Neurotic tendencies are rather common, and the need for affection is one of them. Karen Horney's theory regarding the neurotic person's self is that it is divided into two: "the real self" and "the ideal self". It is a mingling between what one really is and what one feels one should be. The issue is that neurotic persons feel that they do not live up to their ideal self and they constantly oscillate between trying to achieve their view of perfection and hating themselves for not living up to their expectations.
We are high achievers, and nevertheless scarcely prepared to face a potential failure. We do not talk about failures, maybe out of superstition and fear of bad luck, we just engage in our "mission" and cling the fingers in case of fall.
People with a developed need for attention are seen as failures. When one shows affection or the need of it, one is regarded as unreliable and insecure. It is very hard to explain the need for affection. Especially to those that are not in so much want. People react differently to the need of it. Some blame themselves for their "weakness", and others make the best of their need by getting involved in projects (volunteers) or by explaining their need to their loved ones.