THEORYOvercoming addiction to attention (self.RedPillWomen)

submitted by KittenLoves_Endorsed Contributor

I know many people who frequent this sub are out of "nun-mode", and could be considered fully fledged red pill women. But I am sure that others among us are still going through the process of self improvement. This is a post for these women.

It's not uncommon in this day and age for people (but especially women) to be addicted to attention, and social media makes this vice easier than ever to feed. Like many women, and possibly like some of you, I was once in a similar position -- desperate for ever more "likes", "follows", etc ... posting more and more racy and attention-grabbing pictures to fulfill the desire for the satisfaction of knowing people seemed to like me. But of course, not only is this not healthy, it's also horrible for most women wanting to maintain a satisfying relationship -- it should be the attention of you own partner you crave, not that of others.

But I managed to overcome this vice (and yes, I would largely consider it an addiction), and so can you. How?

Identify the problem: The first thing to do, of course, is to recognize that your actions are not ideal. Do you find it thrilling to check your social media accounts in the morning, to see how many likes/comments/shares you've gotten? Do you find yourself disappointed if you don't have as many notifications as you would like? Do you find yourself posting content for the sole purpose of trying to grab people's attention? These are signs that you are working with an addiction to attention. If you think this may be the case...

Stop posting on social media: Take a few days or a week and stop posting altogether, and see how you feel. It's likely you'll have some symptoms of withdrawal -- you'll be fighting a craving to post things, you'll be wondering where that attention you have grown used to and addicted to has gone. It's quite possible that this step will be difficult for you. You'll try to rationalize it ("it's not really a big deal if I post this picture I took! You can't even see my boobs in it, it's not for the attention!"), but fight through the urge as best you can. The harder it is for you to do this, the more you know you need to continue going through with it.

Deactivate your account(s): Stopping posting is all well and good as a first step, but of course old posts still exist, and a few days without posting something isn't really going to do a lot to help in the grand scheme of things. This is why you need to deactivate your account(s). I recommend stepping away from social media for at least a month, but possibly more. You want to stop posting, stop looking at notifications, and completely remove yourself from the realm of instant gratification attention for long enough that you no longer miss it. When you no longer feel like you want to reactivate your accounts is when you're probably in a safe position to do so.

Replace the addiction with a new hobby: But now that you've removed something from your life, you need to make an effort to replace it with something else, otherwise you will have a much harder time overcoming the craving to be desired. Find new hobbies, or throw yourself more thoroughly into your old ones. (I'm about to start learning the drums, for example.)

Cultivate your self esteem: But the most important thing to do, to ensure that you don't relapse into this old bad habit, is to make sure you have enough self esteem that you don't feel like you need to rely on others to help you love yourself. More often than not, addiction to attention is born from a lack of adequate self-worth. Recieving the attention and affection of others helps to temporarily convince a person they're worthwhile, and from there the spiral into addiction to attention can be overwhelming. Improving self esteem isn't always an easy task. It can take months, if not years. But stepping away from male attention is a good first step, as is the cultivation of hobbies. Try to improve in all areas of your life: mental, physical, and artistic. Learn a new language, go to the gym, learn how to draw. Being a well-rounded individual who has reasons to love herself outside of "a lot of men think I'm fuckable" will do wonders for mental health.

tl;dr get off instagram and go outside

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor 15 points16 points  (12 children)

I've had a FB account since they were limited to college students but thankfully never got too into it. Then a few years back I started using it a little bit more and geez can it get out of control quickly. I wasn't even putting up racy pictures (because at this point, that'd just be a sad :-P ) but the likes are still addictive no matter how mundane the comments.

Getting off these things is harder than I think we anticipate (do I need to be on Reddit right now? No no I do not). Your post is spot on. Removing the apps and shutting down the accounts are huge. Even just logging out is a bigger deal than you think it will be.

Modern Romance (Aziz Ansari's book) talks about how Tinder gives the impression that there is always another guy/girl waiting in the wings and so no one is willing to compromise anymore. Social media is just giving women the impression that there are all these men out there who are interested in us. That simply can't be good for our abilities to make smart decisions about the man in front of us.

[–]JackGetsItEndorsed Contributor 11 points12 points  (10 children)

Social media is just giving women the impression that there are all these men out there who are interested in us.

