Stop seeking approval in relationships
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Kate Megase MBACP, Registered, Accredited Psychotherapist & Clinical Supervisor
2nd May, 20160 Comments
Everyone has a desire to be liked, admired or loved. However, it is very dangerous when you constantly want acceptance and approval from others, as this can become a negative habit if it is not addressed.
People with low self-esteem usually want acceptance from others, because they don't feel good about themselves. This could be a result of unresolved childhood issues or an experience that has lead one to believe that they are not good enough. Whatever the case may be, it is often hard to accept and even take ownership for this habit. No one really wants to admit that, they seek approval from other people. This can be a very painful revelation.
Some individuals often want to please others to be liked and may find it difficult to say no. The sad reality is that they are willing to put off investing in themselves and are more eager to make other people like, accept or notice them. I can appreciate how hard it is if you didn't feel valued as child and as an adult you may be unconsciously seeking validation from others.
The reality is, you have a need to be liked and that need can not be met by someone else. For instance, when you get satisfaction when that need is met, the desire will always remain over and over again. Therefore, you will constantly want that need to be met all the time. It is like pouring water into a bucket with a hole, it will never be filled, unless the whole is sealed, which only you can do. This habit can become addictive and you can easily develop a need for more.
How to avoid seeking approval from others
Acknowledge and accept that you have this problem, as you can't change what you are not aware of.
Take time to value your own beliefs, values and ideas. When you constantly want others to approve who you are, you are giving away your power, diminishing your self-concept and making other people’s opinions more important than your own.
Learn to say no
It is important to help others but it's also unhealthy to do things you don't really want to, in exchange to make other people happy. If you spend your time making other people happy, more than yourself, you are only causing yourself more stress, and emotional pain. This could lead to suppressed anger, especially when you give so much and don't get it in return.
Learn to be assertive
It is important to speak up when you disagree or when you feel that someone is taking advantage of you. The more you allow people to take advantage of you, the more they will. You do not want to spend your life being a victim and over analysing how unfair you have been mistreated.
Give yourself the love that you need
Give yourself what you seek from others such as acceptance, approval and love, and you can only find it when you stop seeking approval from others. This process will increase your esteem; self-respect and will help you feel more at peace with yourself.
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