21 May Addicted to approval? Here’s how you can stop!
by Katherine Roseburg from Tiny Buddha
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
The past few years have been full of hard but necessary lessons I needed to learn about my relationships with others—their limits, boundaries, what healthy relationships are and are not.
I realized that the foundation for some of my relationships (the unhealthy ones) was my need for attention and approval. This, of course, was futile because we can only truly feel good about ourselves despite outside opinions.
Because I felt inadequate and overly self-critical due to a past full of put-downs and personal failures (real or perceived), I needed “proof” that I mattered and was worthy in the eyes of people who represented the very individuals from my past who had shamed me, abused me, ignored me, and devalued me.
Growing up, I was always the outlier and in a lot of ways I still am—the girl with the wild imagination and unpopular hobbies (art over sports, unique tastes over trends, time alone in introspection over socializing).
I was also the middle child who didn’t quite measure up to the overachieving big sister and gifted little brother—often ignored, humored, my “little” achievements dismissed.
While I was not mistreated or neglected in any major, obvious way, the lack of attention and validation culminated over time to make me feel like a general disappointment as a human being.
Even after many major accomplishments, I felt inadequate. I earned a master’s degree, married a wonderful man, quickly built an impressive career, made amazing friends, moved to my dream town and into a gorgeous home, but I still sought validation from others that I was worthy and wanted (and still occasionally do)…
…keep reading the full article HERE where you'll find some practical tips towards the end for curbing your approval addiction!