Approval-seeking behaviour means being a people-pleaser. It implies being too concerned with what others think at the expense of your own feelings and beliefs. In extreme cases psychologists recognise this as a deep-seated neurosis because you are in effect allowing others to make your mind up for you and dictate your actions.
Of course, it’s good to be liked and appreciated, and it’s good to help others and show compassion, but there’s only one person whose approval you really need (as opposed to want) and that’s you.
Ask yourself – and be honest – which, if any, of these are typical of you?
- Constantly craving recognition?
- Comparing yourself unfavourably with others?
- Being over-generous to get others to like you?
- Seeking out others who are shy or have low self-esteem?
- Feeling like a victim most of the time?
- Frequently making excuses to avoid social contact?
- Staying in the background, for instance, by avoiding fashionable clothes?
- Staying quiet even when you have something to say?
If you have ticked any of these items, you have work to do! And I can help – that’s what most of my blogs are designed to do!
Self-approval is at the heart of solid self-esteem, and is essential for a happy, healthy and successful life.
Other people’s expectations are not your concern; you didn’t create them and you don’t own them. Let them follow their paths while you follow yours. If they don’t like it, that’s their problem, not yours. You always have the choice of how to respond to others’ expectations – use it wisely!
©David Lawrence Preston, 17.3.2016
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @David_L_Preston