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Attention Seeking Behavior

Let’s face it, we all love attention. Even those who claim to hate it, deep down, really love it. We all love to be praised for doing something well. As it’s said, we all get our 15 minutes of fame for whatever reason, and for most of us that is enough.

For some, that 15 minutes in the spotlight doesn’t quench the thirst for attention. The rise of reality TV is exhibit A of this phenomenon. People like LaVar Ball and the Kardashians are the poster children for this.

Unfortunately, people don’t just seek attention for their accomplishments and good things. Some people look to get attention in any way possible. In the world of education, we call this Attention Seeking Behavior. This is common in a lot of students with attachment disorders. Some of these people will do anything to get a reaction out of people. Sometimes, it’s as harmless as being the class clown and getting sent to the principal’s office. Other times, it can be as serious as self-harm and other dangerous behaviors. I’ve even seen a student try to harm other students just to get that negative attention from teachers. Just like some drug addicts, some folks will do just about anything to get that fix of attention.

In today’s very split political climate, you see this happening more and more. In fact, an entire presidency was almost entirely based on baiting one side of the political spectrum to react negatively. I can’t tell you how many people told me that they voted for Trump because they liked the way he made the left squirm. I have to admit, it was entertaining for a while. It even got to the point that Trump could’ve cured cancer and the left would’ve vilified him for it. The right coined the term “Trump Derangement Syndrome” to explain this. Like it or not Democrats, you were doing exactly what Trump wanted you to do. Responding to his behavior negatively and giving him attention, which clearly worked and got him into the White House.

Now that Trump is out of the Oval Office, the pendulum has swung the other way. You see left-wingers throwing things out there just to harbor a reaction out of the Republicans. Take this Mara Gay story as an examole.

For those who don’t know, Mara Gay is a New York Times writer who stated that she was “distrubed” by the number of “American flags” she saw on Long Island a few weekends ago. This sent all of the conservatives off the deep end. Even prompting known consevative podcaster Gerry Callahan to call her “SCUM!” It was such big news to the right that even my Google search to properly spell her name resulted in mostly right-wing outposts reacting to it,

Guess what folks. You fell right into the trap.

The left knows that making comments about the American flag is an easy way to get the right all kinds of fired up. It’s right up there with the troops, the constitution and kneeling for the National Anthem. Mara Gay knew exactly what she was doing when she made those comments. She knew that she could get more eyeballs on her by targeting the flag. It’s exactly like the “hate watching” phenomenon. It got the views and the reactions, which was clearly her goal.

When either side reacts to these behaviors like they continue to do, it is only going to get worse. It is simple when you think about it. Both extremes are just looking to just piss off one the other enough that they explode. Both sides respond in kind and we go around and around. That is what’s pushing our political spectrum further and further apart.

You can’t reward bad behavior. Almost every parent or teacher knows this. It is the foundation of controlling behaviors. This is something that the politicians need to learn. Unfortunately, it is exactly what they want. We as people need to band together and not let these attention seeking extremists control our reactions. We just need to call it what it is, and not give them the attention they so desperately want.

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