Which is really interesting because the social messaging for women in the past was almost the opposite. You need to find a man quickly. You should be thankful if you find a man. Good men are rare and many are married. You shouldn't look for a man with resources you should look for a man who has ambition and drive and get with him early and hang on.

Women 60 plus years ago didn't have a lot of outlets to validate themselves like they do today. There wasn't a large consumer market for women because women didn't control the family finances. A lot of marketing was aimed at men. Even children were raised with a lot less ego stroking. Children were raised to contribute to a family and not be selfish. Today children are raised a lot differently. Parents are so afraid they will shatter a child's self esteem that they back off a lot of structure.

I'm not trying to say we should go blindly back to old models, there were certainly some problems there, but it really makes you think we might have thrown the baby out with the bathwater as a society.

[–]LateralThinker133 Stars 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Social media is just giving women the impression that there are all these men out there who are interested in us.

Which is really interesting because the social messaging for women in the past was almost the opposite. You need to find a man quickly. You should be thankful if you find a man. Good men are rare and many are married. You shouldn't look for a man with resources you should look for a man who has ambition and drive and get with him early and hang on.

In the good old days (my eyes are rolling) women needed to find men quickly because the awareness of the wall was high. You were losing your looks and fertility with every day that passed. Best to get a husband, pop out some kids, lock a good one down while you had options.

This hasn't changed. What HAS changed is the illusion that there are many men interested in women. This is an illusion because there are plenty of men out there interested in women... for sex. There's a real dearth of men interested in marriage now... because they don't have to be. Except for those men who really want kids and don't mind the risks of marriage, men can get all they want/need without it.

Couple that with the growing strain of Socialism in the US, and we have real problems. Why Socialism? Because Socialism encourages group behavior/external validation and control; it's based upon shame and public opinion, attention and the ME ME ME culture. "It takes a village" undermines the self-worth generated by personal accomplishment, maturity, and the nuclear family. Socialism is the complete opposite of self-worth and internal validation, which is what you find in a guilt-based culture. (Read some surprisingly relevant, if old, posts by Dr. Sanity on the subject).

Sorry, really not trying to get political. It's just that this is all of a piece. The rise of extreme leftism, radfem politics, hookup culture, open Socialists in office, teens sexting, it's all related and self-perpetuating.

[–]JackGetsItEndorsed Contributor 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This hasn't changed.

Agreed but it's been pushed back hard. The old paradigm was get married before 23 and now it's 30+

Couple that with the growing strain of Socialism in the US, and we have real problems. Why Socialism?

Agreed. Here's a whole thread on r/politics right now.


[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor 2 points3 points  (7 children)

You should be thankful if you find a man

It is even more interesting because in the past when this message was delivered, most people were pairing off into traditional monogamous marriages. A man wouldn't have been as difficult to find; maybe if you waited too long, but the pool was there and men were marriage-inclined.

Now we're exposed to an endless pool of men via social media and the pool is actually pretty shallow. The message has changed to "don't marry young / plenty of fish in the sea". The older messaging is even more correct today.

Women 60 plus years ago didn't have a lot of outlets to validate themselves like they do today

My boss once told me that women work for praise. It makes me start to wonder how much social media has sapped our motivation to accomplish anything - home or work.

[–]Guywithgirlwithabike2 Stars 1 point2 points  (6 children)

There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but most women today are fishing in a private lake with a 'catch and release' policy.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor 2 points3 points  (5 children)

Respectfully, I disagree. You've got the lake/sea thing backwards. Your fishing hole used to be school (HS or College), religious institution or (gasp) your work place. The people were familiar. You could assess your fish against the other fish and make the best choice available to you.

My grandmother's hypergamy kicked in when she met my grandfather. She broke off her engagement and married him. Over the stretch of their lifetimes it's hard to say she made the wrong choice. The key I believe, is that her pool was small enough that she knew when she met him that he was her best option. She told me 15 years ago that he still gave her butterflies.

Now with social media, we're in the ocean. You (hypothetical you) might be my best option in my immediate world. Social media shows me a world far beyond my immediate world. It confuses the hypergamy drive. It tells me there are more options out there. There will always be someone better and social media hurts my ability to differentiate what is actually available to me from what is out there in the wider ocean.

