The Attention Whore

Today, I will touch on a subject that will be controversial:  The Attention Whore.  You know the people, they attempt to garner favor, sympathy, empathy and every other milligram of attention they can with their “woe is me” attitude.  I can thank Kate over at Confederacy of Spinsters for inspiring this post with her “Your Status Update Not Welcome“.

My intolerance of Attention Whoring came about in High School; should someone read this from that time in my life and say “I remember that!” well… I’m not sorry for what I said.  I had a friend at that time in my life who was… not skinny.  I’m not saying she was fat – just not skinny (“thin” is different and I knew that she wanted to be “skinny”).  Day after day, I, and everyone else, was subjected to the complaint, “I’m so fat”.  Entire lunch hours were punctuated with the lamentations of this person about how fat they were.  I snapped.  After hearing this same complaint for I don’t know how many times, I put my fork down, looked up and said:  “Then do something about it.  If you think you’re fat, then quit bitching and DO something.  Go on a diet, work out, anything, because I don’t want to hear it anymore.”  Silence, like a funeral pall, fell across the group at the table as I picked my fork back up and resumed enjoying my lunch, free of “I’m so fat”.  Cruel?  Perhaps.  Reprimands of “you’re so mean!” and “I can’t believe you said that!” were hissed at me.  Someone had to say something, and if no one else was going to, I was.  I felt a bit like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally in the Katz’s Deli scene just after she faked orgasm.  Triumphant and righteous.  Sure it cost me a friend, but there are costs to be paid to maintain sanity.

Imagine my delight at reading Kate’s post about unwelcome status messages (and Yes, yes I DO concur with all of her examples), and then the responses of her readers pointing out many other varieties of statuses that are unwelcome.  Then it hit me; I have in the past few weeks seen status after status, between Facebook and Yahoo! Messenger lamenting about medical problems, bad luck, life gone awry and every other “woe is me” grab for attention.  Some people were even posting variations of the same damn message day after day; not just once a day but multiple times a day.  Everyone does it on some level, even me, but there are people for whom this is an art.

I snapped once again.  My status just before I went to bed read:

News Flash. Seems there are an awful lot of people who are whining about medical ailments… same shit, different day. Here’s my advice… suck it up buttercup. If it’s not chronic and you can fix it with lifestyle changes, DO THEM. If you’re sick in the head, see a psychologist. If you’re sick in the body, see a medical doctor. Every day of the same statuses proclaiming you’re on the verge of dying are getting old. REALLY old.

I may have to stop myself from responding with: “Good luck with your ailment! I hope it’s not the plague but given how much you complain, maybe we should be on alert?” Thanks to Kate @ Confederacy of Spinsters for that response!!!

This rant was brought to you by Eagles Landing Winery, Marquette, Iowa.

There you have it.  No, I’m not a cold person (quite the opposite if you talk to my close friends), but if you WOKE UP this morning, you’re having a damn good day already.  In fact, you’re better off than 275,000 people (average) today if you’re reading this.

I once heard a comedian on the radio around 10 years ago talk about the socially acceptable question after greeting someone:  How are you?  He pointed out that people ask the question to be polite, NOT to hear about your laundry list of ailments.  The majority of people who ask, “How are you”, don’t care what ails you.  When you launch into your attention-whoring, “woe is me”, I’m falling apart and the world hates me song-and-dance, you make the asker uncomfortable.  REALLY uncomfortable; if they were a coyote caught in a trap, they’d gnaw their leg off JUST to get away from you.

I listened to this comedian, and thought to myself, “He’s RIGHT!”  I also realized, much to my horror, that I’d fallen into a bad habit of responding to “How are you?” with my laundry list of what ailed me.  Damn it!  I’d become an Attention Whore!!!  NOOOOOooooooOO!  I had to put a stop to that, immediately.

I have aches and pains like everyone else.  I have a fairly serious issue with my heart.  I have days where the shit hits the fan and I just really want to drown my stress in alcohol.  My vehicles need expensive repairs from time to time, etcetera.  You know what?  I WOKE UP that day, just like I did today (though, I am writing this the day before it’s posted… so, hope for something on the 1st to know I’m alive for certain), and that makes it a damn good day.  I happen to think just being alive is pretty damn awesome.

So, to all of you Attention Whores, Tools, douche bags and “whiny-ass bitches”.  Stop the insanity!  When you are asked, “How are you?”, don’t respond with your list of woe-is-me.  Most people don’t care, I know I don’t 95% of the time, and those that do care will ask you specifically about that shit because they KNOW it’s going on in your life.

My friends who ask me how I am, normally get “I’m Peachy Keen, Jelly Bean!” or “I’m fabulous!  How are you?”  It doesn’t matter if I’m not feeling well or my day has gone to hell in a handbasket.  I AM FABULOUS!  And you know what?  You can be, too… just stop being an Attention Whore.

About musingsoftheamusingmuse

Deep thinker whose mind operates at warped speed. Philosopher pondering the big (and little) things in life. Storyteller. Office Ninja. Model. Teller of bad jokes. User of big words.
This entry was posted in Musings, Personal, Random Thoughts, Rants and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Attention Whore

  1. Reblogged this on when I am disturbed… and commented:
    Love this girl!

  2. I want to move somewhere where “how are you” isn’t the MUST-ASK question upon meeting someone, seeing them for the first time that day, etc. It’s always been a source of awkwardness and annoyance for me, and I say we just ban it all together! (Unless you’re actually asking your best friend how they’re doing when you haven’t talked to them in a few months or something)
    Great post!

    • LOL It’s a great idea on paper; unfortunately the question is ingrained as a social norm. BUT, just because it’s a social normal doesn’t give people the green light to beat the person asking over the head with everything wrong in their life.

      Sadly, I tend to be apathetic towards strangers or acquaintances, and only ask “How are you” as an afterthought. It’s not that I don’t care… it’s just that, well, I don’t care. I am, however, genuinely interested in how my close friends and family are when I ask the question.

  3. Pingback: How to respond to: How are you? | musingsoftheamusingmuse

Leave a comment (and don't be creepy).

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s