Thursday, January 26, 2012

Needing Approval


I find myself seeking the approval of others. Craving it as a desert flower desires the rain to survive and bloom against all odds. Approval, to me, is a need more than a want. I believe it might even be placed under addiction.

If I ever received the tiniest of criticisms, I find myself taking a defensive stance. My protective bulwarks automatically rise high above my head blinding me from seeing anything far in the distance blocking the sounds trying to reach my ear. 

One important ingredient that intensifies my reaction lies in the way a criticism is shared. If it is preceded by a compliment and then a suggestion, I accept it and ask more questions as I like to learn from others. But if all I hear is negativity, questioning and a whiff of know-it-all, then the above extreme reaction is shown.

But why do I need to feel people's pats on my back if I am doing something that I love to do?
Where is this need for approval stemming from? Does it reflect my feelings of self worth?
Sometimes it is hard to figure out why I feel the way I do.

I am incapable of accepting the reality of it all; that no matter how many pails of water I pour on the desert sand, I can never truly satisfy it.

Does anyone have similar feelings about approval?Do you, like me, seek approval? Do you know why you do that?


haya said...

hi lana, we all have sometimes have to do something for approval of a person or persons, where it comes from i myself don't know but slowly u get to accept that u can't get approval from everyone, only yourself, your not alone sometimes cousin i feel the same way. we just have to try to satisfy ourselves because u can't please everyone .

Tabouleh said...

You are right Hayoonah and i try many times just to satisfy myself but sometimes a part of me just looks back wanting approval. I guess it is taught to us from when we are young... but I have to learn how to just let go and like you said understand that i cannot satisfy everyone.

Wapack said...

I think that is is the love of others we seek, and romantics are insatiable. Love comes in many forms. You are good at giving it, perhaps in part because you like to get it?

But I'm not sure the defensiveness is so closely linked. Surely the lack of love (admiration) is not as nice, but I'm not sure a even romantic needs to be so defensive, though perhaps the lack of desires fulfilled in one extreme results in an extreme in the other direction?

Funny the other night I made a statement in a meeting and some applauded. I didn't want applause, actually preferred not to get it; I just wanted to be respectfully listened to.

Tabouleh said...

But what about those that I do not love but would like to hear more positive comments before the negatives?

Jan said...

Hello lana. Yes I have often felt the same...not really seeking praise or overt approval, rather the avoidance of disapproval! Even now as I get older it is still difficult for me to accept criticism, or deal with conflict - I often blame myself for things when situations occur and feel I am unable(like everyone else) to make mistakes! It is something I am working on and yes, I do think it relates to childhood conditioning. So complex to unpick. I am currently letting go of this however, as hard as it is. I wish you the same peace dear Lana. xx

Tabouleh said...

Lovely Jan... it is so good to hear from you. I have been wondering where you've been. I missed you. Thanks for commenting... I believe you are right... I need to start moving away from this but most importantly I need to do so for my children's sake... not sure how to go about doing that? But maybe every time my kids ask me if what they are doing is good or bad or whatever, I should throw the question back at them and ask them whether or not they thought it is good or bad... what do you think?