How Far Do We Go For The Approval Of Others?

How far do we go for the approval of others?

How far do we go for the approval of others? We all like to know that the people around us value and approve of us and the choices we make. This dependence is not a weakness. It’s actually quite healthy.

However, we must be able to maintain the right balance and not depend on it for our decisions and actions. If this is not the case and we become too dependent on the approval of others, then we have a problem.

We all need to feel that others support, encourage and validate us. This need forms a healthy dependency. And by meeting this need in a healthy way, it can even make us more autonomous at certain times.

That is what interdependence is, which includes both giving and receiving. We need it to survive, also to maintain our relationships. Unfortunately, however , there can also be over-dependence in some cases . Basically, this means that someone has an intense need for the approval of others.

When we put a great deal of energy into pleasing others to gain their approval, we eventually enter a dangerous cycle. Being too dependent can make us feel empty, inadequate, lost, confused and unimportant.

Lock in the shape of a heart

When your goal is to gain the approval of others

In order to better understand ourselves as adults, it is important to analyze some aspects of our childhood. The first factor influencing is how we received approval and disapproval from our parents and caregivers.

This may be closely related to what we are currently doing to gain approval or avoid disapproval. Somehow, our brains may be programmed with behaviors that protect us from the disapproval of other people. As a result, it could jeopardize our current relationships.

The defenses we developed during childhood , when we felt like our caregivers didn’t love us enough, were probably very helpful at the time.

Now , however, they can make it difficult for us to build new relationships based on trust and intimacy. Ironically, these defenses can also prevent us from getting our own approval, let alone getting approval from others.

What do we do to avoid disapproval?

When we seek the approval of others, we often tend to act in a wrong way. This dysfunctional behavior sabotages us without us realizing it. According to Dr. Leon D. Seltzer, these are some dysfunctional ways to avoid disapproval:

You are a perfectionist or always force yourself to do better

This dysfunctional behavior makes you feel obligated to do everything as perfectly as possible. This tactic of avoiding the disapproval of others has nothing to do with the pursuit of excellence (a pursuit that can be healthier and more selective) or the motivation to get better.

This attitude makes you feel that being good enough is not enough. So if you feel like you’re not the best, you automatically come to the conclusion that you’re not good enough.

Being the best version of yourself doesn’t mean you’re the best at everything. Or maybe. The thing is, you can’t figure it out if you don’t stop striving for what others expect of you (or what you think they expect of you).

Man who worries

You avoid projects where you can fail

If you think failure is very much associated with your parents’ approval or disapproval, you may also be reluctant to engage in projects where success is not guaranteed.

This risk aversion may have started during childhood. It could also have arisen in other situations where you decided to take a risk and didn’t get the expected results.

It is important to remember that successful people are successful because they are not afraid to fail. They even take advantage of it because they know it’s the first step to success.

You always keep a ‘safe’ distance from others

If you decided during your childhood to stop seeking your parents’ approval because you could never feel connected to them anyway, there is a chance that you have reached a point where you deny the need for attachment.

The habit of automatically keeping one’s distance from others is usually a habit that we develop based on our experiences over the years.

If you didn’t get the support and approval you needed during your childhood, chances are you are now dealing with trust issues. Your instinct to protect your ego forces you to keep others at a distance. As a result, you can never feel attached to anyone. Anger is the most commonly used type of defense mechanism to keep others at bay.

You are a very accommodating and codependent person

This fourth example of dysfunctional behavior involves having a yielding and codependent attitude. If you’ve learned to always put other people’s thoughts and needs before your own, you’ll likely continue to do so for the rest of your life.

That lenient and codependent behavior involves taking more responsibility for other people’s thoughts and feelings than for your own.

If you put your own needs first as a child and this was usually rejected by your parents, then as an adult you probably think that others will reject you if you put yourself first.

Girl comforts her friend

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If you recognize yourself in these behaviors, now is a good time to reflect on yourself. What are you doing that keeps you from being content and happy? You cannot change the past, but you do have control over your present and your future. You can reprogram your brain. If you don’t think you can do this alone, ask for help.

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