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Beat Your Approval Addiction

Beat your approval addiction. 

Screw what people say! Sounds harsh? It could save your life!

Gigi, a dutiful daughter and medical student, was sharing with me how she grew up to be a “pleaser.”

She derived much of her self worth from the approval of people around her. She’s so worried about keeping her parents happy, and going along with her friends on all things.

One day, she had flunked an oral exam in Medical school because of a professor she couldn’t please. “She’s a terrorist doc. I felt so bad. I feel like giving up,” Gigi told over Viber.

She went into a fast-sliding downward spiral of anxiety panic, depression, and loss of motivation. She can’t stand the possible displeasure of her parents (real or imagined) as an effect of her failed oral.

Gigi’s overwhelming need for the approval of others is a no-win scenario. She has a voice in her head that constantly tells her, “Unless everybody loves and approves of me, I can’t feel good about my self.”

Manipulation by others is made so easy when you have a “pleaser” approval addiction. The lie of this addiction puts your emotional well being into the hands of people who may not be trustworthy.

Another thing is, even if you gain someone’s approval or “like” today, you may not have it tomorrow. Each day presents the same pressure of how to gain and keep people’s approval.

beat your approval addiction

I’m reminded of a quotation I like:

“At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.”

Here’s what we need to remember and practice: 

What other people do says much more about them than about you. How you react to them, though, says a lot about who you are.

Beat your approval addiction. Love and take good care of your self.

“The truth is that some people aren’t going to like us or what we do, no matter how hard we try. In the attempt to gain everyone’s love and approval through chronic acquiescence, though, we may lose ourselves. How then to solve this dilemma? A good way is to keep telling yourself the truth – that you can’t have everyone’s approval and that trying to only makes your life worse … “ — Dr. Chris Thurman, Psychologist

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