Are you hyper- vigilant about what others think of you and how to please them? Do you seek approval about your figure,the clothes you wear,the size of your home,the car you drive,and how much money you can earn? Be honest,will you do almost anything to get the approval of others?
Be independent of the good opinion of other people- Abraham Maslow
I’ve spent my whole life caring about what other people think of me,” says Sally,a colleague of mine. ” I know I’m a people pleaser. It’s important that my friends see me as Merry Mary-always happy,outgoing and fun to be with. They compliment my upbeat attitude all the time. If only they knew how i really feel. My life is one big act. I often feel sad because i don’t have a close relationship. I’m such a fraud!”
The cost to Mary’s self-respect is enormous. Yet,many people feel just like her. Somewhere along life’s path,they bought into the idea that it wasn’t okay to express their true thoughts. Instead of inner validation,they seek solace by attempting to please everyone else.
To you,is appearing more important to being?
The approval seeker is most common. Behind this mask,is a pleasing and agreeable individual. He has difficulty setting boundaries because the needs of everyone else appear to be more important to his own. His unconscious stance is,” You count,I don’t.”
Almost everyone wants to be liked. When this desire overrides everything else,however,the approval seeker’s life becomes focused on how other people react and respond to him.The approval seeker will do whatever it takes to have peace at any price. He takes responsibility of how others feel and act. The approval seeker mask is his way of getting attention. However,deep down,he feels unloveable.
When you are absorbed by what others think of you, the reality is that you are making the situation all about you. “What do they think of me?” Whether you like it or not,the universe does not ot revolve around you. People in your circle are not spending all day thinking about you unless you are seriously ill or in the middle of a crisis.
To put this into perspective,if your personal life story including your deficiencies became headline news in a national daily,how many people would care? Not many- most people are far too busy figuring out how to make their own lives work.
Give up the need for constant approval. It will take time and courage to eliminate this bad habit,but the real you will thank you profusely- Fran Hewitt
Discarding the approval -seeker mask is incredibly freeing. But doing so requires a huge shift in focus. Instead of always paying attention to others,you need to turn your focus unto you. This is not being selfish. It is about finding a healthy equilibrium between meeting your own needs and genuinely serving others.
It is important that you distinguish between approval- seeking behavior and being acknowledged for something that deserves recognition. If for example,you organized a family reunion for one hundred people because you simply wanted to help,not for any self-serving reasons,then by all means take the applause and feel good about it.
If you live for other people’s acceptan e, you will die from their rejection-LACRAE