Are you an attention seeker?

Rukshana Kapali/ Pahichan – Attention seeker, Sympathy seeker Rukshana . Are you an attention seeker? Often attention seeking and sympathy seeking is seen as a flaw in our behavior. “You are such an attention seeker” is frequently used terms among circles. With this note of attention seeker, I want to relate with a period of time in my life when I was in school.

Beginning with an identity crisis, not being able to figure out what I really was, raised in a society that puts hetero normative and cisnormative ideologies, I had no one to ask about my feelings. In few years, when I found myself as a transgender, procedurally came out, there was no one beside me to talk.

All humans require attention. Without getting and giving attention, you could not have a social species and getting attention is necessary for life’s vital enterprises, and not getting adequate attention can threaten the quality and sustainability of life.

When I did not have someone to share, I wanted to seek attention. Maybe doing extra in my class was way of seeking attention. When boys went up in their groups and I was not allowed to be in girls group, isolation was alternative-less.

With this feeling of constant isolation from rest of the class, I always wanted to look for ways where I could talk to them, and of course did various things to grab their attention. Sometimes talking how transwomen have sex, despite their reactions like owww ewwwww and disguise. As a social being, one cannot remain isolate from rest of the people, and when people around you do not like you, don’t wanna be around, the only way was doing activities and stunts to grab attention. I still remember how I used social media and confession pages to emotionally explain my stories, since people showing me sympathy was fun. No one was there to talk with me on my gender identity, with a positive note, therefore it was such a relief when people showed some love through their sympathy.

I really remember those moments when my life was full of isolation and the way I could get bits ot love was attention seeking and sympathy from people. I don’t blame myself for this, the circumstances in my life made me such a person. Well, for many months, I was the same even when I passed Grade 10. However, the more I felt empowering, then I came out of this behaviour.

Life changed when I started moving to path of activism and being vocal. When I got employed in Blue Diamond Society, I got more exposure and felt empowered. The more I moved forward in a life long process of empowerment, the more I started to gain feeling of self-approval. Things changed, I did not need to grab anyone’s attention, because I was surrounded with people who heard me.

Now I don’t feel need of sympathy. I strongly urge people not to sympathize on trans people, rather be a part of the process of acceptance. When next time you call someone an attention seeker, look at the circumstances in their lives what makes them to be so. In a period of time, I wanted to do stunts so that people would come near to me and talk to me. It isn’t applicable at this point of time, where I feel more power to myself.