January 27, 2020 | Melissa Budish

People Share The Worst Attention-Seeking Behaviors They've Ever Witnessed

Some people just need to be the center of attention at all times. In the age of social media and instant gratification, more and more people are going out of their way to obtain the approval of peers and strangers alike. However, some people just take things way too far. Here are some of the worst attention-seeking behaviors real people have witnessed:


#1 The Sister-In-Law

My sister in law. At our wedding, she did everything she could to steal attention away from her sister (my wife). She wore a dress that she had altered to be both low-cut and short-skirted. Then, when no one was paying her attention, she kept "accidentally" dropping things so she'd have to bend over to pick them up. Also, hen her dad remarried, she was telling people at the ceremony that she had cancer, but had come to terms with it. She didn't have cancer.


#2 A Truly Crazy Ex

My fiance has been my best friend since we were kids. Once, in high school, he was dating a girl who decided that after scaring the heck out of him by trying to cuff him to the bed against his will, she was going to threaten to end herself if he dumped her.

About ten years later, I ran into her at a party. She was there with her husband and infant son (not the kind of party you take a baby to, but okay). She proceeded to tell me how they never technically broke up since, being 15 years old, his answer to "If you dump me, I'll end myself" was to just stop talking to her.

And because of that, they were technically still together and she was "cheating" on him with her husband, making her son illegitimate. She was 100% serious, and she also told me to tell him she wanted an apology. This was in front of a lot of very stunned people.


#3 Stolen Thunder

My roommate's cat passed away last week. When she told her coworkers, one lady proceeded to start telling a story about a cat she kind of owned that never even lived with her. It passed away 5+ years ago. She got so worked up that she started crying and the entire office started consoling the coworker instead of my roommate whose cat had passed away the day before. Unbelievable.

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#4 The One-Upper

My grandma has to make everything about her. Literally everything, no matter the person or situation. And if the conversation switches to a topic that's not about her, she gets visibly annoyed and you can see the gears turning in her head as she tries to figure out how to get the conversation back onto her.

She constantly re-tells stories she’s already told 1,000 times back from when she was younger if she can’t think of anything recent. If I have to ever again hear about how she was prom queen back in 1951, or valedictorian of her 10-person 8th-grade class, or how whenever she goes anywhere, everyone just LOVES her (she literally says: “And you know, they just loved me,” all the time), I’m going to lose it.


#5 Obsessed With The Spotlight

It's fun watching people like that when there's a toddler or pre-schooler in the room. Little kids constantly clamor for attention. It's what they do, and people forgive them because they're little kids. An adult trying to wrestle the spotlight away from a kid is so pathetic, it can be entertaining to watch. It happens more often than you think, too.


#6 Obnoxious Bragger

There's a girl in my college classes who claims her dad owns a huge soccer team but doesn't know the name. She's also apparently dating one of the LA Lakers but can't give his name out either... though, she's talking to someone who's in the NFL to "keep her options open." She says her dad works at a local steel factory and has no idea where his extra money comes from because he gives her hush money. Yet, she called another girl out in class for "lying to fit in."


#7 In Her Dreams

I went to high school with this one girl. She was Indian and her parents owned a cheap motel in my hometown. They would take trips back to India to see their family, and she used to tell all of us she had this huge mansion in India and that she was friends with some Middle Eastern prince. However, she could never provide any pictures of these belongings or these people she knew. Her family lived inside the hotel they owned and drove moderate vehicles. There’s no way in heck they were wealthy. Middle class probably, but not wealthy.

Ratka Bojadzievska


#8 A Rude Interruption

There was a girl who used to be part of this group of friends that I saw on the odd occasion when I was a teen. I only met her twice, but on both occasions, she started to full-on sing super loud whenever everybody else was talking and she was not involved in the conversation. People in her life encouraged it for years and she just won't freaking stop. She's terrible. She's also a total weeb and sings mostly anime intros, pronouncing every word wrong.


