Why do some people always seem to demand the “spotlight”? Or that some need all the attention of the group? Some might see them as “show offs” – others might think they’re just overly confident but I have to wonder if it’s really a different story altogether.
Several years ago a new family moved into our neighborhood. They had kids the same ages as mine and seemed nice. We wanted to say hello and get to know them a little better so we set up a play date at the local park. I remember thinking what an absolutely gorgeous day it was when I sat down on the park bench waiting for them to arrive. The sky was a brilliant shade of blue and those puffy, oh-so-amazing cumulus clouds were scattered across the sky. I just sat there breathing in the beauty that surrounded me and feeling so refreshed.
Their family arrived and we set the kids loose to be free in the park while we could chat and get to know each other. Then this odd…interesting thing happened. The mom talked non-stop for THREE HOURS about herself. Seriously, no joking or exaggerating. We’ve all been around people that are talkers, right? This was an extreme case. So, I thought, “She’s new. She’s excited to share her story with me so I can know and understand her better.” To “see” her, I think?
I left that afternoon feeling tired and somewhat drained – polar opposite of what I had felt when I first arrived at the park…not going to blame this person for any of that – three hours at the park would drain anyone too…but it added, I think.
Our kids had fun and loved each other though so I didn’t over think it too much – really I just thought, “maybe she needs someone to listen. I can do that. I can be that listening ear for her.” and I just moved on…until the next time we hung out. Same story, diff
erent location…and the next time…and the next. Completely confused at this personality type – inevitably you’d think that even naturally at some point you’d ask a question at least here or there…so over time I started feeling slightly annoyed, my lower brain (ego, natural man – whatever you want to call it) was thinking, “What in the world???”, “She doesn’t know me at all”, “wouldn’t you want to know about the other person too – even a
little?” – It was just really odd. Which got me thinking,
Why do some people demand the spotlight?
I came up with this…people who NEED attention or the spotlight are generally operating from some sort form of a scarcity mindset…not enough confidence, lack of security, lack of friends…but I really think that most of the time, it’s just validation that they need.
Validation is such a huge part of our human-ness. It’s how we tend to “measure” ourselves to know if we’re doing okay in the world. We want to know that who we are and what we do are pleasing or acceptable, right?
But…spotlight seekers are going about getting those things in somewhat of an unhealthy way. The issue with seeking that much needed validation from OTHERS is that if we DON’T get it from them we can be left feeling so low and unlovable or unworthy.
Think about it for a minute…how do you feel when you receive a compliment? Good, right? I know I do.
How do you feel when you get negative feedback? Not so fabulous, right? I used to. I’m not going lie, it still stinks.
But here’s the key…What THEY say or do – even how they act – has NOTHING to do with YOU. What they say, do, or how they act is 100% about THEM. The good, the bad, the in-between’s…it’s about them, what they’re feeling, whatthey’re experiencing or have experienced.
I try not to ever make the negative feedback from others ABOUT ME. It’s NOT about me – even if it’s directed AT ME.
Think about this: Have you ever said something a little more harshly than you intended simply because you had a bad day? oooor…because you’re hungry? Maybe you’re really just a little jealous about something that they have – or who they are…I know I have.
Then later you realize, “man, I shouldn’t have said/done that?” It was really about you, and not them, right?
Spotlight seekers aren’t getting their validation from themselves – so they need to seek it in others, constantly and no matter HOW MUCH praise you get from others it will NEVER be enough to fill bucket.
I know, I’ve been there…was there for a long time actually. Not the best place to be. But…the good news is – We don’t have to stay there! We can learn how to fill our own buckets so we don’t need to rely on others to fill our buckets – but…if they want to add more drops to my bucket with a few good words – I’ll more than welcome it! However, if they try to rain on my parade – I know now, how to retain my own confidence and love.
This is also why people that shine from within -DON’T NEED THE SPOTLIGHT. They already KNOW they’re awesome. They KNOW their worth and value. They’re genuinely confident and they don’t NEED the praise of others – although it’s still nice to hear- they don’t NEED it…Nor are they going to be debilitated when negative comments arise either.
How do you get there? How do you “Shine from within” so you don’t find yourself seeking approval, attention, validation from others???
I’ll tell you what transformed my world of confidence and self love…I learned to appreciate all the incredible things about me.
Jody Moore taught me that Heavenly Father created us and gave us AMAZING talents, gifts, and a uniquely different personality than anyone else on the planet…and it’s OKAY to love, admire, and appreciate those qualities.
She gave out a challenge to write out one hundred things you love and appreciate about YOU…oh, my friends…try it…in fact, start it NOW. I promise you that YOU ARE INCREDIBLE and AMAZING and oh-so DIFFERENT than anyone else – and THAT is beautiful! When we hear the phrase, “Be-YOU-tiful” – seriously, being yourself is such a beautiful thing. The world needs more people that embrace who they are and their differences and shares those gifts with others- they naturally SHINE from within and don’t seek the spotlight – they don’t need others to tell them how great they are – THEY KNOW.
We gravitate towards those people that are naturally beautiful and don’t toot their own horn but want to know more about others and create genuine, authentic friendships.
If you find yourself stealing the spotlight ask yourself why? question your motives. What are you seeking? Are you forgetting how amazing you are? If you start to forget…start a NEW list of 100 things…I write mine out daily (okay…I don’t do 100 daily…but I do write 10). It’s quite incredible and keeps me humble knowing that such an amazing God gave me such special talents and skills.
Also…a cool byproduct, so to speak, of doing this exercise is that you stop thinking about yourself so much. You’re not worried how you look or appear to others. You’re not over analyzing everything you say or do or how it’s perceived by others. You’re just happy and content to be you and when you do that it creates room to fully love others and want to know more about them.
Try it, it’s phenomenal! You’ll love yourself more and not just that but you’ll learn to love yourself BETTER…and…even better…you won’t find yourself needing to “prove” your worth or value to anyone else. Let’s start shining more from within.
Sources: Jody Moore at www.boldnewmom.com
Photos courtesy of freepik.com