Have you ever truly felt “Approved”? I won’t be surprised if you answered “No” to that question. Because most of us don’t feel “Approved” enough to cause us to believe it. And as a result we go through life feeling “wrong”, “insecure” and “rejected” thereby losing our self-confidence and developing low self-esteem. In fact, not feeling approved can leave us so empty and hungry inside that we may eventually seek to satisfy ourselves by doing things we think will cause others to like us, affirm us, accept us and approve us, thus becoming an “Approval Addict”!
I am sure you would agree that trying to impress others is exhausting! It minimizes your own importance and individuality, which could be very damaging to you in the long run. The good news is that you no longer have to continue to find worth, validation or value in other people’s approval. You don’t need to suffer any longer with insecurity or rejection. You don’t have to strive to please others while feeling miserable yourself. There is a cure for the approval addiction. Here are a few quick and easy steps to get you started!
- Give your opinion freely. Give your opinion, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Start with smaller things like what you’d like to eat or which movie you’d like to see or how you’d like to spend your time.
- Avoid judging others. Check if you are constantly judging others in a variety of situations? Notice your thoughts. If you are overly critical of others, it’s only natural that you assume others are the same towards you. By avoiding this type of behavior in yourself, you will drop the assumption that everyone else is judging you. Just allow others to be as they are. It makes life more interesting. Sit back and enjoy the differences.
- Be aware that disapproval could be a manipulation tool. Knowing this can free you from seeking the approval of others. In many cases, they are just in the game for themselves.
“If you are an approval addict, your behavior is as easy to control as that of any other junkie. All a manipulator needs do is a simple two-step process: Give you what you crave, and then threaten to take it away. Every drug dealer in the world plays this game.”- Harriet B. Braiker
Many people use disapproval as a means of getting what they want and trying to control others. They may disapprove of your opinion, clothing, hairstyle, or anything else to enjoy the fruits of your submission. If someone disapproves you, ask him or her to explain. Remember that most negative people are looking for a victim, not a fight. When you stand up for yourself, many of the bullies disappear.
- Don’t be bothered by what someone thinks of you. We seem to be born with an intense desire to “fit in”. But just because someone does not approve of you it doesn’t mean that you are undesirable. It could actually be more about them than about you. It is true that you might suffer from a little bit of anxiety when feeling unaccepted but if you just hold your ground that too shall pass.
“You will never gain anyone’s approval by begging for it. When you stand confident in your own worth, respect follows.” – Mandy Hale
- Fill your life with things that are important. Spend quality times on things you enjoy to do or that are meaningful to you. This is sure going to make you very happy and content. You are going to absolutely love that freedom of being yourself!
Being overly concerned about the opinions of others is damaging to your self-esteem. Each time you seek approval, you are diminishing your own importance. You are causing yourself pain. Your opinion matters! You matter! Allow your individuality to be seen and experienced by others.
“A balanced inner calmness radiates from a peaceful center. It neither craves others’ approval nor rejects others’ presence. It neither pulls towards nor pushes away. It has a reverent attitude towards life and all its inhabitants.” – Donna Goddard