Social media is a weird world, isn’t it? There we show what we’re proud of. We share our perspectives. We invite others to see the sometimes minuscule details of our life. We express our need to be noticed. There is no shame in that.
The questions I ask about my need to be noticed is who inside me needs to be noticed and who do they need to be noticed by?
Say a part inside me feels unseen. In response, I make infinite attempts to get you to look at me. Look at my life! Look who I am! Look what I’ve done! I master how to make you look. And that moment you look brings brief satisfaction. My part feels seen, if only for a second.
But that second is fleeting.
So I go back out for more validating views. I get them. But the need is insatiable. Something’s not right.
My part needs more than a million eyes of others can ever give. My part needs MY attentive eyes. My part needs MY attuned ears. My part needs MY concern, compassion, and care. My part needs ME to notice it. I can notice my part deeply and in the way it’s always wanted. I can listen in love, giving this precious part what it’s always needed. I can learn where it was wounded and I can help it heal.
When my part experiences my eyes, ears, and embrace, it feels seen and safe deep down in its bones. Then, I may still choose to share things with others. But when I listen to and love myself first, I feel less desperate for others to take notice. There is less to lose when others can’t give that. And that significant shift inside me impacts everything.
May we all learn to meet our own need to be noticed.
Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP
IFS Level 1 & 2 Trained