While I marked this as “done” awhile back, it’s really an ongoing process forever if you ask me. What really shattered my search for approval was watching other people for awhile. This will sound pessimistic and crude to some, but I’ve found it to be true and the reason why I realized seeking approval is horrifically damaging to one’s own psyche. I’ve realized that a lot of people are really selfish, have their own agendas, wants, needs, and a lot of them are manipulative of others to get those things. They don’t even care about you! You’ll never get approval from them no matter what. Plus there’s people you just shouldn’t even seek approval from, such as an abusive parent. Everyone has their own skewed idea about what makes a perfect person, and the only way you get approval from someone else is fitting into their subjective idea of that, but the only way that can happen is if the other person shares the same ideas and values as you. And remember, it is an IDEA. Ideas can be wrong or bad! I mean, as an extreme example, there are people out there who think that children should be their sex partners. Could you imagine if you were seeking approval from these people?
By seeking approval, you make you wrong and the other person perfectly right. For me, that alone makes me not want to seek approval. I’d rather be right by trying to approve of myself.
I have been reading a lot about approval needing, and just read that it is a psychological requirement of a person to become socially integrated.
EW! I’ve always been proud of my unique traits, though I realize I stop doing so when they are picked on by others. I would prefer to be NOT part of the social majority! Now that I read that, I’ll be much more on my way to not NEEDING approval so much!
I realized I’m still doing this but I’m seeing the subtle ways I’m doing it, which is double-checking myself with others. I’ll hold strong in an opinion and then turn around and check with someone else for validation. This needs to stop!
I also noticed that in seeking approval from others I’ve made myself less than them. I’m much smarter than I let on, more fun, etc. But I suppress these things around others for fear of being unaccepted by them. So lame.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot and wanted to post because maybe someone will find it helpful. I think caring what others think about you and needing approval sets you up for abuse, because if you’re open to needing them to tell you that you are a worthy person, you’re totally open to them also smacking you down to the bottom as well. And what are those comments other people make? They are merely opinions of you, most likely based on limited information. Most people aren’t around you 24/7. They can only judge on what they’ve experienced, and even then it’s totally subjective, it is THEIR reality. You could have a zit and they could decide you are disgusting and don’t wash when in fact you shover every day. The only person who truly knows you is you. And in fact, the person you are seeking approval from may not even be that great of a person. In fact they may SUCK. Maybe a way to realize you shouldn’t listen so much to what others say is to realize if they should be your role models, something to strive to. Are they succeeding in their life? Are they happy? No? Then why does their opinion matter so much?
I hope this helps a little bit :)
But I realize, I don’t really need this on my list anymore! I have really stopped caring what others think about me lately, and I’ve been doing what I want (within reason of course) without worrying if someone will think I’m being stupid. What a freeing feeling this is!