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Beware Of Your Need For Approval

DWilliams; Pixabay

I can sit here and confidently say, that I used to have an unhealthy strong need for others approval and affection. It was something that surpassed my own need and want for self care. It was one of the major faults that lead to so many parts of my emotional and mental problems. I think I can look back now, and see how clear that crooked desire of mine was. I could look back to many years ago and see how wrong I was. While it may paint a clear picture for me as I look back now, it isn’t something I could easily see back then, even when it initially caused heartache and stress.

That unhealthy way of living and that need for attention was a clearly defined view of the way I used to feel about myself. I didn’t love myself. I didn’t even like myself. I yearned for many years, to find as many distractions as I could that would help me be blind to my self loathing and pain inflicting type of feelings.

It’s a terrible reality, to realize how much one hates themselves. And the idea of trying to repair that always looks so grim. Because it just feels like an extremely impossible journey to reach the type of goal, that will bring self love back to the moment.

Clker-Free-Vector-Images; Pixabay

Balance is what’s needed as we do this type of work on ourselves. We can’t demand love and respect, if we have nothing to show for that request. Just like we cannot find real love by lowering our own self respect. Often times we can find ourselves showing a lack of self respect, especially when we find ourselves pursuing the wrong people.

This is especially true in the world of romance. Both of these extremes won’t really fit into that realm of finding approval for the right reasons. One of the best parts of this journey started to become apparent once I got that better grip on emotional health, and eventually sobriety too. Those were areas that fed every mentally unhealthy part of me. The approval chasing mindset and behaviours were what really seemed to drive my search for that approval from anybody and everybody.

All of that behaviour shows us a false sense of security. We think that if we have lots of friends and loved ones, then we will be able to survive any type of emotional unrest we may have. But they merely numb, or they distract on a temporary level. Because not all of those people are necessarily good quality people for us.

It took a long time to learn and realize that approval and respect starts from within. It’s not going to be found through begging or demanding. Remember that a true friend will offer a helping hand, just as much as you will.

sasint; Pixabay

A valuable lesson here for me has been that I am not going to be loved dearly by every single person I come across in my life. Not every person we face in life will necessarily be right for us. I have learned to keep my eye and mind wide open, and realize that even when I really want to be close with a person, sometimes that just won’t matter. Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of, and don’t think for one second that you can gain someone’s attention and love by showering them with gifts. You just can’t buy true love or companionship.

Beware if you think you may be in a situation that fits this category. Because the last thing we want to happen is to be loved for what we do, and not for who we are.

We wear ourselves thin whether we are seeking approval, looking for love, or trying hard to win over friends or lovers. Even when it seems to us that something with these type of journeys aren’t right, we continue to put all our attention into these type of behaviours.

geralt; pixabay

We can really neglect ourselves and when all is said and done, only one person is hurt. The people who aren’t right for us move on and don’t give us a second thought, and we are left heartbroken and hurt. Going over mental equations again and again wondering why all of our good deeds didn’t win that person over.

I don’t write this to try and give off the message that we shouldn’t do nice things for the people we care for and are fond of. Just always keep your heart protected, and make sure the people in your life are with you because of the person that you are. Never go through life by having your generosity be the defining factor of relationships.

By MICHAEL PATANELLA


Beware Of Your Need For Approval was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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