We all like that others think well of us in the professional and personal sphere, but what happens when this need dominates our life? We explain it…
Knowing how to behave in order to live well in society requires flexibility. Often we have to give in, because it would be impossible to live with other people always imposing our own opinion and way of doing things. Moreover, we all like to be loved and generate sympathy in our environment. Taking care of our social image and what others think of us is a natural thing for humans.
However, the problem starts when the need for approval becomes constant and at any minimal sign of disapproval, the person stops believing in their beliefs to satisfy their family, partner, boss, friends…
If we are always trying to please others, it means that our happiness and fulfillment depend on outside sources. Thus, we continue to live a life that we do not particularly want, but that corresponds to what others expect of us. In the long run, anyone with this need for approval stops taking risks, charting their own course, and following their instincts. Due to fear of rejection and fear of being judged, the person ends up losing their individuality and living a life that is not their own. Ilene Strauss Cohen, psychotherapist.
Why do we seek the approval of others?
At some point in their life, an approval-dependent person has learned to put the will of others before their own. Somehow, she concluded that complacency was the right thing to do. However, always pleasing others is very exhausting because it kind of depends on you whether others are doing well or not. And it’s a responsibility that should never be yours.
The main reasons why someone always seeks the approval of others are:
- Low self-esteem
- Parental rejection or overprotection in childhood
- An inferiority complex
- An inner emptiness
- A fear of loneliness
- an emotional addiction
- Having suffered a trauma
How do I know if I’m counting on other people’s approval?