#9 The Show Mom

There was this British TV show about bad moms and one of them made her daughter dress way older then she looked (the daughter wanted to wear a T-shirt and jeans to go out to eat,  but her mom made her wear tights, a mini skirt, boots, a tight T, a sleeveless overcoat, and a boatload of jewelry. The kid basically looked like she was in a Disney show). She would make her daughter randomly sing and do her cheer routines in public because: "You never know who's watching, people get discovered on the streets every day!"


#10 The Worst Kind

There was a girl in my college who would constantly make up stories. During orientation, she told people she was recovering from brain cancer (she never had it) and that she was partially deaf (she wasn't). She then found out my friend had epilepsy so she started doing these exaggerated tremors. She would fake seizures all the time for all the years she was there, which was a pain in the butt because I would have to treat them like real ones. She did it once during a power outage for the most attention possible.


#11 Cutting Ties

A girl in college would constantly try to be the topic of the conversation.  She'd say, "Oh, my boyfriend dumped me," or "I'm gay, but I'm not gay," or "I own a signed Kurt Cobain bass guitar," etc. But by far the worst one was: "I was attacked by a guy and he got sent to prison." I tracked her case down using Google and found it actually happened to some other girl and she just used her story to get attention. We all cut ties with her after that...


#12 She Got Shot

Alright! In high school, my buddy was dating this girl who told everyone she got shot. I asked her to see the bullet wound and she pulled her shirt down a little so I could see her shoulder. Do you know what was freaking covering her wound? One single bandaid. Then I thought about it for a while and realized that she technically did get shot... with a vaccine...


#13 Drama In The Philippines

A "friend" joined me and two others in the Philippines for a couple of weeks despite her never having traveled before. About five days in, she went storming off into El Nido in the pouring rain. We told her not to go, but she went anyway, despite having been crying and complaining about the trip all week.  She stayed in a different room the next day. Reception told us that she had checked out but left her wristwatch behind. She wrote on Facebook that we had been leaving her out (not true) and had not been considerate towards her injury (a small graze on her leg). By the way, we're all 26 years old.

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#14 How Far Would You Go?

This girl in 8th grade claimed she had life-threatening depression. She was popular, so everyone believed her and felt bad for her. She got all kinds of attention for it. She would take things to really extreme, dangerous levels just so that she could keep the attention on her. At one point, she even ended up in the hospital. That takes some commitment.


#15 Go Ahead, Dude

This kid who I’m good friends with now was once was a huge attention-seeker. One day, he walked up to our table while we were peacefully playing Smash Bros. and he pulled out one of those rolls of minty tape. You know, the ones meant to make your breath minty. He then said, “I’m going to eat this whole roll and none of you are ever going to stop me.” So we didn’t.


#16 The Act

In college, you'd often see girls and guys who would act tipsier than they were at parties or bars to get more attention. They had worked out the kinks after having attended so many parties that it was harder to tell if they were faking it or actually just hammered. I have used the excuse myself, on some occasions. It's amazing how people actually buy that when you are young.


#17 Munchausen Syndrome

I have a friend who actually can't help but lie for attention (in her case, medical attention). She has Munchausen syndrome: “The affected person exaggerates or creates symptoms of illnesses in themselves to gain examination, treatment, attention, sympathy, and/or comfort from medical personnel. In some extreme cases, people suffering from Munchausen syndrome are highly knowledgeable about the practice of medicine and are able to produce symptoms that result in lengthy and costly medical analysis, prolonged hospital stays, and unnecessary operations.”

#18 Sibling Rivalry

My sister came out as a vegetarian during a dinner with extended family... at a steakhouse. This dinner had been semi-regular for years. The same sister brought her home-sewn crafts to the family dinner the evening before my wedding to show off. That one's on film. On the day of the actual wedding, she snapped off a chunk of my hair while using a curling iron (she's a licensed hairdresser, by the way) and spent the reception wailing about how I was getting married first.


