Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A is for...Attention

Those who know me know that I'm not one for attention-seeking (apart from when I have a few vodkas in me but that's another story).  I tend to sit back and take things in rather than speak up like others.  I'm like it in all aspects of my life - work, rest and play.  This is a saying that I face a constant battle with in my life:

"Better to keep your mouth shut and thought a fool than open it and remove the doubt"

It's a great saying but I wish it didn't hang over me so much, I wish I could shake it off.  I'm certainly not a fool so why should I feel this way?

I think it's because there are a few people in life who can't help but dominate proceedings and only thrive when they are the centre of attention.  They have the biggest voices and aren't afraid to use them.  There are also the people who other people can be a bit fearful of most of the time.  I'm one of those people, one who will just sit and say nothing but deep-down I'm wanting to be heard.  When I used to work I would be sat in a brainstorming meeting thinking of all these great ideas but very rarely plucked up the courage to put them out there.  Then someone else would eventually think of it, say it straight away and be called a hero.  Meanwhile I'm sat kicking myself.

There are the people who talk a lot, make a lot of jokes at the expense of other people. They are usually the people who feel better about themselves by being horrible about others.  Someone once said some really nasty things about friends of mine and I actually stood up to it.  I told this person in private that it made me feel uncomfortable. What happened?  They panicked (even though I said I would keep it quiet), decided to lie their way out of it and then brought it into a public forum.  So me speaking up came back to bite me on the ass as this person was louder and powerful compared to little old me.  What did I do?  Nothing, I didn't fight back, I turned away.

In addition to this there are some people who just crave attention, they 'like to be liked'. Yes it's nice to be liked but sometimes it can be a bit too much, a bit over-the-top...well that's how it feels to me sometimes.  Some people go out of their way to get their point across and you (well, me) can get pushed to one side. I often wonder if this is just something built into their personality or it's something that goes deeper, stems from a lack of confidence or they are lacking a certain part of their life constantly striving to get attention.  Maybe it's me?  Maybe I shouldn't be so shy, maybe I should try and shout louder and get heard more.

You also have the people who flit from friend to friend without hesitation.  Like some sort of car deal they trade their old friend in for a newer model when something more exciting comes along and can't help but shout about it.  I actually know someone like this, she has been through 5 'best friends' in 10 years.  Someone new comes on the scene and she casts off her old friend like a slightly-worn but still stunning outfit that she's thrown in the charity bag.

I wish I could be more assertive on occasion.  I certainly don't want to be the centre of attention but I'd like the confidence to be able to stand up and speak my mind sometimes. I wish I could stand up for myself more.  I wish I could be heard.  Saying that, even though I may not be loud and proud I am respectful and loyal.

I guess I'm just not built for attention.   For now I'll live with the quote above hanging around me like a bad smell, I'll be thought a fool but at least I'm a happy fool.

Part of my A to Z posts
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Photo credit top right: FloatingLemons


Alyson said...

hmm not sure which bracket I fit into - you can probably tell me that. Good idea for a post!

SAHMlovingit said...

Haha, you don't fit into any of these as you're my friend. A scary blog stalker friend granted, but still a friend. I try to avoid the people's one of the reasons I'm happy being a SAHM as most of these people end up in the office I'm working in.

Isla said...

Great post ! I am one of those people that walks into a room full of energy and confidence...i make my ,introductions and about 3 mins later i slink off to a corner...

I like this quote : )
“Most of the successful people I've known are the ones who do more listening than talking.”

Domestic Goddess Wannabe said...

Can I join your club?! I am also one of those people in a meeting that has loads of ideas screaming in my head, but I can't quite get them out. I am definitely introverted but have been complimented on being a calming influence in certain stressful situations, so there are pros and cons to both personality types.

Michelle Twin Mum said...

Great post and I love the idea for a series of posts. Super badge too.

I have a tendancy to like to be liked and it is something I do not like about myself really, so I try hard to keep it in check but soemtimes it comes sneaking out!

I am sort of suprised to hear that you are not too assertive from wheat I have 'seen' so far.

I could tell your background was marketing though when you talked about wanting a hook for your blog! lmao

Mich x

SAHMlovingit said...

It's great hearing peoples personalities.

I think everyone likes to be liked but some people take it the extreme sometimes.

And Mich, it could have been worse I could have talked about synergy and conceptual thinking or something :D

wendy_mcd83 said...

I was always a sit back and not speak up type of person (stems back to being a child, sitting in the corner at the roller disco really wanting to join in, but being rendered immobile by my lack of confidence!) I got a bit more assertive through having the children, having to fight their corners brought out the inner lioness, so I'm not so bad these days. I guess I'm old enough and ugly enough not to care if I look like a fool anymore! But I hope I am still considered genuine and maybe even slightly likeable! *crosses fingers* Looking forward to B!Great idea!! xxx

Trish@Show and Tell said...

Great, thoughtful post, Heather!

I think, for better or worse, I am a little bit of all those different personalities from time to time (except the one who keeps exchanging her best friends).

Attention, in and of itself, doesn't overly appeal to me. But if I am the centre of attention for a particular reason, I enjoy the moment.

But I also really love watching other people enjoy their "moments in the sunshine" too.


Micheloui | The American Resident said...

Im an only child and I worked out pretty early that if I wanted any playmates I had to go find them for myself. My natural inclination is to sit quietly and watch, or stay at home, but my survival instinct argues that I better get out and make an effort! If I become the centre of attention I blush uncontrollably (which drives me nuts).

Interesting post!

Domestic Goddesque said...

Wow- what a great post. I'd like to think i'm a listener, but i've no idea really. I tend to go for attention as a defensive mechanism: when the chavs at playgroup pick on my friends, I go all posh and start talking very loudly. It makes them all get back in their boxes, but it makes me feel terrible.

Stumbling Mummy said...

Great post - I have also known a 'best friend' swapper in my time, it makes you feel like a deflated disguarded balloon. Also there are some who try to 'obtain' your friends, (I really hope I don't sound like I am 9 years old), I love to introduce my friends to each other who I think will get on but this has sometimes been to my detriment! x

SAHMlovingit said...

Oooh some more really interesting comments, I'm so glad the post has provoked some thought - it's really interesting to hear your experiences.

Mich - it's probably because you've not met me in person. On a blog/twitter you're almost anonymous in a way so it's easier to be a slightly different person. This is why my cybermummy post is still in draft unposted. I'm scared.

Wendy - no, you're not likable at all. Infact I dislike you immensely, especially your penchant (oooh get me throwing that word in) for toilet humour.

Stumbling Mummy - YES! There are the people who try to 'obtain' your friends. I know a few people like this actually and it kind of makes you feel pushed out because they need all the attention on them.

Thanks ladies for all your fab comments x


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