During a counselling session I had over a decade ago, I was once told that the traits we find frustrating in others are often the ones we dislike in ourselves.

If this is true then I really do pity those who have to spend time with me. The traits I find most annoying in others, (in a list, for change!)
– attention seeking
– whining
– selfish
– repeat themselves for no reason
– rude

While it is no secret that I admit to being horribly and embarrassingly attention seeking I like to think that I’m quite a polite person and only repeat myself for emphasis. Before this blog I wouldn’t call myself a whiner- but as this is mostly what I have done on this platform perhaps I am.

So, why do I seek so much attention? It’s not a personality trait I am proud of in anyway, but it is one I find myself as powerless to change as my height and eye colour.

The bottom line is, I hate sharing attention. I want all eyes on me, and I want them to stay there. When I say me, I also mean of course, my darling daughter and wonderful husband.

As a teacher I understand well the destructive nature of attention seeking at all costs, when students may seek any attention, even negative, but I find myself unable to change my behaviour.

My insecurities make it difficult for me to manage without constant reassurance. I don’t just want people to tell me I’m doing OK, I need them to. I need to know that people understand why I feel and act the way I do, and therefore understand who I am. I need people to accept me. Above all, I need to know I am loved, or at least liked, or at least not hated.
I want people to think, no, to know, that I am a good mother, that I love my daughter and would do anything for her. The stigma of PND and the misconceptions that come with it make it even more important to me that people know I love her. I love her with my whole being. I am terrified of judgements that may see me as anything less than the perfect mother.

I put far too much weight on what others think of me. My own self worth has become entangled with other peoples views of me. This is scary. I have already listed attention seeking as a trait I dislike, so I am sure others will agree.

Having just returned to work I find it difficult to link this part of me with my work self. My work self is confident, competent, in control. Is this because I am praised in my job? I am reassured that I am doing well and I am given attention. The appraisal process, and ongoing professional development of my career gives me the security I need.

Perhaps what I need is an appraisal for life. What would that look like I wonder? I think I’ll write one. There is certainly a post in that. Any suggestions for what may be included in a life appraisal would be gratefully received.


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