#19 Intentional Self Humiliation

This girl I know would trip on purpose and make a big scene about it. She'd even quip,"Wow no one saw that?” if people weren't paying any attention to her. She'd also talk about how no one in our town liked her and that the only time people talked to her was when they needed her help. Well, she is extremely obnoxious, so I don't blame them for being like that towards her.


#20 Hyperbolic Storyteller

My grandma will tell absolutely crazy stories about me and my entire family. When we leave, my mom is always dumbfounded and tells me that whatever my granda was saying never happened at all. Now that I'm old enough to have been there for several of the stories, it's like... wow. She replaces herself with anyone in the story not doing something negative.

A 30-second event of my mom showing me how to collect eggs from chickens turns into a five-minute epic tale of how the coop would have burnt down and all the chickens would have lost their lives if my grandmother hadn't shown me how to collect eggs.


#21 No Humility

I had a very good friend who was an attention-seeker. He left on summer vacation to visit his family in Vermont. I called him a few weeks into his trip just to catch up and see how it was out there. He said, “Pretty good. I donated my liver to my dying grandmother two days ago. As a thank you, my grandpa bought me a dirt bike.” I said, “Nice... If you bring it back we can ride together.” He replied, “I can’t, I already wrecked it and it’s in the shop.”


#22 It Wasn't Me, It Was Patricia

I knew a girl in high school that claimed to have DID (dissociative identity disorder). We all knew she was faking because there were ALWAYS holes in her stories. She would mix up details with the different personalities she created. We just gave her the benefit of the doubt. 10 years later, she never mentioned any of them again. Oh yeah, and she told me that in the 10th grade, she got paid to train horses to do tricks for a circus. Then, she forgot about it the next day when I brought it up. As a cringy ex-horse girl, this one was the worst lie of all.


#23 An Insensitive Lie

I know a kid who faked terminal brain cancer. He posted on Facebook about his cancer. Everyone in school thought he had cancer. Even his closest friends. He was living in a friend’s house whose family bent over backward for him. A friend of his checked his laptop while visiting him at the hospital but it was just FULL of searches about how to fake cancer. I just feel so sorry for everyone involved in that situation.


#24 A Hurtful Prank

Some guy in high school faked his death to see how people would react. I don't know all the details because we weren't on speaking terms, but I know he had his girlfriend tell everyone (their parents included) that he had been in an accident. I remember seeing his parents at school the next day and they were devastated. Then he showed up two days later or so, surprised that people were not more excited to see him.


#25 About A Boy

The worst, and the best. We were young kids together in London, back in the day. George O Dowd a.k.a Boy George. Hey, I was an attention-seeker too; the best thing about him was that early on, he became a pop star and stayed as one. There was no other possible world for him to thrive in. I'm extremely proud of him.


#26 Ice Cold Blood

My father will talk for hours and hours just so people will pay attention to him. He will also yell at nurses and claim that they won't listen to him. I didn't choose him as my father, so I refuse to play his mind games. My mom continues to stay with him, even though he makes my life, and everybody else's lives, a complete misery. He really thinks he's a perfect human being when, in fact, the world will be a much better place without him.


#27 Personally Victimized

A girl in the same section as me would fake panic attacks whenever something mildly inconvenient happened. She also would laugh out loud obnoxiously in order to get people to look at her. Not only that, but she would make rumors of guys “liking” her in order to attack them in front of everyone. Sadly, I was one of those guys.

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#28 The Bargaining Chip

This literally happened a few hours ago. A kid at my school was at this party and he basically used driving under the influence as a bargaining chip. He got into his car and pretended he was going to drive away because he wanted pizza. We all were trying to stop him but we all caved in to get pizza so he wouldn't freaking drive. He was annoying the whole night.


#29 The Tupperware Party

Our boss was throwing a Tupperware party at her house and those who were invited had to keep it on the down-low since not everybody was. A few of us were talking about it in the break room when a woman we knew was not invited walked in. As soon as she realized what we had been talking about, she immediately doubled over and clutched her stomach, crying "I'm in so much pain!"

