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Attention-Seeking Disorder and You

Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010

Nothing on Earth is as annoying as the people who ALWAYS must be the center of attention. You know them when you see them: the “radical” who has something new pierced every time you run into him purely for shock value; the social prep wannabe who has to be in charge of everything all the time; or the garden-variety loudmouth who has something to say about everything. It’s not that these people don’t get enough attention; in fact they get too much already. I’m not sure what their motivation is or even if this is a conscious action, but whatever the cause, these people bug the hell out of me.

Do I like to have attention sometimes? Of course I do; everyone needs to feel acknowledged for who they are and what they do. Not everyone, however, feels the desire to not only to be acknowledged as a self-important goober but also to remind everyone around them every ten seconds or less. The school of thought seems to be “why relax and give up some of my spotlight when I can do whatever it takes to force people to listen to me?” The “angry” ones upset me the most, because you know that they don’t even mean what they say anymore. Maybe they did some time ago, but now genuine feeling is sacrificed to capture the attention of the offended.

Perhaps it is a medical condition, something like “Attention Seeking Disorder” (ASD), that makes these otherwise ordinary people do the moronic things they do. ASD would then indeed be a very serious condition with no treatment and no cure. If the victims are given the attention they crave then the urge increases exponentially and the inevitable letdown could prove fatal. Personal observation of several ASD sufferers has taught me that they are beyond the aid of medical science, with the exception of some coma-inducing medications.

The question for the ages is, how does one deal with an ASD victim? I find that there are several answers to this question, but I will limit my response to non-lethal means. First, most obvious but actually hardest to pull off, is to try and go where the ASDs are not. This is quite hard to accomplish given the sheer quantity of them and the 10-mile radius of annoyance they give off.

Next, you can try to stop up your ears and wear dark sunglasses to avoid the unpleasant effects of close contact with the victim. This by itself is dangerous; you will be cut off from the rest of the world as well, and driving becomes at least twice as hard.

Finally, choose a sacrificial student of the opposite gender of the ASD subject and get them together. That soul will be lost, but for the most part the need for attention will be met and the world as a whole will be that much better. Never, under any circumstances, do you want to spend prolonged periods of time giving attention to the black hole that is an ASD victim.

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