Friday, 10 August 2012

The tragic attention whore

Many make the self-righteous proclamation that they're nice to anyone that's nice to them.  They convince themselves that any animosity is the fault of the other person.  These are the people who refuse to greet you unless you greet them first.  In spite of pretending to be modest and constantly re-asserting their humbleness (because it's cool to be humble), they're ultimately egotistical because making the other person greet or extend the branch of friendship/reconciliation to them means the other person blinked first.  It becomes a matter of "You gave in" and by virtue of that they feel they hold something over you.

You get tragic heroes in many stories, but these people I call tragic attention whores.  Like a tragic hero whose intention to do good is marred by a big vice or flaw, a tragic attention whore wants attention but claims to not want it, and they then proceed to use methods that are ultimately damaging to themselves to get that attention.  They're a bit different to an outright attention whore whose methods are more direct, crass and leaves no one mistaken that they seek the limelight.  Socialites, most reality show participants and many B-list actors fall under this umbrella.  Tragic attention whores though seek to gain exposure through feuds and pointing out the masses of people that apparently hate their good looks and success.

More than any third party conflict though, tragic attention whores are most conflicted with themselves: they are egotistical but convince themselves they're down to earth.  They are too sensitive and too quick to take offense, but insist that it's always the other person's fault.  Somebody just needs to make eye contact with them and it's enough to elicit "Why is she giving me those looks?"   Like a tragic hero, the biggest fight a tragic attention whore undertakes is against themselves.

It just so happens that those who say things like "I'm nice to you if you're nice to me" have the most feuds and friction in their lives.  When you spend some time with a person who seems to be "hated" and "envied" by their humble estimation, you will come to discover certain peculiarities in their persona.  One common trait in all tragic attention whores is an inflated ego that often isn't immediately apparent.  They love attention and want to make it appear as if people envy them, but at the same time pretend to crave a normal life and "wish people would just leave me alone."

Tragic attention whores also crave drama.  They will regularly claim that they "wish everybody would just get along" but in truth they will try to make something out of nothing in order to draw attention to themselves and increase their sense of self-importance. A funny look, somebody failing to greet them or a slightly terse tone of voice is a sign of gross disrespect to a tragic attention whore and provides grounds for a feud to begin, unless of course the other person apologizes.

And the number one trait of a tragic attention whore is that they will only be nice on the condition that the other person does it first.  This is why feuds usually arise when there are two tragic attention whores involved.

What tragic attention whores forget though is engaging in a feud extends far beyond the exchange of words or skirmishes.  You spend hours, days, months thinking about your adversary while life passes you by like a horse speeding away from underneath you.  Feuds truly are pointless, there isn't enough time in life for them.  If you feel somebody is nasty to you or trying to provoke you for no apparent reason, you need to honestly look at the other strained/feudal relationships you have and ask if it's not you that's setting the scene and inciting the drama for this to happen.  Because feuds happen when both parties are willing participants.  By not engaging in mudslinging and unnecessary personal battles (i.e. none), you aren't blinking first or giving up, because you cannot give up something you didn't participate in in the first place.




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