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attention seeking adults

(9 Posts)
HoleyGhost Sun 23-Dec-12 07:29:39

A couple of my family members are forever attention seeking - martyrdom, hypochondria and stroppyness.

I always think that when my toddler is attention seeking we should give her our attention. Though not by rewarding bad behaviour.

I don't have any expectation that adults in my family will learn to behave, but how to handle grown up attention seeking without allowing it to ruin the festive atmosphere?

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sun 23-Dec-12 07:34:20

You ignore them. Same as a toddler.

<insert their whinge>

your reply

mmm/oh?/really?/oh dear (in a bored voice)

followed by changing the subject - oh, have you heard about...

or oh, that reminds me... (find a way to change the subject using their comment as a starting point.)

My mum's a bugger for this.

I don't even reply.

I just look at her.

She trails off in the end grin

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sun 23-Dec-12 07:35:41

You mean you 'don't' give your toddler attention when they are exhibiting attention-seeking behaviour don't you? That's all you can do with stroppy hypochondriac martyrs. Respond with something vague and uninterested, don't feed their obsession and - if they really hack you off - either tell them flat to stop being so bloody stupid or take yourself out of the situation. Always remember that if someone's behaviour is so offensive as to force you to retaliate or leave, any 'ruining the atmosphere' it is entirely their fault.

Chottie Sun 23-Dec-12 07:38:22

Can you smile and say something like, 'never mind, it's Christmas let's just enjoy spending a special day together' or 'I know it's awful, we all have our cross to bear in life, can you give me a hand with the washing up?' or 'I know let's all go out for a walk together'.

Or if is really bad, taking the person on one side and saying 'I realise you are suffering from xxx, but just for today could you put it to one side, Christmas is a really special time for us all, especially DC, let's just enjoy being together'.

You sound like you deserve a medal, I just could not be doing with all that stuff!!!

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sun 23-Dec-12 07:50:53

How to deal with

... Hypochondriacs. Acknowledge that their sickness is so terrible that they must stop what they're doing and get to a doctor or A&E unit urgently. Don't take no for an answer. Get the engine running ready to dash them to medical attention. "What?... It's not that bad after all?... But I thought you said....?"

... Martyrs. Acknowledge that they are absolutely right. No-one cares about them at all. Their sacrifices are not noted and all their efforts are utterly wasted so you really don't know why they bother. It must be truly terrible being treated as shabbily as them.... Wouldn't it be better if they left? Do everything you can to bring a martyr as low as possible.

... Stroppiness. Have some sharp, expletive-laden one-liners ready and respond firmly. They'll be too shocked to carry on being stroppy.

You're welcome.

HoleyGhost Sun 23-Dec-12 07:51:25

Thanks, useful suggestions. I especially like "we all have our cross to bear in life" grin

HoleyGhost Sun 23-Dec-12 07:54:56

X post Cogito. That has genuinely cheered me up this morning.

Hope you have a lovely Christmas, free of miseryguts!

Chottie Sun 23-Dec-12 19:57:27

HoleyGhost the cross statement works so well with martyrs, there is just nowhere else for them to go smile

GiGi1212CDNM Thu 12-May-16 14:48:24

Really enjoyed and will use Cogito's answers. The doctor thing works brilliantly, in my experience. What I've found is that I attract attention seekers b/c I give them (and most everyone I meet) attention. They get worse and worse until I have somehow become the ONLY person who cares about them, understands them, can help them...(ironically they usually have multiple people believing this bs!). I have recently decided that if someone is over the age of 25 (neurologically an adult) and needs real help on an ongoing basis, it would be detrimental to them for me, a person who is not trained, qualified, interested or payed to be their therapist, doctor, parent, or guru, to act like I can do something about their very difficult situation! They tend to get really enraged at me, then circle back with even more serious problems to which I don't respond helpfully, then get themselves a better friend who really cares about them (I finally learned to test the veracity of the friendship by sharing a problem or two with them; I've found out these "friends" who can't survive without me suddenly aren't so keen to remain in the room with me!). Anyway, love the refreshing responses above! I'm off to enjoy real friendship now! Adieu!

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