This is part of my series on Mental Models to Understand Yourself

As far as this business of solitary confinement goes — the most important thing for survival is communication with someone, even if it’s only a wave or a wink, a tap on the wall, or to have a guy put his thumb up. It makes all the difference.
— John McCain

You need attention.

Every day.

You need another human to acknowledge your existence. To talk to you. To offer validation about what you’re experiencing.

When we were toddlers, we craved attention and aggressively sought it out. But as we grew up, we were told not to be attention seekers. Not to interrupt or annoy other people.

So, we internalized the idea that we shouldn’t want attention. That we shouldn’t need it.

But we do.

We need attention from people in real life. We should not be ashamed of this. We should embrace it and understand that it’s a basic human need. We should seek out attention from others, as long as we don’t stifle other peoples’ need to get attention.

So, let’s normalize the phrase, I need some attention. Will you talk with me?

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