Approval addiction is common among us, but few are aware of their own destructive behavior.
We all know ’’that person’’.
That person who is always overly polite and too nice. That person who’s obsessed about getting more Instagram followers and Facebook likes. That person who ask for permission and apologizes for everything. That person who changes their opinion to match the opinions of others. That person who is indecisive and can hardly make a decision. That person who needs a positive reaction from everyone they meet. That person who’s incredibly afraid of rejection and criticism.
Even though we might not posses all of these behaviors, the odds are that we recognize ourselves as ’’that person’’ every now and then. There are times when we all feel empty, incomplete and have an overall anxiety that creeps into our bodies.
It can be hard to put a finger on what this is. But it’s simply an internal void stemming from the fact that, for whatever reason, we don’t approve of ourselves. This creates a craving for external approval. The craving for approval reflects the neediness associated with ”that person’’.
It’s natural to enjoy when other people approve of us (e.g., when they compliment us). But the problems begin when we become dependent on external approval in order to feel good. At that point, there is a void inside us that constantly needs to be filled.
When the approval and the self-acceptance doesn’t come from within, you feel the need to seek it from external elements. Your self-worth is then controlled by other people’s opinions and things outside yourself.
Approval-seeking can thereby become a drug. Just like the crackhead need his daily dose of crack, you need your daily dose of approval. If you don’t get the approval, you’ll feel insecure, empty and crave after it even more.
You are coming from a place of scarcity and trying to take value from other people. That’s why approval-seeking will backfire and create the opposite result of what you desired. People can smell the desperate need for approval and it smells like shit.
”People who want the most approval get the least and people who need approval the least get the most.” – Wayne Dyner
You’ve probably experienced the scenario when you know a person needs something from you. That person acts super-nice and pleasant just to get their desired outcome. Their desperate vibe and inauthentic behavior makes you lose respect for that person. Approval-seeking gives off that same vibe.
The key to cure the approval addiction is to venture within and work on your self-esteem. By realizing that you’re already good enough, valuable and don’t need approval from the outside world.
The world inside you is a direct reflection of your outer world. When you change the way you see yourself, the outer world will also change for the better.
- Become aware of your destructive behaviors and situations in which you seek approval. Then consciously stop that behavior.
- Develop your self esteem by:
- Accepting, respecting and loving yourself;
- Recognizing your personal value;
- Stop comparing yourself to other people;
- Prioritize yourself and your own needs;
- Be thankful, and live in the present moment.