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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Egomania VS Attention-Seeking Behavior : Is there a Difference?




While egomania is a persisting personality trait, attention-seeking is rather a behavioral quality. A behavioral quality is expressed by an underlying emotional need, but is consistent after examining the individuals psyche. The behavioral quality is one adaptation, the person is 'used-to' expressing. It requires less thought. 

Personality Traits on the other hand are more perceptive, integrated, less based on ones emotional conflict and more based on what makes up the persons past to shape their beliefs. In the case of egomania, the individual embodies narcissism as a pathological reaction or a perceived need to preserve current established position or social status. Egomania is in a lot of ways, then to save face, and is often a calculated move that either.

1.) Acts to emulate Confidence.
2.) To heighten one's own assurance for any given situation and to assume the mantra of what they wish to be perceived as.

For these reasons it is often an element in the workplace, and arrogance often creates an illusion in a competitors mind before it creates a delusion in the wearers mind - thus the risk to benefit ratio is highly in favor of the person embodying said persona and the risks of them damaging their own mental stability far less if it is workplace-specific. However, ego 'enlargement' may be a more suitable term than egomania for these purposes. 

Egomania encompasses such a large degree of narcissism that the person is likely to carry the trait OUTSIDE of the work-place as well. It can be an addicting lifestyle, and no matter the actual details of the persons life, can elevate them to a place much higher than the place they would actually be at despite any perceived progress towards such position - meaning, it's a psychological high.

Attention-seeking is done often before there becomes a need for any compensatory psychological adaptation and / or narcissism, it is done though, as an in-the-moment ploy to see the reactions and hear the voices of others. Social isolation is a common precursor to attention-seeking behavior. If one feels their life is void of social contact then their need for attention becomes accelerated, even desperate in some cases. Thus attention-seeking behavior is a reoccurring trait in and before, the diagnosis of Borderline-Personality-Disorders as well as narcissistic-personality-disorder. 

These definitions seem to confine these two traits as wholly separate, but in reality they can both go together. I just wouldn't judge them as being the same type of diagnosis and egomania is a much more persistent quality whereas attention-seeking is a momentary action driven by emotional conflict or excitability. Thus, egomania being not an act but a part of the persons personality likely persisting throughout their entire adult life, and attention-seeking being one quality of that disorder or perhaps, not being relevant to it at all but being an action that occurs when it is deemed necessary by the person.


  • A person who exhibits attention-seeking behavior does not necessarily exhibit narcissistic tendencies nor does he/she have to fit into the profile of an egomanic/megalomaniac. 
  • A person who exhibits egomania or utter narcissism does not necessarily seek attention or exhibit specifically, attention-seeking behavior, but may certainly do so when provoked or when the individual deems it necessary, but may cover it up by acting as if the given attention was necessary i.e manipulative lifestyle remarked by purposeful distraction in order to cover emotional deficits aka a ''facade'' in social situations.
  • Those individuals who exhibit one trait related to egomania and one trait related to attention-seeking behavior do not necessarily equate to a full-disorder on either end. It is absolutely possible to not be an egomaniac and have some characteristics of one, or to not be an 'attention-whore' but to be one on occasion.
The idea that narcissism is based on emotional abuse is drawn into question based on the nature of narcissistic qualities which often develop before the age of 9 but are displayed differently. Eccentricity, odd abuse acts as a child (e.g spitting at people in restaurant knowing it will provoke a negative reaction from parents or others) and oppositional tendencies also can indicate childhood onset of antisocial-personality-disorder and thus predict the level of empathy if paired with adult-actions which also fit into such pattern.

Therefore there is a great deal of knowledge still which must be compared in order to determine which acts, traits, or psychological changes are actually relevant to a disorder and whether we can easily isolate such cases from those who structurally have life under control, and are merely using said means as tactic for work or presentation purposes (i.e acting or being in movies).
It is relevant then, to point out that those who embody such traits in television or in movies, often have some of these qualities subtly present within themselves, otherwise, how could they play the part so well? Therefore, even in the case where one assumes simulation, and training for the role, the person still must 'feel' the role which means they must emulate the situation and the PERSONALITY for said role. Therefore it is absolutely true that those evil-villains we see in movies often have a dark-side to themselves, but one that is very minor in comparison, and does not affect their personal lives as they are able to distinguish it, separate it from their 'real' lives and utilize it only when necessary.

Work-place narcissists use both egomania as a tool far more often and have actually incorporated it into their persona. Full-time narcissists (egomaniacs) are challenged by the fact that they bring this arrogance with them pretty much, wherever they go. Though they may appear calm and presentable, their arrogance will likely show when conflict arises or when they encounter a perceived violation either 1.) against their methods 2.) against their work or accomplishments 3.) against their status.
Therefore in this article we highlight the differences in situation which describes both of the aformentioned behavioral traits. 

Once again, egomania is a persistent personality trait, NOT a behavioral quality by definition but one incorporated into the persona of the person, attention-seeking behavior is just that, behavior, current, a behavioral quality which is reflected by the environment or social outlets of the person including friends and family, egomania shows no such discrepancy and does not discriminate to whom it is shown to if done simply for momentary value. In other words, even if egomania is selective and only shown to a few, it is likely not done for momentary reaction as then this would be considered simulation and not a persistent personality trait, rather, egomania is something the person is used to putting on, whereas attention-seeking is an act one is used to performing. Egomania is perceived to achieve long-term results in the person who exhibits it, but attention-seeking behavior is short-term, a momentary result. 

These perceived benefits which have a tendency to be exaggerated, are not easily deterred, but both traits can be definitely incorporated into a delusional belief system - which makes them even more stubborn and absolutely resistant to talking, counseling, therapies etc. 

Because they are personality traits and behavioral qualities, they are not likely relinquished by the logic of others, but instead, must require the participation of the affected individual exhibiting said characteristics, their logic is what is important to deduce whether these traits are really benefiting them in their life.

Therefore a self-evaluation is necessary to achieve any, even minimal reversal or reduction in said traits, and that self-evaluation must also include looking at how it may (or even may not) impede their own progress. Progress meaning, at work, or in emotional stability as well. All very important for maintaining quality of life - thus the importance in self-evaluation for these characteristics as well.

Finally, as we have here elucidated the difference between these two traits, its worthwhile to note that these notes are not intended to replace the advice of a Physician, they are merely insights and examination of behavior based on here, the writers own practices or work experiences with others, specifically when working in a medical community, the writer here (J.De'Russo) has formed a bond with this information and understands it can be misinterpreted. I've worked in various institutions thus I can say with certainty and based on my own reading, this information contained here within, is indeed accurate and based on principle. It should be interpreted in-context and for learning purposes only.


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