It is vital for us to have people in our lives we can trust and count on to guide us through our spiritual path. They point us to areas we need to work on and support us along the way.
It is, however, easy to become addicted to their approval.
When you have a need for approval you put the opinions, beliefs, and needs of other people above your own. Receiving disapproval becomes an agonizing experience. In time, your whole decision-making process is taken over by your need for the approval of others. You cannot make an important decision without it being approved by another person. You sacrifice your own dreams and goals in order to have their blessing.
You could argue that you are not the type to engage in approval-seeking behavior.
However, there are some common behaviors which many of us fail to recognize as such. In some cases, these behaviors are used as a compromise, to keep the order, or because the situation is not truly important to us. But when these behaviors become too frequent or are solely motivated by a need for approval, you are adopting a harmful behavior that can lead to serious issues.
Here are some of the most common approval-seeking behaviors and what you can do to avoid them.
1. You will never meet their expectations, and that’s alright
Sometimes you will be the most wonderful friend, partner, parent, employee and sometimes you won’t. There are always going to be times in your life where your ideas of right and wrong do not match up with someone else’s ideas and that is not only fine, but a great opportunity to grow. Such are the circumstances that allow us to find empathy for others, to put ourselves in their skin or to explain our point of view to another person so that they may learn something also.
You will never meet a person you’ll agree with or meet their approval at 100% of the time, and if you recognize this, you will stop putting too much pressure on yourself to live up to what others imagine of you.
2. You must connect to others truthfully
If you are constantly changing who you are just to gain the approval of others you are not giving them the chance to get to know the real you. Furthermore, most people catch on after a while if you start changing your behavior or opinions on things that are similar to theirs. And while at first, it may be flattering to someone that seeks your approval so much that they are willing to change who they truly are, that will soon fade away.
Genuine people want honest connections with others, and not with people who will merely tell them what they want to hear in order to be validated. The best thing to do is to always be who we are even if that may ruffle another person’s feathers every now and then.
Those around you will respect you more if you are confident in your own truth, even if they don’t necessarily agree with everything you do or say.
3. You must get to know yourself better
A large part of growing into a self-aware person is discovering who you truly are, why you are the way you are, why you do the things you do. These revelations often come wrapped in the disapproval of others.
Consider this; when someone disagrees or gives us their approval for who we are (or who they believe we are), it gives us an opportunity to reflect on ourselves, our behaviors, flaws, and our emotions.
In time, a more truthful relationship with our own hearts and minds is formed which allows us to be more confident in our being regardless of whether others approve.
4. You must liberate yourself
To always be worried about other people’s opinions of you is to always worry whether you are “good enough.”
However, when people begin realizing that others do not see how they are but rather see us how they are, we stop the draining effort of trying to get others to see us in a certain light.
And eventually, this leads to a kind of freedom one can put no price on. True strength lies in the hands of those who seek to be their most truthful self no matter what others think.
5. Be the best version of yourself
We are all totally unique and there is a reason for our existence. When we leave our true selves behind to meet the expectations of others we rob the world of something special…us.
Too much precious time has been wasted by trying to be like others only to realize none of us was born to be a portrait of what society thinks we should be. By focusing on our own acceptance we transform into the best us we can possibly become, and that is all that should be asked of us.
Funnily, the less we seek the acceptance of others, the easier the road to finding who we truly are will be. As our love for who we are grows stronger, we naturally move towards relationships where we are treated well if not better than we treat ourselves.
And this, in turn, helps us to build lasting and stable relationships with other people, which is, in fact, the mark of someone who is rooted in unconditional love.
We hope that this article has managed to help you conquer your own fears on the path to becoming a more self-reliant person. Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comment section, and please share this article if you enjoyed the read.