The Pitfalls of People-Pleasing: 10 Things to Keep in Mind

Every individual, at some point or another, desires validation from their peers. This behavior is often a result of our intrinsic need for social acceptance. However, when this behavior becomes obsessive and starts affecting our self-esteem and decision-making processes, it transforms into approval-seeking behavior.

Why Do Some People Seek Approval From Others?

The act of seeking approval, a common trait observed in various facets of life, involves modifying one’s behavior to gain others’ validation. People often adjust their actions, thoughts, and feelings based on anticipated reactions from others. Psychologically, this behavior stems from self-doubt and the comfort that external validation provides.

The urge to seek approval often springs from fear – the fear of disapproval, rejection, or not being well-received by others. These fears can encompass elements like our physical appearance, actions, or lifestyle choices.

Individuals who constantly seek approval are typically self-critical and lack confidence in their abilities. They often surrender their happiness and self-esteem to others’ judgments. As a result, they might find themselves feigning agreement with others to avoid potential disapproval.

However, it’s crucial to recognize when the pursuit of approval becomes an unhealthy obsession, leading to a loss of self-identity and reliance on external validation for self-worth. It’s imperative to address this issue, shifting focus towards self-validation rather than external approval.

While the desire for approval is natural, maintaining a balance is essential. Understanding the root causes of this behavior can help individuals manage their anxieties, build self-confidence, and ultimately, lead more genuine lives.

10 Things to Remember if You Seek the Approval of Others

You are enough

This statement emphasizes the importance of self-worth and self-acceptance. It means that your worth or value as a person is not determined by what others think or say about you. Your worth is inherent, meaning it’s intrinsic and exists within you regardless of external factors.

This worth does not fluctuate based on others’ opinions, compliments, criticisms, or validations. Recognizing and acknowledging this inherent worth can lead to increased self-esteem, self-confidence, and overall mental wellbeing. You don’t need anyone else’s validation or approval to confirm your value because it’s already present within you.

Not everyone will like you

Embracing the fact that not everyone will like you is a crucial aspect of self-acceptance. In our diverse world, with a myriad of personalities, opinions, and preferences, it’s inevitable that we won’t resonate with everyone we encounter. This doesn’t reflect negatively on your worth or value as an individual.

Attempting to please everyone is not only exhausting but also impossible. It can lead to a loss of personal identity and authentic living. Therefore, it’s more important to stay true to yourself, maintain your values, and pursue your own path. Remember, it’s perfectly okay if some people don’t approve or like you.

Your happiness should not depend on others

Happiness is an internal state of well-being that is entirely within your own control. Relying on others’ approval or disapproval to dictate your joy can lead to a roller coaster of emotions, fluctuating with their opinions. Realize that you are the architect of your own happiness and it should not be contingent on external validation.

Nurture self-love, pursue passions, and cultivate positive relationships that uplift you. Your happiness is your responsibility, and it’s a power that lies solely in your hands. Don’t let anyone else dim your sparkle.

Be true to yourself

Authenticity is a rare and valuable trait in a world where pretense is often rewarded. It comes with the courage to be yourself, even if it sometimes means being disliked or misunderstood. Being true to your essence, expressing your genuine feelings and thoughts, and living in alignment with your values are facets of authenticity.

While pretending might earn temporary approval, it’s exhausting and unfulfilling in the long run. It’s far more rewarding and liberating to be genuinely disliked for who you are than to be falsely liked for being someone you’re not.

You are allowed to make mistakes

Mistakes are an inevitable aspect of life and integral to personal growth. They provide valuable lessons and opportunities for improvement. Fear of making mistakes can often lead to inaction, preventing us from taking risks and exploring new possibilities. However, it’s crucial to remember that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s perfectly normal.

Don’t let the fear of disapproval or judgment deter you from stepping outside your comfort zone. Embrace your missteps as stepping stones to success, and keep moving forward. Your journey is uniquely yours, and every experience contributes to your evolution.

You can’t control others’ thoughts and feelings

Perception is subjective and everyone views the world through their unique lens. No matter how much effort you put in, you cannot control how others perceive you. This can lead to unnecessary stress and self-doubt. Instead, shift your focus to what is within your control – your actions, attitudes, and responses.

Strive for personal growth, maintain a positive mindset, and act in accordance with your values. Ultimately, your peace of mind comes from knowing that you are living authentically and doing your best, regardless of others’ perceptions.

Seek self-approval first

In a world that often measures worth by external validation, it’s crucial to remember the importance of self-approval. Instead of relying on others for recognition, learn to acknowledge and celebrate your own accomplishments, irrespective of their size. Even the smallest victories are stepping stones towards larger goals.

By recognizing your progress, you foster self-confidence and resilience. Cultivate an inner dialogue that uplifts and motivates you. After all, your journey is about personal growth and fulfillment. The most rewarding applause comes from within, so take time to appreciate your efforts and progress.

Criticism is not always a bad thing

Constructive criticism is a valuable tool for personal and professional growth. It offers insights into areas that need improvement, providing an opportunity for learning and development. However, receiving criticism can be challenging. It’s essential not to take it personally or view it as an attack on your worth.

Instead, approach it with an open mind and a positive attitude. Consider it as feedback, not failure. Use it as a stepping stone to refine your skills, enhance your performance, and reach your potential. Remember, every critique is a chance for you to grow, evolve, and become better at what you do.

Learn to handle rejection

Rejection is an inevitable part of life’s journey, often inciting feelings of disappointment and hurt. However, it’s important to remember that rejection isn’t a reflection of your worth. Instead, it presents opportunities for growth, resilience, and self-discovery. Every rejection is a chance to reassess, learn, and bounce back stronger.

It can fuel your determination, inspiring you to pursue your goals with renewed vigor. Rather than viewing rejection as a setback, see it as a stepping stone towards success. Embrace the lessons it offers, and use them to forge a path forward.

Express your disagreement

In the quest for approval, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feigning agreement, but authenticity is crucial for nurturing healthy relationships. Expressing your true thoughts and feelings fosters trust, respect, and mutual understanding. It allows for genuine connections and meaningful conversations.

While it may be challenging to voice dissent, remember that disagreement is a part of human interaction. It doesn’t signify conflict, but diversity in perspectives. So, don’t shy away from expressing your viewpoint. Be honest, respectful, and assertive. Your authenticity will not only enrich your relationships but also reinforce your self-esteem.

Final Thought

While the desire for approval is a natural human tendency, it’s vital to ensure it doesn’t morph into an unhealthy fixation. Your value as an individual isn’t measured by the perceptions of others but by your self-perception and the respect you accord yourself.

Embrace your uniqueness, honor your truth, and cultivate self-love. Remember, your worth is intrinsic and unalterable by external opinions. Keep faith in your abilities, celebrate your accomplishments, and most importantly, be your authentic self. After all, genuine self-approval is far more rewarding than transient external validation.

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