[–]Guywithgirlwithabike2 Stars 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Social media is not an ocean, that's an illusion intentionally built into apps - it's no different than the "hall of mirrors" effect that makes a fish tank look like an endless sea when viewed from the inside.

A couple different dating apps have been caught red-handed over the years intentionally manipulating the results you see and performing various psychological experiments on their users. It's foolish to think it doesn't happen far more frequently than is noticed.

All of these social media apps have extensive features, but are free to use. How can that possibly work?

One answer is they've found a way to monetize narcissism in people - mostly women judging by the gender gap in stupid selfies.

If you're not the customer, you're the product.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor 2 points3 points  (1 child)

it's no different than the "hall of mirrors" effect that makes a fish tank look like an endless sea when viewed from the inside.

This is fair. We appear to be viewing it from different angles. I still say that the impact that it has on perception of your place in the world is that of being in an ocean (to beat the metaphor to death). Since our brains aren't necessarily caught up to our biology when it comes to technology, I think the perception is important. It's causing a disconnect between what exists (the small pond you've always been in) with the big ocean that social media tells you that you are in.

mostly women judging by the gender gap in stupid selfies.

Are you sure this isn't confirmation bias? I doubt you are following men's stupid selfie accounts on IG :-P.

[–]Guywithgirlwithabike2 Stars 1 point2 points  (0 children)

All of the male Instagram accounts I follow feature selfies taken with dead animals. Sure, they're satisfying a psychological drive, but it's not narcissism.

[–]JackGetsItEndorsed Contributor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

For women it's an ocean regardless of the manipulation the apps do.

[–]JackGetsItEndorsed Contributor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It confuses the hypergamy drive.

The same way porn confuses the male visual drive. I really think that social media is porn for women and I lump all of social media in there because women don't just use dating apps to find men. Almost every social media platform becomes a potential to widen the pond to unreasonable levels and tickle the hypergamy (minus reddit of course, nobody would fish at lake reddit!). Instagram models are basically offering themselves up to three million followers but will only maybe date a few of them. Almost like some type of weird celebrity version of Tinder.

I think the truth is somewhere between you and your husbands analogies. Women leave small towns, they pick workplaces with access to lots of social interaction, they use particular dating apps. Each of these choices is like a different body of water and they always have the choice to pick more familiar ponds with no catch and release signs with men that want to marry (church, private social group, neighborhood bar, small town). There's still no shortage of men that want to marry there's just a shortage (as there always will be) of top dog high quality men that want to marry.

[–]TetraKent 4 points5 points  (4 children)

In relation to this topic ... i"ve been struggling with a slightly different form of addiction to attention, and I've only just been able to start processing and thinking about this properly in light of a conversation i had with my mum about 6 months ago ...

Basically she told me that, when I was born (I was the oldest child) my parents really didn't have much of a clue about how to raise a kid (understandably) so my dad would buy books on child raising and bring them home for them to read. One book was particularly popular with them, and in it the author encouraged making big, over-the-top reactions to things your baby does. This was probably in an effort to try and teach a baby about different situations and how to react, plus encouraging or discouraging certain behaviors. Mum said she would give out big WOW reactions to things I would do. It wasn't until someone pointed out to her that her toddler would do things and immediately search for a reaction from the room, that there may have been a problem. In her words she said I was always "looking for something more" so she flipped tactics and stopped doing this and tried to correct my behavior back.

But it was most likely too late. With this new information something clicked and I realized when I look back now that I was a real attention-seeking kid, trying to crack jokes and doing over the top stuff just trying to be a clown and the funny kid. Growing up I could tell my behavior was a problem but I couldn't stop myself. I was a bit of a weird girl that got bullied alot... I liked bugs and boys shows, and I just kept trying harder and harder to get a reaction out of the other kids in an effort to make friends, pretty misguided i know.

For years I struggled with alot of guilt and self-doubt, my mum always called me a hypochondriac and an attention-seeker and it ate me up inside wondering why was I like this? This kind of attention-seeking behavior (and rejection from peers) carried on well into high school where afterwards thankfully I started to mature alot more. Instead, today I am weirdly both socially confident and full of anxiety and self-doubt and it's affected my life from careers to relationships. I'm almost 30 and im terrified of getting my drivers license. I used to let exes walk all over me because I was trying too hard to be a good girlfriend and neglecting my own feelings about things. I wouldn't stand up to bully employers because I would think their criticisms were right. Oddly enough this hasn't translated into an addiction to social media likes (thank god!) because I have decent self-esteem for my looks and don't really feel the need for validation like that. But at the same time im a chronic over thinker and I'm my own biggest critic in my own head and it's been a real block.

