Lift Depression Book

by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell

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Growing up without adequate quality attention is very damaging, and the attention starved become very needy for it. It is a vital form of psychological nutrition. And, just as too much or too little food is bad for your physical health, too much attention, or too little, is damaging to your mental health. We all know attention junkies who will do almost anything to get the attention they crave.

Giving attention is just as important as receiving attention. You cannot have good relationships, build a family, learn anything, or thrive as part of a team in a larger organisation without being able to exchange attention well. Civilization depends on good quality attention exchanging.

Questions to consider about giving and receiving attention:

  • Do you feel like you receive enough attention?
  • Do you give other people significant attention?
  • Are you often around attention seeking people who seem to drain you of energy?
  • Are you around people who are genuinely interested in what you think?
  • Do you spend a lot of time alone, by choice or not?
  • Do you feel too shy to get the attention you need?
  • Do you get attention in healthy or unhealthy ways?
  • Do you get attention through behaving dramatically, being emotional and creating scenes?
  • If so, have you considered that you might be an emotional tyrant?
  • Do you really listen when people talk to you, or just hear what you expect they are saying?
  • Do you enjoy being the centre of attention?
  • Do you dislike being the centre of attention?
  • Can you separate out your need for attention from the activities you are involved in, such as sport, politics, community work, attending meetings or a church?