I thought it was interesting that this woman was totally fine throughout the day but was in "so much pain" whenever the party she wasn't invited to was mentioned. It gave her an excuse not to go, but also made sure all eyes were on her. Maybe this is why she wasn't invited.


#30 The Memorable Mormon

I worked with a crazy Mormon girl who was an aspiring “actress.” She claimed to be epileptic and would fake passing out in front of groups of people. They'd eventually come to her side. She wouldn’t really “seize,” just faint. It made me smile how she’d roll her eyes before she dropped and always manage to fall safely. What a dumb attention-seeker!


#31 They Love Her, They Hate Her

I once knew a woman who would come to our all-male dorm room. She would bring brownies and cookies that she just baked. Then, she would insist that we all try one, including the women we had over. After everyone had had one, she would refuse to try one and say she couldn't because she was “trying to lose weight, despite not being able to go down a bra size.” All the men liked her. All the women hated her.


#32 A Really Bad Lie

There was a kid at my school who people liked, but he told a few porkies from time to time. He told us all that his grandad had recently passed from cancer—it was obviously a sad situation so we all sympathized with him. Later on, we found out that his grandad was fine. What made it worse was that one of my mates' dad actually passed from cancer around that time, so we were furious with him. Why would you lie about something like that? Some people man.


#33 The Unshakeable Friend

One of my high school "friends" used to lie all the time. No matter how much you called her out on it or how much proof you had, she'd just ignore you. If she thought you'd forgotten about her lies, she'd horn her way back into being friends. It was an endless cycle. I literally could not shake her. I had been around her since we were kids. She'd say things like she had a brother, that she was adopted, etc. None of that was true.


#34 Spoiled Rotten

This girl who lives a pampered life and is spoiled rotten never had a bad thing happen to her; yet, she claims to have every mental illness in the book. Whenever something is trendy, she has it. Like her therapy dog, for example. She got one because of her alleged mental illness, but then abandoned it two months after getting it because she didn't like taking care of him.


#35 A Scientific Explanation

I think a lot of these examples are directly related to Munchausen Syndrome, a factual,  mental disorder in which a person repeatedly and deliberately acts as if he or she has a physical or mental illness when he or she is not really sick. Munchausen Syndrome is considered a mental illness because it is associated with severe emotional difficulties.


#36 The Horrible Boss

My old boss always was an attention-seeker. One time, he burned his foot on a George Foreman grill and got mad after no one paid attention. One of the worst instances was when he got really mad during a Christmas party of ours because he dressed up like Jesus but failed to be the center of attention, as no one was paying any mind to him. It was ridiculous.

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#37 In The Loco Bin

My stepdad is pretty crazy. He likes being the center of attention and being right about everything. He lies all the time and constantly insults people he doesn't agree with. He told me I would be nothing in life when I was 13. He outed his daughter to her religious mother to brag that she loved him more. After that, she stopped talking to him. He told his daughter she was the reason I was depressed and that she tore the family apart. He told her to end herself. He even lied to her and said he was going to pass away soon just to get her to contact him. He's done plenty of other things, but that puts him in the loco bin for me.


#38 Sister In The Spotlight

My little sister. She cannot be in a room if everything isn't about her. She always talks about herself and struggles to pay attention to others unless what they say is about her. Shes easily agitated and thinks highly of herself while everybody else is below her in maturity and intelligence. When she started losing attention in the family, she popped out a baby and now she's back in the spotlight full-time. She's gotten a bit better recently, but I prefer to not be around her too much because she drives me nuts.


#39 A Funny Coincidence

A girl at my high school passed away in a snowboarding accident. The whole school got together and made T-shirts, buttons, etc. in her memory to raise money for her funeral costs. Coincidentally, another girl had a skiing accident the following weekend which resulted in a concussion that left her unable to write, walk straight, or put together complete sentences.

