As a baby comes directly out of the womb, he or she craves their mother’s touch and attention. The baby craves the warmth and connection that they were nurtured with while still inside their mother – crying for her attention and loving care. Our need for attention doesn’t just stop after birth – we are wired to crave it throughout our entire lives.
On a global scale, all human beings require the attention of others to feel loved, worthy, respected, needed, wanted, and more. Examples of this are holidays such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, and other specific days to show our family and friends that we love them by giving them gifts or other forms of attention. Without attention, we tend to feel left out, isolated, unwanted, uncared for, lonely, and depressed. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs provides a compelling glance at the levels of basic human needs as they relate to attention.
- The pyramid’s base is focused on physiological factors – breathing, food, water, housing, sleep, sex, etc. A young child requires the attentiveness of a parent or guardian to be adequately fed, housed, bathed, etc. As we get older, our basic needs are met if we have a job or means of another person for financial support, and the attention of another person for our need of intimacy.
- The next level up – safety – involves the human need for a basis of security, in all areas of life such as employment, relationships, family, health, prosperity, etc. Attention from others is required in these aspects, whether it be to secure a position, maintain a relationship, or to check up on one’s health.
- Love and belonging is the next phase of the pyramid, again assuring attention back to the individual to feel loved and cared for.
- Self-esteem then takes place, which requires the respect of and by others, as well as feeling accomplished.
- Self-actualization – this is the basic need for humans to realize their creativity, spontaneity, problem solving skills, and more. While these can be developed by someone on their own, they generally involve other people over time serving as pieces to which a person forms the puzzle of their existence.
Put simply, human beings crave attention because it is at the core of our very needs, wants, and desires. Just as a kitten purrs when being held lovingly, or a lover smiles when greeting after a long day of separation, we can’t help but to feel more connected, more grounded to humanity than when we give and receive attention.
When you are in residential, intensive outpatient, or any other level of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction you deserve the highest level of attention and care available. New Vista Behavioral Health treatment centers are held to higher standards, providing better outcomes. Call us today for information on one how one of our treatment providers can help you: 866-855-4202