Attention: Can Someone Believe That There Is Not Enough Attention If They Experienced Early Deprivation?
What can be normal is for someone to be in the background and not stand out. So, when they are with a friend, they can do a lot of listening and not a great deal of talking.
And, if they were to go to an event or out shopping with them, once again, their friend could take the lead and be the one that talks to others. Like a supporting actor, then, they won’t take up much space and they are unlikely to overshadow anyone.
This is not to say that they will spend a lot of time around others, though, as they could spend most of their time by themselves. When they are by themselves, they are not going to be seen by anyone but they could feel more connected to themselves.
Also, as they won’t be in the background and a mere supporting actor, they won’t need to feel frustrated or invisible. Still, this could be a time when they will often experience a strong need to be seen.
If they have been in a relationship, this may have also been a time when they didn’t feel seen and heard. They might have been with someone who wasn’t really present and didn’t have much time for them.
Feeling ignored, invisible and unimportant would then have been normal. Thanks to what it was like, they might have been greatly relieved when it came to an end.
If they were able to mentally detach from how they experience life, what may enter their mind is that although others can be seen and heard, this is not something that is possible for them. Alternatively, they could believe that it is only possible for this to happen every now and then.
When they think about when this has happened, they could believe that it was a sign that they were lucky. And, more or less as soon as this did happen, it might have soon come to an end.
When they think about their life, they could end up feeling hopeless and helpless and go into a collapsed physical state. But, as they are missing out on the attention that they need, this is to be expected.
They are an interdependent human being, so it will be important for them to receive attention as this will strengthen their sense of self. Without receiving a certain amount of attention, their sense of self will be deprived of what it needs.
A Closer Look
If they have experienced life in this way for as long as they can remember, it may show that their early years were not very nurturing. This may have been a time when didn’t receive the love that they needed to be able to grow and develop in the right way.
This would have meant that they rarely received attention, meaning that they would have seldom been seen and heard. But, as they were powerless and totally dependent, they wouldn’t have been able to do anything.
To handle living in a deeply depriving environment, they would have ended up disconnecting from their needs and the pain they were in would have been repressed. This wouldn’t have changed what was going on but it would have protected them.
If this hadn’t taken place, the pain of not getting their needs met would have been too much for them to handle and their life would have probably come to an end. Another part of this is that they would have lost touch with their true self and created a disconnected false self.
Many, many years will have passed since that stage of their life, but they won’t have truly moved on from what took place. Deep down, they will carry the felt sense that their needs won’t be met.
Additionally, the pain that they experienced and their unmet developmental needs will be held inside them. Some of this pain will be unlocked when they try to fulfil their need for attention and this doesn’t take place.
A Struggle for Love
As for their developmental needs, these will be causing them unconsciously re-recreate scenarios where they are deprived in the hope that this time it will be different. But, as so many years will have passed since this stage of life and their brain will have blocked out what took place, they won’t have been able to see the connection.
For them to no longer live in an emotional desert and to receive the attention that they need and deserve, they are likely to have a lot of pain to work through and unmet developmental needs to experience. This is a process that will take courage and patience and persistence.
If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
If you feel this has been of value, please leave a comment, like or get in touch. And feel free to share this article.
Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
To book your free 15-minute consultation, click here.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.