outside of yourself and allow the joy of giving back to be your fulfillment.

I guess you got a bit of both from me, story and advice.
The thing is, and not to be harsh, but, it is true, nobody wants to be constantly solicited as a support person to anyone that is a bottomless pit of neediness.
We are all responsable for healing ourselves and being the kind of person others want to support naturally, without manipulation.

TheOnlyException's avatar

I don’t really need to seek it out. I am smothered by it to be honest, I find it too much sometimes. If i look remotely miserable, or even just quiet (I am usually quite a loud person), friends will ask me whats wrong, my parents try and get me to talk by chatting about silly things, trying to make me laugh. I feel lucky that these people in my life pay this much attention to me and red flags go up at subtle things, but sometimes I want to be left alone.

If I ever do need to seek it out, I don’t have to go far to find the love and attention I need, and it is always genuine and patient and takes all my crazy in its stride.
It always amazes me, because frankly, I wouldn’t put up with half the shit I have going on most of the time. But I am blessed with people who do.

nebule's avatar

I believe that whatever love you can get from somewhere else never quite quenches what you are thirsty for…self-love. I am still searching for mine.

gia's avatar

start by giving one’=)

beautifulbobby193's avatar

TOE- remind me to never add you to my Fluther.

TheOnlyException's avatar

@beautifulbobby193 uh.. okay? may I ask why…. 0_o ?

YARNLADY's avatar

In addition to a visit with my grandkids, I get the support and love I need by giving myself a talk about how lucky I am.

Ludy's avatar

I fluther!

DarkScribe's avatar

@Ludy I fluther!

It was probably the beans – I am told that they can cause you to do that.

Ludy's avatar

jajajaja, you know

Ludy's avatar

you’re very smart, i always like the answers you give, but also very funny :D

PacificToast's avatar

You only get what you give, I love others well and hopefully it’ll all come back around. If not? There was no harm in being nice.

Blondesjon's avatar

I do an explicit, weekly podcast.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’ve learned to straight up tell people I need some support. Before, I wouldn’t ask anyone for help or tell anyone I was hurting because I thought I was “bothering” them, but here was another lesson, ad infinitum, that everyone in the world is not my birth mother, stepfather or aunt.

cak's avatar

When I need that extra ounce of support, I ask for it. I talk to my husband and tell him how I am feeling and what is going on.

Simple fact, we’re not mind readers. Try as we may, sometimes, we miss what our SO needs. Mine does, and dammit, I miss his signals too, sometimes. Rarely, since I am the most wonderful person on the planet, how could I EVER miss a signal?!? BWAHAHAHA

Learning how to just ask for the love and support we need at times, above and beyond what we normally get isn’t always easy. Once you figure out that it’s okay to ask for that love and support you free yourself of some self-imposed burden and really start to relax. I know. I had to learn how to ask for support and love.

It falls into trust issues, but more so trusting yourself, not the other person.

cak (15863points)“Great Answer” (4points)
PandoraBoxx's avatar

I usually get it by giving to others, especially younger people. Lots of people never hear that they are doing a good job, or that someone enjoys their company, or that they are trying really hard at something and need encouragement to stick with it.

It took me a long time to realize that people are not mind readers, and that I am not the center of any universe but my own, and as a result, I need to help people out by telling them what I need or how I’m feeling. And I have a few that I can call up out of the blue and say, “I’m having a really bad day, and I need someone to day something nice to me.” And they do it.

There are people whose neediness in the past sometimes causes me to put up boundaries, but they usually come down once people prove that they are not just takers, but they can give, too. I have a need to protect myself emotionally from people who want to drain my energy, but it relaxes if they are kind to me. It makes me want to be kind back.

12_func_multi_tool's avatar

I absolutely never thought I would utter this phrase, but be yourself is the only thing I can think of. Once you find your little bit of personality, dirty little word others will see you in a different light. I could be very, very wrong since my social isolation is pushing 15 years, but enough about me, good luck.

thriftymaid's avatar

Don’t try to manipulate love and attention from people. Offer your own attention and support to others and it will be returned.

Joybird's avatar

While I was doing some spiritual work I kept getting led back to imagery and ideas that had to do with the Priestesses of Venus and similar archetypal stories. Upon examing that I decided that in order to receive love you needed to be love. I used the role of Priestess of Venus as a model for how to be love. My model might be different than someone elses but this is mine. I dress in a way that is without a doubt feminine but not provocative. I believe movement conveys energetically about who you are and so everything I wear has a flow to it. In my mind the idea is a breeze blowing against a sheer window curtain and how it conveys a graceful, peaceful note. I attend to color and what color inspires in others in terms of response. I am not the women wearing power red unless I am doing ceremony and want to command that kind of authority. Otherwise I intend to blend, weave myself in and out of whoever is in attendance and so I tend to use the colors of nature in muted tones. I strive to be love in thought, spoken word, movement and deed. I attempt to balance emotion as information along side rationale so that I might move from a quiet place of wise mind most times. Of course I am human and a work in progress and so I am not always centered and not perfect by any far stretch of the imagination. But I do try to keep my model in mind as I move through my days.
I don’t petition love from otheres. I don’t manipulate people’s feelings by utilizing what I have learned in my travels. Instead I see myself like the pieces in a Kaleidoscope…I am changeable dependent on what “other” I am with in the moment hopefully creating a beautiful harmony.

wundayatta's avatar

@Joybird You have just inspired me and helped me figure out what my next avatar should be. Thank you.

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