In a very real way, attention is a drug. Like dope, attention makes people feel good by delivering a ”hit” of certain neurotransmitters (chemicals that transmit, or block the transmission of electrochemical currents) in the brain. Like anything that does this (viz., sex, risk-taking, power), in excessive amounts it’s addictive. And, simply because it works, nothing is as addictive as a pain killer. Hence Narcissus is well-named from the Greek word for narcosis.

Attention is his pain killer.