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What’s up with your need for approval?

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

InnerShe, Life Coach & Support for Grief, Growth, Empowerment

Article by Cintia Mancuso, MSW | Life Coach & Grief Counselor

Have you ever felt like there are people out there that no matter what you do, they will never show they like you? We all seem to have an intrinsic need to be liked by others, to be accepted and validated. Is it wrong to expect our parents to love, accept us or validate us? What about our partner or our children? The truth is we are human, and we crave belonging, love and respect. We are not likely to walk around life being disrespectful, irritable, and hostile. We want to belong to a family, a community a circle, so we curve our behavior, thoughts, and values to fit ourselves in a place we want to belong. If they approve, we feel safe. 

1. Pay attention to what negative thoughts you are having.

Grief counseling may help build better habits.

These include, “she will think, what if, I am an…, he thinks, I can’t, and more like these. When you start a thought with these words, they are bound to cause anxiety and negate your true and genuine nature.

2. Think about what these thoughts mean to you. 

The above thoughts such as she won’t like me or if I do this, they will reject me are the root of your need for approval. You are assuming the worst possible scenario about a certain situation without thinking if this has anything to do with what you want or desire to do. Therefore, you negate your ability to stand up for your thoughts and values. A simple realization such as this can be key in helping you dominate your need for approval.

3. Examine the evidence of the logic in your thoughts. 

Are you really a bad person? Are you really in the wrong for thinking this way, perhaps you and the other person simply have different thoughts and information? Always question your reasoning.

5. Use the in your shoe’s technique. 

Do you always get upset when people disagree with you, do you judge your friends when they think differently than you? If a friend disagreed with something you said, what advice would you give her? How can she know that you are upset but it does not affect how you view her as a person?

Finally, what would you do if they really didn’t like you? 

Perhaps you are attuned, and you can feel their rejection. What will you do then, what if is someone you must interact with daily? What if is someone you love? These are extremely hard situations, and in these hard times, I always tell my clients, “The answers are always in you” you are the answer to all that you don’t know. The answer is in your own genuine kindness towards yourself. Show up! Be there for yourself, do not allow abuse or neglect.

Be for you that which you would like others to be. Sometimes this will lead to a lonely place, however, it was lonelier when you were surrounded by people who didn’t like you. When you are able to allow others their opinions and thoughts you free yourself from their judgment, you become more willing to show up. I invite you to try these tools in your life knowing that you are the most important judge over your Innershe.

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