My mum confession to me about her actions when I was a baby was eye-opening. I have been able to move away from the idea that there is something inherently wrong with me and able to move onto correcting thought patterns and moving forward. RPW has helped me in a way, because I went through a bit of an angry phase towards women because of being bullied by girls, preferring to be a tomboy and being disgusted by feminine things. But reading the content here has helped me to correct myself into someone who is much more pleasant to be around (i hope, lol). What a roller coaster ... I haven't told anyone this before, thanks for reading and i continue to appreciate RPW as a means of making myself a better person :)

[–]est-la-lune 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Thanks for sharing!

I'm a very open person and struggle with many of the same attention-seeking behaviors you described. The part about being confident and self-conscious is also spot-on for me.

Meditation and mindfulness helped me a lot. So has music. :)

[–]TetraKent 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Thank you for saying this. I've really needed to get into meditation more as a way of calming my over-thinking. It gets really negative sometimes and I catch myself and think it's quite bad. I actually just took a bit of a break from RPW because it had me second-guessing my relationship and again over-thinking, but a recent breakthrough and talk with my guy has clarified some things and now I'm back to continue my RPW journey.

What kind of music do you recommend? i listen to alot of youtube videos with the study or relaxation frequencies with calming sounds. I also love those time-lapse fireplace videos ... im not sure i'm ready to do a more guided meditation as i'm a bit averse to spiritual stuff. thanks for replying~

[–]est-la-lune 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I enjoy relaxation frequencies and rain sounds for meditation. Drumming tracks are also helpful because the rhythm makes it very easy to calm down!

For confidence, any type of music works. My favorite genre is classic rock, but I'm trying to listen to more jazz/blues and music from the 60s. I mentioned this before on RPW, but classic rock is a very masculine, sexy genre, and I think the polarity helps me tap into my feminine side. :)

[–]-Universe- 0 points1 point  (0 children)

432hz, 528hz and solfeggio frequencies are awesome. Listen to them with speakers. Also, classical music is awesome - mozart, beethovan, vivaldi, etc.

Meditation is simply being aware of the here and now. People make it too complex. Being aware of your breath, your thoughts, the sensations in the body or the chirping of birds is meditation.

Focusing on something that in the present moment is meditation.

[–]Rivkariver2 Star 3 points4 points  (0 children)

New hobbyies are great. Remember quality over quantity. Attention from one good guy is worth way more than brief shallow attention from many people.

It comes down a lot to fear of missing out. You won’t miss anything by doing a craft rather than posting a photo, or texting a real friend rather than tweeting.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I walked away from social media completely 2 years ago when I met my man. Zero regrets. Life is so much better.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


[–]KittenLoves_Endorsed Contributor[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I had a similar experience when I deactivated facebook a few months back! Not having social media has become so weird for people. I was very late in getting instagram (and I still barely use it), and I remember a while ago being asked by someone I had met if we could exchange instagrams ... he looked at me like I was some kind of eight-headed grandmother monster when I said I didn't have one. :P

[–]SouthernAthenaEndorsed Contributor 2 points3 points  (1 child)

u/Laceandsilks, this seems star worthy.

[–]KittenLoves_Endorsed Contributor[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]i_have_a_semicolon 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Wow, this post is so well written and full of the truth. I went through a similar trajectory. You are so right about all of it.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

It's different if you are getting attention for your accomplishments. Artists post art online, receive GOBS of adoration and flattery and get their fix knowing they did a good job. Fans flock to their Patreons and they feel even better. If you are just posting selfies than you know there is no achievement and the victory is hollow. Replace selfies with photos of your latest creative endeavor. Problem solved.

EDIT: typos

[–]KittenLoves_Endorsed Contributor[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is a great point, and I'm glad you mentioned it. I had this in the back of my head as I was writing my post, thinking "I hope nobody thinks I'm discouraging people whose jobs are social media or artists who gain popularity through the internet".

[–]Meadowfly 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I deactivated facebook 6 years ago and have never looked back. I used to struggle with low self-esteem and it has done wonders!