As far as I can tell, it refers to a sort of desperate attention-seeking behavior; something like, the speaker feels alone and unsupported, so they play up how much they need help and how sad they are to see if anyone will come and comfort them. Like, they want to feel like someone is there for them if they need it.
While I feel like I more-or-less understand the phrase itself, I can't figure out how to express it concisely in English. It's usually sufficient to translate it literally because it usually makes sense in context, but sometimes the existing context isn't quite enough. Does anyone have any ideas?