Our personal psychology is largely determined by the fact that we are born into a hierarchy.
What does it mean when an agitator, a gadfly, is told "you are just trying to attract attention to yourself"?
Think about it. The whole idea of having influence in society is premised on being recognized. The whole idea of increasing one's influence is to be more recognized.
The entire political dimension of the person is the possibility of practicing one's influence on the community and on society at large.
Why else does the artist art? Why does the worker work if it is not to meaningfully contribute? Agency over one's life and opportunity to influence community (including the workplace!) are the basis of a meaningful life.
But a hierarchy will have none of it. You must be dedicated to preserving the hierarchy and your place within the hierarchy. The cardinal rules in a hierarchy are know your place, keep or improve your place, and kiss ass.
In light of who says it and why, in light of how the agitator is disturbing to others, I think it is clear:
"He/she is just trying to attract attention."
"He/she does not know his/her place."
... is not following convention, is not following the rules, is disregarding taboos, is not making valid and central points, is not disturbing us, is not having an influence, should not be taken seriously, etc.
The "you are just trying to attract attention to yourself" is hierarchy maintenance talk meant to neutralize the threat; by appeal to the pathological notion of self-sacrifice in service and obedience to a human hierarchy.
In using hierarchy against itself, it is a viable tactic to do it publicly in order to protect oneself with visibility. In disturbing the psychological reinforcements of hierarchy, one has to expect a hierarchy-preserving backlash.
Sustained disruption can create the circumstances wherein foundational criticism can be received. It's the only thing that ever does.
Thank you for the compliment.