She made sure that people noticed her stumbling and stuttering. Oddly enough, the accident occurred on a day she was spotted with her family in town, a good hour and a half away from where the incident took place at the moment she said she was skiing. After a week of nobody caring, her motor skills miraculously improved. What a funny coincidence that is.


#40 Faking Health

A girl I know is always sick with something or other. She is also always whinging about how the surgeons tell her she doesn’t need operations. She persists, though, until she gets them. It’s not a pain pill thing, it's purely attention-seeking. All she talks about is how terrible her XYZ is and she can’t work because of it. Then, a month later, we never hear about the first problem again because now she has ABC.


#41 Lost Without Him

When I was in high school, a girl from my class who had just been dumped by her boyfriend posted lots of black and white selfies on Facebook of herself crying with "sad quotes" as captions. She wasn't generally someone who craved attention, so it was just more odd than anything. She also didn't have many friends, so she must have been pretty lost when her boyfriend left her.


#42 Weekly Meltdowns

Every other week, this girl would say that social media is depressing, then proceed to delete her account. She would be off of social media for a maximum of two days. She would delete her account and make another one at least three times a month, sending friend requests to everybody again each time. After the fifth or sixth time, she added me, I stopped accepting her friend request because I was sick of her weekly meltdowns. She also was either asexual, bisexual, lesbian, or 100% straight depending on her mood.


#43 The Pervy Server

I worked in a remote restaurant somewhere in England. Unfortunately, I had to live in a confined area with eight other people. One of them, the jerk in question, would constantly walk into people's rooms without knocking, yell in people's faces "as a joke" in Polish, and constantly make explicit jokes to the waitresses. He always had to be the center of attention.


#44 Just Not Worth It

I know a girl who tripped and claimed that someone pushed her when she was walking behind everyone. She played guys hard as well—I took a twenty-minute nap after she broke up with a guy because she didn't like him and she had a new boyfriend when I woke up. I can't make this stuff up. She was literally all over the place and not worth being friends with.


#45 You Got Lucky

A girl in my school started VERY LOUDLY crying because the substitute teacher wouldn’t let her do a math test during lunch. She only wanted to do it during lunch so she could cheat. She ended up throwing a tantrum in front of the whole class and the teacher eventually had to give in to her demands. That tactic won't work later in life, girl.


#46 Three Gems

There was a girl in my sorority who was apparently allergic to water, even though she was in a swimming class with another one of my sisters. But that doesn't top the girl that apparently had brain cancer and would take any given moment to talk about how she'd been repeatedly assaulted. And look, I'm a victim of childhood abuse... In my experience, survivors don't just wave it around like a flag to get out of stuff. She definitely used it that way. There was also a girl in my sorority who claimed to have a phobia of the color yellow...


#47 Like A Scene From Bridesmaids

At a friend's wedding, someone asked my sister, a trained singer, to sing a song at the piano in the resident's bar. One of the bridesmaids tried to join in. She tried to sing over her, yelling the lyrics louder than my sister. She was awful and everyone was feeling so awkward. It might have been one of the most cringey things I have ever witnessed.


#48 For The Street Cred

A had this one attention-seeking friend in middle school. On the playground, there was a larger spinning contraption that a bunch of kids would get on while it spun it really fast. He would grab on the outside while it was at top speed and be flung into the air. Often times, he’d let go and be thrown away from the equipment at about 20 mph. He would risk his own health so that people would notice him.


#49 Fishing For Sympathy

A girl (maybe 18-19) I used to work with at a shop acted all sad and mopey until you were basically forced to ask her what was wrong. She said she was probably pregnant, so then everyone would give her loads of attention. Then, about 2-3 days later, she would casually tell everyone she had a miscarriage. She did this twice.


#50 Adult Temper Tantrum

My aunt deliberately lost her benefits card to a grocery store just to scream about it to other customers and get the cashier fired. She was feeling lonely because her husband wouldn't get her a new dog, so I guess that was her way of reacting. It's so embarrassing to see an adult throw a temper tantrum, especially when you know it's completely staged.




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