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We all need a fair amount of attention. However, I, for one, do not do well when I’m the focus of intermittent kudos. Upon receiving any type of praise, I become uncomfortable, squirmy, and embarrassed…

I’m quite sure that a psychologist would have a field day studying my childhood and my relationships with my parents. AND, I’ll be forthright and state that my mom and I were like oil and water. (My mom passed away 11 years ago. I have come to terms with our equal responsibility in that discourse.)

My take on my “praise-a-phobia” is as follows; I was raised to be seen and not heard. This was during the Doctor Benjamin Spock era when the pendulum began to swing between the ‘necessities of kid corporal punishment’ and, ‘don’t even think about setting boundaries for a child.’

There is no such thing as perfect parenting and no perfect parents. Rue the day that I began sounding like my mother though. I recall an episode that went something like this; I yelled at my son, “JJ, your room is a mess. Do you live in a barn? You have exactly 15 minutes to fix this before your father hears about it.”

Let’s take a moment to look at those statements… A) I know of some horse barns that are squeaky clean. B) It is implied that if one cleans in 14 or 16 minutes, all is lost. C) Poor dad gets to come home and take on the role of disciplinarian.

Ah my…The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

I guess that on some level, I sought out negative attention. That type was better than none at all.

Now, I’m not a victim. We all have issues and the cognition and insight that comes with age is a wonderful blessing.

I’m wondering if there are other women who feel uncomfortable when told that they are special- Hmm?

Sue Atchley Ebaugh wrote, “The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention to one another’s existence.”

Love that- I truly do.

Well into adulthood, I have decided that I’m going to fake it ‘til I make it. When positive attention comes my way, I will say, “Thank you.” Then I’ll make sure to send warm fuzzies back. Eventually I hope to feel at ease.

AND, oh, by the way…YOU are wonderful!!

(I do mean that.)


  • Crystal Arnau says:

    I hate having my picture taken and that is sort of what your talking about. Anything that draws attention to me makes me think about my faults.

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